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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Eric Jones Pleads Guilty to Indecent Liberties With a Child

pastor eric jones

Eric Jones, pastor of Beaver Creek Baptist Church in Andrews, North Carolina pleaded guilty Monday to “sexually abusing a minor more than a decade ago.”

The Citizen-Times reports:

A former pastor will spend 30 days in jail after admitting this week to sexually abusing a minor more than a decade ago.

Eric Dave Jones, 49, pleaded guilty on Monday in Haywood County Superior Court to indecent liberties with a child, a felony that could carry up to nearly two years in prison. Instead, in addition to a month of time in county jail, Jones will serve 90 days of house arrest and three years of supervised probation.

He’ll be required to submit a DNA sample and register as a sex offender for 30 years, according to a court judgment.

By pleading guilty, he won’t be charged for any other allegations related to the case.

The judgment said Jones, a Bryson City resident, began sexually abusing the victim in 2002. The victim was 9 years old at the time.

“The root of me telling people is because I know it’s not my fault that he’s done what he’s done and that he is a predator,” said the victim, now 25 and living in Cherokee. The Citizen-Times does not identify victims of sexual assault.

“I just felt like as long as I didn’t tell, I was giving them the opportunity to continue those actions to someone else.”

Public records show Jones was a pastor in Western North Carolina. The victim said he most recently worked at Beaver Creek Baptist Church in Andrews before resigning after his arrest earlier this year.

A phone number listed for the church was disconnected Thursday.

The victim said Jones was a longtime family friend.

“I’m glad he pleaded guilty,” she said. “Because he is. I think I got as much justice as I could. I’ll never get back what he took or what he’s caused, or the time that’s been lost on the just the emotional effect.”

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