Prosecutor wants 2 more teens to testify against Harvest Bible worker in sex-exploitation case

A Kane County prosecutor wants to have two "uncharged victims" testify in the case against a former Harvest Bible Chapel youth-ministry worker accused of sending sexually-oriented text messages to another teenager.

Assistant state's attorney Lori Schmidt filed the motion June 26 in an effort to bolster the case against Paxton Singer, of Sugar Grove, who is charged with misdemeanor sexual exploitation of a minor and disorderly conduct. His trial was supposed to start July 10, but his lawyer asked for and received a continuance to prepare a response to the state's motion.

Kane County Judge Michael Noland will hear arguments on the motion at 1:30 p.m. Aug. 2. The trial is now scheduled to start Sept. 4 at the Aurora Branch Court, 1200 E. Indian Trail Road, Aurora.

The uncharged victims are identified only by their initials in the motion.

According to the written motion, one uncharged male victim will testify that, when the victim was 16, Singer communicated with him by text-messaging and Snapchat. Singer asked the boy to send pictures of himself in his underwear; the boy sent one of him showing his underwear sticking out of his jeans, the motion states.

The other uncharged victim would testify that, when the victim was 17, Singer asked him multiple times, via text messages, to send pictures of himself, shirtless, showing his "abs" and "tan." He also asked the uncharged victim sexually oriented questions.

"The defendant befriended and groomed each male victim. He was in a position of trust in relation to each victim and took advantage of that position which (sic) each victim to carry out his crimes," Schmidt wrote. They show motive, intent, absence of an innocent frame of mind and presence of criminal intent and plan in the charged case, she wrote.

The motion also states Singer admitted to having inappropriate conduct with the charged victim, in a statement he signed for Harvest Bible Chapel.

Singer, 24, was charged in October 2018. He is free on bail.

Singer used text messages to entice a person younger than 17 to remove his clothing for the purpose of Singer's sexual arousal or gratification, according to charging documents. He also sent messages asking sexual questions, and asked the victim to spend the weekend with him, according to an October 2018 news release from the state's attorney's office.

Singer had been an intern from June to August 2016 and a youth director from May 2017 to January 2018, the church's then-chief operating officer, Scott Milholland, said in October 2018.

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