Monday, October 23, 2017 Elyria 57°


Minister gets 10 years to life for child rape


ELYRIA — An ordained minister and former church youth group leader was sentenced to 10 years to life Thursday for multiple counts of rape and other charges.

Jeremy Pettry, 32, was sentenced by Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge to terms of 10 years to life for six counts of rape to which he pled guilty in April.

The rape charges were all first-degree felonies and stemmed from Pettry’s molestation of 11- and 12-year-old boys he brought to his North Ridgeville home from Pearlbrook Church of God, a Cleveland church with which he had been affiliated.

North Ridgeville police said Pettry engaged in sexual activity with the boys at his home on Saturday nights where he took them to watch movies and play video games.

Pettry and the juveniles, who were members of the Cleveland church, would then attend church services the following day, police said.

Pettry also was sentenced to five years on two counts of gross sexual imposition, and 18 months on six counts of unlawful sexual contact with minors.

He pleaded guilty to those charges in April as well.

All of the sentences are to run concurrently.

The sex acts for which Pettry was sentenced occurred at his home between July 2005 and September 2008.

After leaving Pearlbrook Church of God, Pettry and his wife were founding members of a Parma church where he became an ordained minister again.

He has since become disaffiliated with that church as well, according to the church’s current pastor.

Anthony Manning, Pettry’s attorney, said he did not plan to appeal the case.

“The sentencing was appropriate according to sentencing guidelines,” Manning said.

After serving 10 years, Pettry will be eligible for parole.

Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or

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