02/13/2014 03:07 pm ET Updated Feb 13, 2014

Joshua Earls, Former Youth Pastor, Had 600 Child Porn Images

Garland Police

A former youth pastor at a Dallas-area church has been sentenced to 12 years in prison on child pornography charges.

Joshua Earls, 30, exchanged lewd images with a 16-year-old girl at Arapaho Road Baptist Church in Garland, Texas, where he worked, according to NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. He pleaded guilty to one count of receiving child pornography.

This case is full of tragedy,” U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn said before giving her decision, according to the Dallas Morning News.

MyFoxDFW has more details:

Investigators found more than 600 images of child porn on Earls' computer, including images of the teen girl from church.

Earls admitted that he had exchanged nude and sexually explicit pictures and videos with the girl, and his cell phone showed text messages between the two in which Earls persuaded her to send him pornographic images of herself.

Once his sentence is completed, Earls will be on lifetime supervised release, according to KWTX.



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