BLOOMINGTON — A former Twin City minister has been sentenced to 12 years in prison following his guilty plea to predatory criminal sexual assault charges.
Rodney D. Applington, 42, a former associate pastor at East White Oak Bible Church in rural Carlock, was charged in January with having illegal physical contact with a minor girl.
A second charge of predatory criminal sexual assault was dismissed in a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Assistant State’s Attorney Adam Ghrist said after Friday’s hearing that “this case reminds us that child sex abuse is real and present in Bloomington-Normal. Acceptance of this as a community will lead to education and help protect our children.”
Applington faced six to 30 years on the Class X felony charges without the plea deal. He must serve 85 percent of the 12 years in prison.
The church said Applington’s employment with the church ended when the accusations surfaced, and the church cooperated with police during their investigation of the case.