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Ex-Harford youth pastor pleads guilty to sex offense

A 35-year-old Street man, who had once served as a youth pastor at a Bel Air church, pleaded guilty earlier this week to a single third degree sex offense in connection with an incident involving a teenage girl.

Walter Harrison Yocum entered the guilty plea on Wednesday before Circuit Court Judge M. Elizabeth Bowen, according to court records. Yocum is scheduled to be sentenced by Bowen on May 30 at 9 a.m., according to court records.

Yocum was charged last August with five counts of sex abuse of a minor, one count of third degree sex offense and two counts of fourth degree sex offense.

According to court records, the charges involved incidents between July 2011 and August 2012.

At the time of his arrest, Yocum had been serving as a youth pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Bel Air, according to the charging documents in his case. The church's senior pastor initially suspended Yocum, but then terminated him after learning the charges against Yocum involved a minor.

According to the charging documents in the case, a 16-year-old girl told officials with the Harford County Child Advocacy Center last August that Yocum had touched her inappropriately while she was attending a vacation Bible school at the church. She told investigators the alleged improper contract occurred when she was 15.

The church issued a statement on its website last August in which it said Yocum had told the senior pastor he had been "having an inappropriate relationship with someone other than his wife," according to a published report at the time on http://www.exploreharford.com.

Yocum is being held at the Harford County Detention Center pending sentencing.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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