A Sugar Grove man has been charged with sexual exploitation of a child while he was working as a youth pastor at an Aurora church.
Paxton Singer, 24, met his teenage victim at Harvest Bible Church in Aurora between October 2016 and August 2017, prosecutors said Tuesday. According to the church's employment records, the exchange appears to have begun several months before Singer, who had previously been an intern there, began his stint as youth director. He was fired Jan. 7. A statement issued by Harvest Bible Church reads in part "Singer was involuntarily terminated for cause related to incidents that required DCFS notification brought to our attention...Parents related to his ministry on multiple campuses were also informed by email."
Singer allegedly sent text messages to the victim asking questions that were sexual in nature, asking the victim to remove their clothes and asking the victim to spend the weekend with him, according to charging documents.
"I can't go into specifics about what the evidence might be," State's Attorney Joe McMahon said. "There was no physical contact. But there were messages exchanged that went beyond just friendly messages."
The inappropriate communications were discovered by the alleged victim's parents, prosecutors said.
"It's important for parents to be active and be involved in their kids' social media activity," McMahon said.
Singer had been charged with sexual exploitation of a child, a Class A misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, a Class C misdemeanor. He is out on bail until his court appearance Nov. 11.