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Former Church of Christ minister pleads guilty to child sexual abuse charges

Joshua Henley, who was arrested last June and previously entered a not-guilty plea, now faces at least 15 years in prison.

Joshua Henley, former youth minister for the Holladay Church of Christ in Tennessee, pleaded guilty this week to an eight-count federal indictment.

By pleading guilty, Henley admitted that he produced child sexual abuse material involving three minors, transported a minor interstate with the intent to engage in sexual activity with the minor, sent obscene videos and images to a minor, and possessed and transported child sexual abuse material, according to a news release from the court.


Related: Church of Christ minister charged with state, federal sex crimes against minors


The plea was entered in the Eastern Division of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on Monday.

Henley was arrested in Tennessee on June 18, 2021, on state and federal charges. He had previously entered a not-guilty plea. At his Aug. 23 sentencing, Henley will receive a prison sentence of at least 15 years and could face a life sentence.

Josh Henley is shown in a Benton County Sheriff's Office booking photo.

Josh Henley is shown in a Benton County Sheriff’s Office booking photo.

By the time of his arrest, Henley had moved to a youth ministry position with the Washington Avenue Church of Christ in Evansville, Ind. This congregation terminated Henley’s employment immediately after his arrest. He had been with the Washington Avenue church for about three months. Henley had also previously worked with the Elkhart Church of Christ in Kansas, according to the Elkhart church’s Facebook page, which still lists him as the preacher there.

The charges involve Henley’s alleged behavior with three minors whom Henley knew through the basketball team at Holladay Elementary School and church, according to federal court documents. Court documents list the minors’ ages as 12, 14 and 15 at the time of the alleged offenses, which court records show took place between the fall of 2017 and June 2021.

After Monday’s hearing, Henley was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals.

Filed under: #ChurchToo Bible camp Black Mesa child sex abuse church sex abuse Elkhart Church of Christ Holladay Church of Christ Josh Henley National News pedophiles predator sex abuse Top Stories Washington Avenue Church of Christ

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