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Ex-pastor told teen ‘Christ desires’ their relationship, prosecutors say

HAMMOND, Ind. – The former pastor of a northwestern Indiana megachurch awaiting sentencing for a sexual relationship with an underage parishioner allegedly told the girl Jesus Christ approved of their tryst.

Federal prosecutors included letters former First Baptist Church pastor Jack Schaap wrote to his victim in their sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday in federal court in Hammond.

The Post-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/WpfYCR) that the 55-year-old Schaap wrote in the one letter to the 17-year-old girl that their relationship “is exactly what Christ desires for us.”

Schaap was fired by the 15,000-member Hammond church in July and later pleaded guilty to taking a minor across state lines with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced March 20 and is seeking the minimum 10-year sentence under his conviction.

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