HUNTERSVILLE – Thaddeus Stephen MacMoran, 27, was tried in Mecklenburg County Superior Court for statutory sex offense of a person 13, 14 or 15 years old, crime against nature, and four counts of taking indecent liberties with a child.

After a three-day trial, the jury returned on Jan. 31 with verdicts of guilty on all counts.

Superior Court Judge Forrest Bridges sentenced MacMoran to 222-276 months in prison. Bridges also ordered that, upon his release from prison, MacMoran must register as a sex offender and enroll in satellite-based monitoring for the rest of his life.

MacMoran met the victim at a church where he was serving as a youth pastor.

When MacMoran was arrested, he was volunteering as a small group leader at Lake Forest Church’s student ministry in Huntersville.

Lake Forest was not the church that the incidents took place at and there is nothing to suggest that MacMoran was involved in illegal activity there.

Lake Forest Church released a statement last year when MacMoran was arrested that said, “In this matter there has not been, and there is not now, reason to believe that Thad did anything inappropriate with any (Lake Forest Church) student.”

The church said MacMoran’s initial background check “provided no reason to believe he posed as a risk to our students.”