ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A former Abilene church worker accused of child sex crimes has been sentenced to 10 years of probation.
Jeffrey Berry, 55, pleaded guilty to Indecency with a Child Friday then received his 10-year deferred adjudication sentence. This means that if he does not comply with the terms of his probation, he will receive the maximum prison sentence allowed by law.
He must also register as a sex offender, pay a $2,000 fine, and go to jail for 180 days, though he doesn’t have to turn himself in until September.
Court documents reveal Berry is accused of sexually abusing a child in March 1996.
During this time, Berry was actively employed in the worship music department at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene.
It’s unknown if Berry met the child victim at the church or another location.
Pioneer Baptist released the following statement in light of Berry’s recent arrest:
Our employment records reflect that Jeff Berry was employed as a music intern at Pioneer Drive for nine months in 1985-86 and was re-hired for a similar position on September 1, 1995. He continued in this position until May, 1996.
Pioneer Drive is committed to the safety of our children and does not take these matters lightly. Our hearts go out to any and all who have ever been abused in this way and to their families as well. We pray for God to bring healing and peace to their minds and souls.
We fully intend to cooperate with any local authority and encourage others who have information regarding this circumstance to do so as well.
BigCountryHomepage will update this article once additional information is released.
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