Ex-Youth Pastor Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse Charges

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COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) – A former youth pastor and school volunteer has admitted to sexually abusing a young girl.

The Kentucky Enquirer reports 56-year-old Joseph Niemeyer pleaded guilty Monday to four counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count of first-degree sodomy, all against a girl younger than 12 years old.

New Banklick Baptist Church pastor Tim Cochran says Niemeyer and his wife worked as youth pastors at the church in Walton, about 80 miles northeast of Louisville. He also volunteered at Independence’s Twenhofel Middle School.

Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders says he could spend up to 20 years in jail and must serve 17 years before being parole eligible. Sanders says he’ll appear in court again for a sentencing hearing.

Under the plea agreement, he’ll have to register as a sex offender for life.