- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (AP) - A former children’s minister has pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a child at the church where he worked for years.

Jeffrey Dale Eddie pleaded guilty Friday to 20 counts of sodomy, child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography. A judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

The 42-year-old Eddie was the children’s pastor at Highland Park Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals. He worked there from 1998 until his arrest earlier this year.

Authorities say the charges involve one boy who was 11 years old when the abuse began. Court documents show Eddie admitted molesting several church children multiple times.

Authorities say they’ve talked with several children with similar allegations and more charges are expected.

The church says it has established a counseling fund to help abuse victims.


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