Former youth minister pleads guilty to sex abuse

Quad-City Times/July 28, 2006
By Steven Martens

Clinton, Iowa -- A former DeWitt youth minister and reserve police officer pleaded guilty Thursday to a sexual abuse charge and was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Theodore Lee Hacker, 30, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree sexual abuse for engaging in a sex act with a 14- or 15-year-old girl on or about March 1 and continuing through April 7.

He agreed to immediate sentencing before Clinton County District Judge David Sivright, who denied a request for probation.

Hacker was arrested April 12 by the DeWitt Police Department, for which he had served as a reserve captain. He was dismissed from that volunteer post after his arrest.

Hacker resigned as pastor of student ministries at DeWitt Evangelical Free Church two days before his arrest.

Assistant Clinton County Attorney Ross Barlow praised the efforts of the DeWitt Police Department in preparing the case against Hacker.

Barlow said he would not disclose how Hacker came to know the victim or where the abuse occurred to protect her identity.

Hacker is being held in the Clinton County Jail, pending his transfer to the Iowa Department of Corrections Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale.

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