Former youth pastor guilty of sex assaults
By Jon Cawley
Daily Press (York Co., Virginia)
February 11, 2010
Jack Duffer, 40, has 18 sex-related felony charges.
(Photo courtesy of Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail)
YORK — A former York County youth pastor was convicted Thursday of nine felony charges related to multiple sexual encounters he had with two underage girls.
Jeremy "Jack" Ryan Duffer, a 40-year-old former youth pastor at Seaford Baptist Church, pleaded guilty in York-Poquoson Circuit Court to eight charges of aggravated sexual battery with a child between the ages of 13 and 17 and a single count of taking indecent liberties with a child. In return, nine additional charges of aggravated sexual battery were dropped by the prosecution.
Duffer is scheduled for sentencing on May 13. According to state law, each of the aggravated sexual battery charges carries with it a prison sentence of up to 20 years. The indecent liberties charge could add up to five more years.
The charges stemmed from accusations that Duffer had multiple sexual encounters with two girls at unspecified locations in York County.
Duffer was initially charged last August with a single felony count each of taking indecent liberties with a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Those charges were related to an incident that took place between July 24 and Aug. 8, 2009.
Additional charges were filed about a week later regarding sexual encounters between Feb. 26 and Aug. 15, 2008. At a November preliminary hearing, the felony indecent liberties charge and 17 aggravated sexual battery charges were certified to a grand jury and 18 misdemeanor charges of contributing to the delinquency of a minor were dropped by the prosecutor. The grand jury moved the case forward for trial on Jan. 19.
Duffer was hired by Seaford Baptist Church in early 2007. Biographical information on the church's Web site said Duffer had worked as a pastor for 17 years.
The church's interim pastor, Gene Cornett, has previously said that Duffer was suspended immediately after church officials learned of the criminal investigation and he was "officially terminated" last September.
SNAP Note: Seaford Baptist Church in Virginia is shown as an SBC-affiliated church.
Former youth pastor sentenced to 17 years for abuse, Associated Baptist Press, 5/14/10
Former youth minister pleads guilty to abuse, Associated Baptist Press, 2/17/10
Jailed former pastor cited 'passion' for working with you, Associated Baptist Press, 8/18/09
Judge sets bond for Seaford Baptist youth pastor,Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, 8/14/09
York Co. youth pastor faces sex crimes charges, WVEC News 13, 8/13/09