Joseph Robert Hall (Source: Brunswick County Sheriff's Office)
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) -
A former Brunswick County pastor pleaded guilty to multiple sex crimes involving a 12-year-old girl.
Joseph Robert Hall, 62, of Gastonia, NC pleaded guilty Monday to statutory sex offense with a minor. Court documents show Hall began his relationship with the victim when she was 12-years-old, but he claimed he didn't engage in sexual acts with her until he considered her to be of "an appropriate age."
Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing showed Hall sexually assaulted the girl from the time she was 12 until Hall moved to Gaston County, NC when she was 16-years-old in 1998.
Hall was 42-years-old at the time of the offense and was serving as a men's ministry leader at Restoring Hope Foursquare Church located in Dallas, NC.
He will serve a minimum of 12 years in prison with a maximum sentence of 15 and a half years. He must then register as a sex offender.