Former deacon, school custodian pleads guilty to child sex crimes

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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A former Randolph County church deacon and middle school custodian pleaded guilty to child sex crimes that deputies say happened during a fishing trip with the victim last year in Hampstead.

Jeffrey Darl Batchelor pled guilty to committing one count of statutory sex offense with a 15-year-old male in Pender County Superior Court Monday. The crime happened back in 2014 when Batchelor took the boy with him on a fishing trip.

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Batchelor was sentenced to an active term or 12 years in the North Carolina Department of Corrections. Deputies say other charges related to this incident and offenses that occurred in Randolph County were dismissed in exchange with his guilty plea.

Deputies say Batchelor was a custodian at North Eastern Randolph Middle School and an active deacon with Full Gospel Bible Church of God in Franklinville when he committed the crimes.