Another day, another antigay preacher busted for being a pervert. This time it’s Paxton Singer, a former youth pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel in Aurora, Illinois, who allegedly asked a 16-year-old boy to send him nude pics and sneak away with him for a weekend alone together.
According to prosecutors, 24-year-old Singer “knowingly enticed a person under 17 years of age to remove their clothing for the purpose of sexual arousal or gratification of the defendant or the child.”
He and the teen met at a church event. Afterwards, Singer allegedly sexted the boy for almost a year, between October 2016 and August 2017.
When leaders at Harvest Bible Chapel learned about the relationship in January 2018, they claim Singer was “involuntarily terminated for cause” and that they notified authorities immediately.
“Three incidents related to the former employee in question were all reported to DCFS during the second and third week of January 2018.” Scott Milholland, the senior executive pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel, told the Chicago Tribune. “Further contact between our staff and DCFS beyond that time period were follow-up related and did not involve any new incidents.”
But officials at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) tell a different story. They say the charges against Singer, which include disorderly conduct and sexual exploitation of a child, didn’t result from the church calling them in January, but instead came after a hotline call placed several months later.
“The DCFS child protection investigation was completed in October 2018, and Paxton Singer was indicated for sexual exploitation,” officials say.
Meanwhile, Newsweek reports:
On Friday, Kane County Circuit Judge Michael Noland ruled that another alleged teen—whose exploitation Singer was not being charged with—could testify about inappropriate texts and Snapchat messages. Noland said the texts to the “uncharged victim” were similar enough that his testimony was relevant. (Another alleged victim is not being allowed to testify, as he was 17 at the time and therefore wasn’t legally considered a child.)
Singer’s trial was originally scheduled to begin in July, but was rescheduled to start September 4.
According to church rules, Harvest Bible Chapel believes that God “is the sole authority in matters of marriage and sexuality for all people, and that marriage involves the sacred joining together of one man and one woman in faithful, permanent union.”