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Former youth pastor who fathered teen’s child sentenced

A Newport man and former youth pastor was sentenced last month for having sex with a teenage girl, whom he admitted to impregnating, and for possessing pornographic images of her as he awaited his criminal sentence.

Andrew Joseph Brown, 35, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography. He received a nearly four-year prison sentence.

According to the criminal complaints filed in Washington County District Court:

In September 2013, a pastor at Oakwood Church in St. Paul contacted Washington County Social Services to report that a former youth pastor, identified as Brown, had had sex with a 15-year-old girl and impregnated her. Brown had recently resigned from the church, police learned.

Brown and the girl met in his capacity as a youth pastor, Washington County prosecutor Imran Ali said in an interview.

Brown apologized to the girl’s parents and asked for forgiveness. He said he wanted to support his child, including by “having his wife do free daycare for the baby,” a complaint states.

Brown pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct on April 16. He was released to an inpatient Christian treatment program while awaiting sentencing, Ali said. One of the release conditions was that he have no contact with the victim.

However, Brown’s wife told a counselor that she knew he still was involved in a sexual relationship with the girl even as he awaited sentencing. He was receiving pornographic images of the girl through email accounts accessed on his phone.

Brown was arrested May 16 on suspicion of violating a no-contact order. He told authorities he was in love with the girl.

Brown pleaded guilty June 25 to three counts of possessing pornography involving a minor.

District Court Judge William Ekstrum sentenced Brown to 46 months in prison. He also was ordered five years of conditional release after confinement and will be required to register as a sex offender, which will include a 10-year parole period.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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