ST. GEORGE, Utah (AP) - A former lay minister in southern Utah has been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison on child sexual abuse charges.
Fifth District Judge Wallace Lee imposed the sentence Friday on 65-year-old Kris Lounsbury, who earlier pleaded guilty in the abuse of four young female relatives.
Members of his church congregation were among those who spoke on his behalf at the sentencing hearing in St. George. Lounsbury founded the Living Word Christian Fellowship.
Lounsbury apologized and asked for forgiveness from the victims. He said he prays for them almost every day and "aches inside" when he thinks about the hurt he caused them.
Prosecutors say the victims made a last-minute decision not to attend the hearing because they thought it would be too traumatic.
Information from: The Spectrum, http://www.thespectrum.com
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