Sugar Grove youth pastor charged with sexual exploitation of a child
A Sugar Grove man who was a youth pastor at an Aurora church has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child.
Paxton D. Singer, 24, of the 400 block of Courtney Circle, surrendered Oct. 17, posted $5,000 bail and was released.
The charge is a misdemeanor whose sentence could be probation or up to one year in jail. He was also charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
Between October 2016 and August 2017, Singer used text messages to entice a person younger than 17 to remove clothing for the purpose of Singer's sexual arousal or gratification, according to a news release from the Kane County state's attorney's office.
He also sent messages asking sexual questions and asked the victim to spend the weekend with him, the office said.
The youth's parents became aware of the messages. The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services referred the investigation to the Kane County Child Advocacy Center.
Singer worked at the Harvest Bible Chapel campus at 101 Barnes Road. The two became acquainted when the youth attended an event at the church.
The case is still being investigated. Anyone with information is asked to call DCFS at (800) 252-2873 or the Kane County CAC at (630) 208-5160.
The Aurora campus is one of eight run by Harvest Bible Chapel, based in Rolling Meadows.
Scott Milholland, senior executive pastor and chief operating officer for Harvest, said in an email the church fired Singer on Jan. 7 "for cause related to incidents that required DCFS notification brought to our attention and appropriately reported to DCFS" that day.
Singer had been an intern from June to August 2016 and a youth director from May 2017 to January 2018.
Parents of youths involved in the ministries he worked with, on multiple campuses, were informed by email when the church notified DCFS.
Milholland said that as far as the church knows, Singer's relationship with Harvest, including his and his family's attendance at worship services, ended in January 2018.