Tennessee pastor sentenced to 38 years in prison for child sex abuse

by Bryan Brammer · Dec 15th, 2019 2:17 pm
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Former youth pastor at Awakening Church in Atoka, Tennessee Ronnie Gorton was sentenced to 38 years in prison Friday after a judge found him guilty on 24 counts of child sex abuse.

Gorton had been convicted in August of exploitation, statutory rape, and continuance sexual abuse of a minor among other charges. Gorton met his victim at church and invited the boy to move in with him and his wife after his mother was arrested.

The former pastor denied sexually molesting the child, but admitted to buying him alcohol and smoking marijuana with him.

"The defendant was the lead pastor in a church and used his position of authority to commit these offenses, he groomed minors for his sexual perversion," Judge Joe Walker said.

Gorton is currently being held in Tipton County Jail and will be transferred to the Tennessee Department of Corrections.