Former youth pastor admits exploiting teenage girl

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A former youth pastor at a Vermont Baptist church who admitted exploiting a teenage girl in a youth group will avoid jail time and not be placed on the sex offender registry if he stays out of trouble for the next five years.

The Burlington Free Press reports 29-year-old Michael McNeil, who now lives in Kentucky, pleaded guilty Friday to a misdemeanor charge of sexual exploitation of a minor.

McNeil’s attorney says he is a “good man who made a terrible mistake.”

The girl was older than the age of consent, but younger than 18.

McNeil admitted that while in a position of power at the Williston church he enticed her to engage in sex acts. Under the law because of his position and being at least four years older, the relationship was non-consensual.