Former Youth Pastor Found Guilty of Exchanging Explicit Photos with a Minor

By Ashley Ann & Katie Brooke
November 2, 2016

A former youth pastor is facing a minimum of five years behind bars. Wednesday, a jury found Major L. Hillman guilty of indecent liberties with a child and electronic solicitation of a minor.

The Commonwealth's Attorney says this case is all about an abuse of trust. They say the then 14-year-old victim came to Hillman for counseling about a prior sexual assault.

The counseling sessions led to texting and then "Snapchatting" that quickly turned sexual. The jury saw several naked pictures Hillman sent to the eighth grade girl and she returned naked photos to him.

Hillman called the picture exchange a counseling technique - though he mentioned in his interview with police he knew the girl was underage and it was illegal.

He said the goal was to free the victim of the sexual shame she felt from abuse and to help her no longer feel burdened by her self-image. He said he got no sexual gratification from the Snapchats although the Commonwealth Attorney pointed out each picture involved his erect penis.

The inappropriate communication occurred between August and December of 2015 and stopped when the girl's father read his daughters diary and discovered what was happening.

Hillman's mother and older brother addressed the jury asking for leniency. They say this was completely out of character for the man they called responsible and honest. Hillman's mother says he was raised overseas since they are missionaries and he was very sheltered.

He is facing a maximum of 40 years in prison.

This story will be updated.








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