News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

April 2, 2014

Ex-volunteer pastor faces 12-year sentence, plans appeal

TERRE HAUTE — A former youth pastor who admitted to seven felony counts involving sex with a minor has received a 12-year prison sentence.

Matthew Mahoney, 37, was ordered to serve 10 years in prison, followed by two years on formal probation during sentencing by Judge David Bolk in Vigo Superior Court 3 on Wednesday.

Mahoney pleaded guilty to all seven criminal counts filed against him in 2013 -- three counts of class-B felony sexual misconduct with a minor, one class-C felony count of sexual misconduct with a minor, and the class-D felonies of vicarious sexual gratification, child solicitation and dissemination of material harmful to a child. He was also ordered to have no contact with the victim, no unsupervised contact with children younger than age 16 and to register as a sex offender.

Mahoney was volunteering as a youth pastor at a Terre Haute church at the time of the incidents. His wife, Jennifer, was also arrested and criminally charged with five felonies for her alleged participation in the molestation.

An investigation by the Vigo County Sheriff’s Department revealed that the victim regularly stayed overnight at the couple’s home. In a statement made during the sentencing, the victim’s guardian said that his family trusted the Mahoneys to watch out for the child during those visits and did not suspect that she was being molested.

Mahoney indicated that he will appeal the sentence.

A trial for Jennifer Mahoney remains set for May 20 in Division 3 court.

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