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Paxton Singer, a youth pastor for Harvest Bible Chapel in Aurora, Illinois stands accused of sexually exploiting a 16-year-old church boy.
Singer was charged with misdemeanor sexual exploitation of a child and disorderly conduct, according to court records, which say he “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 a news release from the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.
A statement from Harvest Bible Chapel said 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.
School and church officials and employees are required by law to alert authorities if they become aware of a claim or abuse against a child.
The church also said that “parents related to (Singer’s) ministry on multiple campuses were also informed by email on January 7, 2018.”
A DCFS official said the charges filed against Singer this week did not result from the January report but from a second report made months later.
“In June of 2018, DCFS received a hotline report and began an investigation involving Paxton Singer for the allegation of sexual exploitation,” Bret Angelos, an attorney for the agency, wrote in an email response to questions from the Tribune. “The DCFS child protection investigation was completed in October 2018, and Paxton Singer was indicated for sexual exploitation.”
Church officials said they made three separate reports in January related to alleged inappropriate actions between Singer and three individuals.
“Three incidents related to the former employee in question were all reported to DCFS during the second and third week of January 2018. Further contact between our staff and DCFS beyond that time period were follow-up related and did not involve any new incidents,” Scott Milholland, Harvest Bible Chapel’s chief operating officer and senior executive pastor, said in an email response to questions from the Tribune.