Former minister sentenced to seven years for child abuse

By Meghan Tierney / Staff Writer

The Gazette

Gaithersburg, MD

October 1, 2008

A former Baptist minister in Gaithersburg who was charged with sexually abusing a female youth choir member in the early 1990s was sentenced on Monday to seven years for the crime.

Timothy Chun-Chock Mann, 47, of Birmingham, Ala., pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse in Montgomery County Circuit Court on July 23, according to an online state court record database. He was sentenced to 13 years in jail with all but seven suspended, the maximum allowed under the plea agreement, according to attorney David Martella of the Law Offices of Barry H. Helfand in Rockville.

The girl, now 29, told county police in December that Mann engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with her over the span of four years beginning in 1992 when she was 14, police have said. Mann was charged with third-degree sex offense and child abuse in March.

Mann was a minister and youth choir director at the First Baptist Church of Gaithersburg from 1991 to 1998 and was a choir director at an Alabama congregation at the time of his arrest.

Mann had disclosed the abuse to his family and undergone three years of therapy before the arrest, Martella said.

"We're concerned that [his sentence] sends a message that if you make a mistake like this, and it certainly is a very serious one, you won't get very much credit for trying to get better," Martella said.

SNAP Note: First Baptist Church of Gaithersburg is an SBC-affiliated church.

See also:

Ex-Baptist minister pleads guilty to child abuse, The Gazette, 7/30/08

Former minister at Gaithersburg church accused of sex abuse,, 3/25/08

Ex-music minister in Alabama facing Maryland sex crime, AP, 3/15/08

Abuse arrest prompts resignation of Alabama Baptist music minister, EthicsDaily, 3/14/08

Hoover man facing child abuse, sex offense charges was adjunct professor at Samford , Birmingham News, 3/14/08