All market data delayed 20 minutes. One of three Ohio pastors accused of conspiring to recruit teenage girls to have sex with them has pleaded guilty to federal charges, including child sex trafficking. Thirty-eight-year-old Kenneth Butler also pleaded guilty Monday in Toledo to a related conspiracy charge and obstructing a sex trafficking investigation. He acknowledged having sex with two minors. Butler’s plea deal calls for him to get over 17 years in prison when he is sentenced Sept. His attorney said after the hearing that he wasn’t authorized to comment further on Butler’s behalf. Federal authorities say Butler was among three Toledo-area pastors who paid teen girls for sex over the past few years and shared photos and videos of the girls.
The other two jailed pastors have pleaded not guilty. In November 2006, male prostitute and masseur Mike Jones alleged that Haggard had paid him for sex for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine. After the scandal was publicized, Haggard entered three weeks of intensive counseling, overseen by four ministers. In February 2007, one of those ministers, Tim Ralph, said that Haggard “is completely heterosexual. Ralph later said he meant that therapy “gave Ted the tools to help to embrace his heterosexual side.
On June 1, 2010, Haggard announced that he intended to start a new church in Colorado Springs. Haggard reportedly stated on an audio tape posted to the internet that he was molested when he was seven years old. In 1972, at age sixteen, Haggard became a born-again Christian after hearing a sermon from evangelist Bill Bright in Dallas, Texas, and becoming acquainted with the Christian apologetics of C. As a co-editor of his high-school newspaper in 1974, Haggard published remarkably frank articles that described services that were available to prevent and deal with increasingly prevalent pregnancies and STDs. These articles scandalized his small town and embroiled him in a free-press lawsuit. Haggard describes feeling the call of God on his life after his first year in college, while he was in the kitchen at home. He had been a telecommunications major with a minor in journalism, but after this experience he believed he had been called to pastor.
I was totally surprised,” Haggard wrote in The Life-Giving Church. Lord I wanted to serve Him. According to Haggard, in November 1984, when he was an associate pastor of Bethany World Prayer Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, his confidant and mentor Danny Ost, a missionary to Mexico City, had a vision of Haggard founding his church in Colorado Springs. Accordingly, Haggard moved to Colorado shortly afterwards, and founded New Life Church. In November 2006, escort and masseur Mike Jones alleged that Haggard had paid him to engage in sex with him for three years and had also purchased and used crystal methamphetamine. He told a Denver television station, “I did not have a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver I am steady with my wife.
I didn’t do anything like that. We don’t have wine in our house. Cornered by his voicemail to Mike Jones requesting meth, Haggard told the press, “I bought it for myself but never used it. I was tempted but I never used it.
Haggard claimed he bought the meth but threw it away. Haggard claimed he had never met his accuser. Due to the scandal, Haggard went on administrative leave from New Life saying “I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity. I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date. In the interim, I will seek both spiritual advice and guidance. As it became apparent that at least some of the claims were true, some evangelical leaders such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell sought to distance themselves and downplay Haggard’s influence on religious conservatives and downplay the importance of the NAE.