- Associated Press - Monday, December 7, 2015

MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) - A Kennesaw city councilman has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after pleading guilty to child molestation and other charges.

Multiple media outlets report that 67-year-old Leonard Church pleaded guilty Monday just prior to his jury trial beginning in Cobb County Superior Court. He had previously rejected a plea deal that carried a 15-year prison sentence.

In exchange for the guilty plea, Cobb prosecutors reduced a count of aggravated child molestation, which carried a life sentence with a minimum 25-year prison term, to simple child molestation.

Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds says the male victim was nine years old at the time of the offense in 2014. Church was also accused of possessing hundreds of images of child pornography.

Church also served two terms of mayor of Kennesaw.

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