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Pennsylvania Legislators: Adult, Convicted Sex Offenders of Minors should not be permitted to Hold Occupations that give them access to children.

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Recently, it was brought to my attention that a convicted Megan’s Law sex offender of a minor in Pennsylvania is still a pastor at a church, despite using his position to commit crimes against minors.
A mother sent her son to get pastoral counseling for sexual abuse the teenager was subjected to by a relative. An affidavit said the victim told police that in October 2002 he was attending counseling sessions with Mr. Youngblood to help him deal with a sexual assault by a family member. Mr. Youngblood took the victim to movies and restaurants at The Waterfront in West Homestead. Mr. Youngblood told the teenager that he reminded the pastor of himself, which is why he wanted to help him, the affidavit said (Silver, 2006).
The pastor “…took the young man into a back office for physical and spiritual counseling. He explained as part of the physical counseling he needed to do this. After the victim began to pray, as per the pastor's instructions, Mr. Youngblood pulled down the boy's pants and sexually assaulted him" (Banks, 2008).

This man is an adult (over the age of 21) and his victim was not old enugh to consent and did not to this sex act. This pastor committed sex crimes against a minor in his church. He has since changed the name of the church and continues to be a pastor within the community and ministers as a visiting pastor at other churches. As a pastor, clergy have inherent access to children and other vulnerable populations. A convicted Megan’s Law sex offender of a minor should not be legally permitted to hold positions that give them access to children, including religious leadership occupations.
People go to church in order to build relationships with their creator, gain perspective about their issues, and get a sense of healing and direction. Because of the nature of church, a person (youth, in particular) ‘lets their guard down’ and may be vulnerable to abuse by leadership who have offended in the past.

Please sign this petition and forward it to friends and family to help change this circumstance so that our children are not in a position to be taken advantage of by church leaders and so that people who have abused their position in the church are not given the opportunity to sexually offend our children and prey on them as the pray.

References
Banks, G. (2008, March 3). Ex-pastor pleads guilty to molesting teen. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved from http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/breaking/ex-pastor-pleads-guilty-to-molesting-teen-383205/

Silver, J. D. (2006, March 17). Pastor charged with sexual abuse of treenager he was counseling. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved from http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-south/pastor-charged-with-sexual-abuse-of-teenager-he-was-counseling-426115



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