A former youth pastor pled guilty this morning to molesting a boy last year whom he met through the youth program at Heritage Christian Church, officials said.
Nathan Donald Moore, 25, was sentenced to 30 years in prison and once he is released will be on probation for the remainder of his life, according to Fayette County Assistant District Attorney David Younker.
Moore came into contact with the victim at Heritage Christian Church through the church’s youth program, Younker said.
Moore entered guilty pleas to all 11 charges filed in the case: eight counts of aggravated child molestation, two counts of child molestation and one count of enticing a child for indecent purposes. The incidents spanned from March through August of 2011 and happened at Moore’s residence on the southern edge of Fayette County.
The positive outcome of the case was due in large part to the cooperation of the victim and the work of Fayette County sheriff’s detective Josh Shelton, Younker said.
“In child molestation cases it’s very rare that you’re able to secure a confession,” Younker said. “Josh secured a full confession from the defendant over several conversations. It was amazing and it was very, very skillful.”
The victim gave a statement to the court Monday morning after Moore decided to plead guilty instead of go through a jury trial. Younker said it was impressive how the victim was able to stand up in the courtroom and address Moore, looking him in the eye.
“He is one of the bravest victims I have ever seen,” Younker said. “He’s been through so, so much.”
Younker said while nothing can “fix” what happened to the victim, hopefully the resolution of the case will help him and his family “have the ability to take their first step forward.”
“Between the victim’s bravery and the detective’s skill, Fayette County is a safer place,” Younker said.
When Moore was arrested in November, Heritage Christian Pastor Doug Fultz confirmed that Moore was fired from the church prior to the allegations coming to light. Fultz said Moore was let go because “he was taking the youth ministry in a different direction than the church thought was necessary.”
Heritage Christian, with a congregation of more than 1,100, is a non-denominational church that is affiliated with the Independent Christian Churches organization.