A former youth pastor in Boone is pleading guilty after being accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teenager.
Forty-eight-year old Joel Waltz of Boone has pled guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist. This case involves a 20-year-old woman who first met Waltz when he was serving as a youth pastor at Grace Community Church in Boone.
Waltz was formally charged last March, but had resigned his position as a youth pastor a year earlier, in March 2016. Sentencing has been set for November 15.
Court documents indicate Waltz first met the victim when she was an 11-year-old in foster care and prosecutors accused the pastor of “grooming” the girl for a sexual relationship when she turned 16.
(Reporting by Jim Turbes, KWBG, Boone)