Former pastor sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting teenager

Local News

Court heard evidence detailing 4 years of sexual abuse

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A 49-year-old man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to sexual assault of a teenager.

Former youth pastor Roger VanRaden pleaded guilty in February after he was accussed of having sex with a teenager who was also a member of his congregation.

Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz says Judge Roger Webber issued VanRaden a 15-year sentence. She says the man was given a 7-year sentence on one count and an 8-year sentence on another count, to be served consecutively.

Rietz says Criminal Division Chief Troy Lozar presented evidence that detailed the 4 years of sexual abuse VanRaden committed while serving as the victim’s youth pastor.

She adds Lozar recommended a 23-year sentence for the former youth pastor.

VanRaden was taken into custody after he was sentenced, Rietz says. She adds he will have to serve at least 85% of that time.

WCIA reported that VanRaden had a relationship with the victim for 4 years, since she was 14. It was reported it to police in 2019, when she was 18-years-old.

VanRaden was a youth pastor at Faith Baptist Church. He was later fired from his position and banned from the congregation.

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