Scottsville Man Sentenced for Taking Indecent Liberties with a Child
Jacob Kepple, a former Charlottesville youth pastor, has pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a child.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A former Charlottesville youth pastor will spend the next 30 days behind bars.
Thursday morning, 36-year-old Jacob Daniel Kepple of Scottsville pleaded guilty to taking indecent liberties with a minor in his care.
Between 2009 and 2011, Kepple had inappropriate contact with a teenage member of the congregation at the First Baptist Church on Park Street. This contact with the victim started when she was a sophomore in high school, and she decided to come forward while midway through college.
Pastor Don Hicks immediately parted ways with Kepple in the summer of 2014 after learning of the allegations. Hicks had said he first heard of an incident back in July, and suspended Kepple two days later. The pastor later took the allegations to Charlottesville police.
"There's been a lot of people wondering who was right, who was wrong, and I think today justice was done. He did the right thing by confessing his guilt and taking the punishment for that," Hicks said.
Kepple eventually surrendered to officers, and on December 9 he was arrested and charged indecent liberties with a minor by custodian.
Hicks says the past year and a half as this case has played out has been a difficult time for the congregation at First Baptist.
The judge officially sentenced Kepple to the maximum five years behind bars on that indecent liberties charge, but suspended all but 30 days of it.
"I've learned that you learn things, through your sins. The biggest thing is to confess that, but there's always consequences," said the pastor.
Kepple must never contact the pastor, the victim or her family, and has to stay away from the church.
Kepple's Attorney André Hakes, says "Every case is different, given the evidence and circumstances in this case, I believe the plea agreement which was reached was a reasonable resolution."