Former youth minister sentenced to 1 year of supervision, sex-offender evaluation

A former Harvest Bible Chapel youth minister has been sentenced to a year of court supervision on a conviction of disorderly conduct for sending text messages to a teenage parishioner that alarmed the boy's parents.

Paxton Singer, 25, of Sugar Grove, also will have to undergo sex-offender evaluation and perform 50 hours of community service, Kane County Judge Michael Noland ruled Monday.

Singer's attorney, Terry Ekl, said afterward he will file an appeal about the "tortured" case Tuesday.

"There is no way the facts of this case can justify a conviction for disorderly conduct or anything else," Ekl said. "To request a sex-offender evaluation on a charge of disorderly conduct is literally unheard of. There is no sex involved."

Singer was charged in October 2018 with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and child exploitation.

Noland convicted him of disorderly conduct in November 2019. Nine days later, Noland granted Ekl's request to vacate the conviction, and agreed to hear a request to order a new trial. But in February, Noland vacated the vacation and denied the new trial.

The exploitation charge alleged Singer knowingly enticed someone younger than 17 to remove clothing for sexual purposes. It was alleged that in three text conversations, he asked for a photo of the 15-year-old boy in his underwear, for a photo of the underwear itself, and for the boy to stay overnight at his residence. Noland found him not guilty of that charge.

At trial, other texts were submitted in which Singer asked the boy about the style of underwear he was wearing. They were among about 2,000 texts Singer and the boy exchanged after meeting in summer 2016 on a bus to Harvest's camp in Michigan. Singer was the youth's cabin counselor at the camp.

Some of the messages indicated Singer wanted to see the boy's underwear, but none contained a request for the victim to take off his clothes.

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