Ex-minister pleads guilty


November 6, 2008

A former minister of Berean Baptist Church pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he molested young girls there 30 year ago.

Antony Phillips Denton, 56, who now lives in Jacksonville, Fla., was indicted in 2007 on 16 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.

Denton was accused of molesting three girls who were church members between 1977 and 1981. At the time he was serving as a minister of music.

The girls are now married and have families of their own.

Denton pleaded guilty to 13 charges and entered an Alford plea on the other three. Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a conviction.

Under a plea agreement, Denton was given three three-year sentences. All were suspended, and he was placed on unsupervised probation.

Denton must now register as a sex offender.