Former Florence pastor sentenced to six years behind bars

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 4:52 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT
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LAUDERDALE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - A former pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Florence pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree sexual abuse in April.

John Martin was originally charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of sexual abuse of a child under 12, according to Lauderdale County Assistant District Attorney Coty Hand.

Martin was sentenced in June to 10 years for each of the three counts that he pleaded guilty to. According to Hand, the sentences will be split and Martin will serve six years in prison and will be required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of his life.

Martin has another sexual abuse case pending in Alabama. He’s charged with first-degree sexual abuse, first-degree sodomy and sexual contact by a school employee in that case.

The former pastor has also been accused of sex crimes at a church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Martin was previously held in the Lauderdale County Detention Center on $60,000 bond.

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