Former pastor sentenced to five years for molesting boy

Associated Press/November 1, 2007

Dallas — A former pastor was sentenced to five years in prison and 10 years of probation for molesting a 10-year-old boy whose family he had known for more than 50 years.

Larry Joe Crocker, who received his sentence Wednesday, ministered to the family in his role as pastor of the now-defunct Lakeview Christian Church. He was convicted on two counts of indecency with a child.

Crocker, 59, received the prison time for one charge and the probation for the other. The probation period won't begin until his prison sentence ends, officials said.

The victim's mother was a church secretary who fell ill and required hospitalization. She arranged for her children to stay with a female friend, but Crocker "insisted" on taking in her son, she said.

She agreed, describing Crocker as a surrogate father and a "pastor, boss, friend."

While she was hospitalized and on subsequent visits between 2002 and 2005, Crocker molested the boy, according to trial testimony.

Crocker's attorney had asked the jury for leniency, requesting probation because of Crocker's medical problems, which include a history of heart attacks and high blood pressure.

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