The United States authorities announced a 15-year sentence against the Christian pastor Cory J. Herthel, 40 years old, who had had indecent relations with several minors, including two from Cuba.
According to the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Gregory J. Haanstad, the religious man was sentenced to 180 months in prison following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
This investigation began last May, after the authorities received an alert originating from the same church where the detainee offered his services as a pastor.
The complaint indicated that Herthel had an inappropriate relationship with a teenager originally from Venezuela, whom he had met during a missionary trip to Ecuador.
After being interrogated by the FBI, the pastor confessed to having sent and received explicit images of the minor. Likewise, the investigation revealed that Herthel did the same with another teenager originally from Cuba, whom he helped move to Spain to eventually request asylum in the United States.
According to the detainee’s statements, he would have taken the opportunity to maintain relations with the young man when he visited him in Iberian territory.
A second minor, also Cuban, was discovered during the investigation; in this case, Herthel sent and requested explicit photographs.
During the trial, which was conducted by Senior Judge William C. Griesbach, the pastor’s crimes were described as “terrible,” as they constituted an abuse of “spiritual authority.”
The judge also emphasized the serious psychological and emotional consequences that victims of this type of abuse can have, which is why he decided to sentence him to 15 years in prison.
Furthermore, after concluding said sentence, the pastor must serve about 20 years under supervised release, and his name will be entered into the country’s sex offender registry for life.