Former Harvest Bible Chapel Youth Pastor Charged With Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor
A former youth pastor from a Harvest Bible Chapel campus in Illinois has been charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Paxton Singer "was taken into custody last week after a warrant was issued for his arrest, according to Kane County jail records."
Paxton was the former youth pastor for the Harvest Bible Chapel campuses in Aurora and later in Rolling Meadows, IL. He "has been charged with the sexual exploitation of a 16-year-old boy on allegations he sought nude pictures of the boy and repeatedly asked to spend the weekend with him."
According to the court records, Mr. 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,” asked the boy about his sexual habits and invited him to spend the weekend with him."
Singer "is accused of sending the text messages between October 2016 and August 2017 after first meeting the teen when he attended an event at the church’s campus in Aurora, where Singer worked at the time."
According to Harvest Bible Chapel Singer was "involuntarily terminated for cause” on Jan. 7 “related to incidents that required (Department of Children and Family Services) notification,” and that DCFS was alerted the same day."
Church officials "made three separate reports in January related to alleged inappropriate actions between Singer and three individuals."
They also informed parents "related to (Singer’s) ministry on multiple campuses" in an e-mail on January 7th, 2018.
However, the January reports are not why the charges of alleged sexual exploitation were made.
It was due to a hotline tip the DCFS received in June of 2018 that began "the investigation involving Paxton Singer for the allegation of sexual exploitation."
The investigation was completed this month of October and "Paxton Singer was indicted for sexual exploitation.”
"Harvest Bible Chapel is a large evangelical congregation with several Chicago-area locations", including Rockford.
At this time there are no reports of allegations made that the Rockford campus or their youth have been affected or indicated in this case.
As for Mr. Singer, he is scheduled to appear in court on November 11th.