August 1, 2014

Elyria
Partly cloudy
63°F
test

Ordained minister pleads guilty to molesting boys, 11 and 12

ELYRIA — An ordained minister pleaded guilty Thursday to charges he molested 11- and 12-year-old boys from the Cleveland church where he was once a lay youth leader at his North Ridgeville home.

Jeremy Pettry, 32, likely will receive a prison sentence of 10 years to life in prison when he is sentenced later this year on six counts of rape and eight counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.

Anthony Manning, Pettry’s attorney, declined to comment on his client’s decision to plead guilty to those charges following Thursday’s hearing before Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge.

Pettry is no longer affiliated with Pearlbrook Church of God, the pastor there has said. Pettry would bring the boys, who were members of that church, to his home on Saturday nights to watch movies and play video games before going to church the next day.

North Ridgeville police have said that Pettry would engage in sexual activity with the boys while they were at his house. The sex acts took place between July 2005 and September 2008, according to court documents.

After leaving Pearlbrook, Pettry became an ordained minister and was a founding member, along with his wife, of the Parma-based Life Outreach Church. He is no longer associated with Life Outreach, that church’s pastor has said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.