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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Josh Henley Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of Minor

josh henley

In June 2021, Josh Henley, a former youth pastor at Washington Avenue Church of Christ in Evansville, Indiana, was arrested on three counts of statutory rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery.

Tristate Home Page reported at the time:

Josh Henley, 32, of Newburgh was arrested in Benton County, Tennessee on three counts of statutory rape. He’s also charged with aggravated sexual battery.

Authorities say there are at least three teenage girls who are confirmed as victims. Henley is being held in the Benton County Jail on a $500,000 bond and will be arraigned tomorrow.

Investigators believe there may be more victims in other states, including Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas. Eyewitness News contacted Evansville Police, the Vanderburgh County Sheriff and the Warrick County Sheriff. They told us they do not have anything in their system about Henley.

Court documents say Henley is currently employed at Washington Avenue Church of Christ in Evansville. Officials at the church declined to comment at this time.

After Henley’s arrest, Washington Avenue Church of Christ fired him: The church released the following statement:

On behalf of our entire church family, the Eldership at Washington Avenue Church of Christ is praying for accountability, healing and justice in light of the recent arrest of Joshua Henley who served as our youth minister for the past three months. Mr. Henley’s employment with the church has been terminated effective immediately and he has been relieved of all duties and responsibilities. We take the allegations against Mr. Henley very seriously and will fully cooperate with law enforcement in connection with all investigations. We are heartbroken by this news and our prayers are with all involved.

ABC-24 reports:

The U.S. Department of Justice said in 2018, Henley was pastor at Holladay Church of Christ in Benton County and coached Holladay Elementary School’s girls’ basketball team. In April 2021, they said he took a position with a church in Evansville, Indiana. Then in June 2021, he drove back to Tennessee to pick up a girl, taking her back to Indiana to “help with his Vacation Bible School there.” Prosecutors said Henley had sex with the girl who had just turned 15. They said the girl told them that Henley had been engaging in sexual activity since she was 13, and asking her to take sexually explicit pictures to send him through a chat app.

Investigators said in 2020, another 15-year-old girl in Evansville said Henley asked her to send sexually explicit pictures to him.

Henley was arrested in June 2021 as he was driving the first girl back to Tennessee. Investigators said after getting a warrant for his cell phone, they found sexually explicit pictures of both girls, and video of Henley having sex with a third girl in November 2020, who had just turned 14.

Today, Henley pleaded guilty. He will be sentenced for his crimes in August.

ABC-24 reports:

A Tennessee pastor and girls’ basketball coach has pleaded guilty to child exploitation charges.

Joshua Henley, 33, who has lived in Benton County, Tennessee, and Evansville, Indiana, is set to be sentenced in August after pleading to charges of producing sexual abuse material involving three minors, transporting a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity, sending obscene videos and images to a minor, and possessing and transporting child sexual abuse material.

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Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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6 Comments

    • Avatar
      Revival Fires

      You are permanently banned. No further comments from you or any of the numerous fake names and emails you use will be approved. Go find some other site to spread your vile, sick, filthy torture porn. You are one sick fuck, asshole. But hey, you love Jesus.

  1. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Why, how do you do! You say you are a Christian? Well, sure, how about taking on the Youth Pastor role here and have sex with our kids? Ah, nevermind about those silly background checks and garbage. We love Jesus here!
    And the not-so-merry-go-round continues its cycle…. Revival Fire has no idea he is pablum to these sicko freako believers.

  2. Avatar
    Nan

    Methinks churches need to stop hiring people based on their “I-love-Jesus” qualifications and start doing some background checks!

  3. Avatar
    ObstacleChick

    How come Revival Fires comes to talk about his banning on a post about pedophilia committed by a youth pastor?

  4. Avatar
    Matilda

    When churches issue a statement about their leader’s sexual crimes, I hate that it often as not contains the words ‘We’re praying for healing for him and his family, oh and the victim too,’ (we nearly forgot to mention the victim.) It implies that abuse suffered when young heals as quickly as one does from a cut finger. And if ‘healing doesn’t come miraculously that quickly, then the victim is to blame some more, they didn’t pray hard enough. As some of the commentariat here know too well, abuse takes decades to heal from and a lifetime sometimes.

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Bruce Gerencser