Former Southland Church youth leader pleads guilty in sexting case

gkocher1@herald-leader.comNovember 7, 2013 

Jonathan David Hall, a former youth leader at Danville's Southland Christian Church campus, was accused of exchanging sexual emails with a minor.

PHOTO PROVIDED

DANVILLE — A former youth leader at Southland Christian Church's Danville campus pleaded guilty Thursday to 45 counts related to sending sexual messages to minors in Kentucky and other states.

Under a plea agreement, Jonathan David Hall, 30, of Danville would be sentenced to five years in prison. He also must register as a sex offender.

Boyle Circuit Judge Darren Peckler scheduled sentencing for Jan. 7.

A Boyle County grand jury indicted Hall on 45 felony and misdemeanor counts in November 2012.

Under the plea agreement, four felony counts of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities were amended to possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor.

Hall also pleaded guilty to 37 other felony counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor and to four misdemeanor counts of distribution of obscene matter to minors.

Sentences for all of the counts are to run concurrently, for a total of five years, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bill Noelker said.

The texts between Hall and a 15-year-old Lexington girl came to light in March 2012, when Lexington police took a report from a mother who said she had seen suspicious texts on her daughter's iPhone, according to an affidavit filed in court.

The Electronic Crime Branch of Kentucky State Police determined that Hall had been exchanging texts and other communications with teenage girls.

"Some of those messages contained nude photographs of the females, which they had sent to the suspect email," the affidavit said.

For example, the Lexington teen sent multiple nude photos of herself at Hall's request, and he sent her a nude photo as well, police have said.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.

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