An Allendale County pastor who sexually abused a 14-year-old girl has been sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Bobby Jones Sr., 59, of Fairfax was found guilty Thursday of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.
“In 2013, the defendant admitted to two different people about what he did,” said Rebekah Luttrell of the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office, who prosecuted the case. “He thought he was untouchable and above the law.”
Three statements from the victim made in 2013 detailing the incident were read into evidence. In them, the victim, who was 14 at the time, recounts how Jones used a sex toy on her. She first disclosed the abuse to a teacher. The victim, who is now 20, was one of 12 witnesses the state called during the three-day trial at the Allendale County Courthouse.
A General Sessions jury deliberated just 35 minutes before returning a guilty verdict.
“Sexual abuse is committed behind closed doors and are shrouded in secrecy,” Luttrell said. “It’s our hope that this conviction brings to light the insidious nature of these types of crimes. The defendant used his position of power and trust to groom and then exploit this young girl.”
Circuit Court Judge Brooks Goldsmith handed down Thursday’s sentence.
Luttrell is a member of the Solicitor’s Office’s Special Victims Unit, formed in 2017 to specialize in the prosecution of domestic violence and criminal sexual assault. She was assisted by Assistant Solicitor Leigh Staggs.