Music Minister in Lancaster Sentenced for Sex Assault with Minors

egtA4.SoA music minister in Lancaster has pleaded guilty to sexual assault on children and was sentenced to 25 years in prison Tuesday.

Dennis Fred Rutledge, 63, pleaded guilty to first-degree sex assault with a child under the age of 11. This happened hours before he was scheduled to have a trial Tuesday afternoon, according to 6th Circuit solicitor Randy Newman.

The 25 years Rutledge was sentenced to will be concurrent with the 13 years he received after he pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor involving an older girl on Monday, Newman said.

Police arrested Rutledge on Dec. 31, 2013 following an investigation by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office looking into allegations about Rutledge having illegal contact with underage girls.

Prior to his arrest, Rutledge had been the music director for over 40 years at Camp Creek Baptist Church. According to detectives, there were multiple victims that Rutledge preyed on, which were the girls he made contact with through the ministry, using his authority in the church.

The initial charge against Rutledge was for one count of sex assault on a minor between the age 14 and 16, six counts of first-degree criminal sex assault on a minor below age 11, and a charge of obscenity for exposing himself.

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