Local News

Ex-minister pleads guilty to molestation

Posted November 6, 2008

— A former minister of a Fayetteville church pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he molested young girls who attended his church 30 year ago, authorities said.

Anthony Phillips Denton, 56, who now lives in Jacksonville, Fla., pleaded guilty to 13 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. The charges stem from incidents involving three girls between 1977 and 1981, when Denton was music minister at Berean Baptist Church.

Denton also entered an Alford plea to three counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. An Alford plea allows a defendant to avoid admitting guilt while acknowledging there is enough evidence to convict him.

As part of a plea agreement, he received three three-year prison sentences, which were suspended to probation. He also must register as a sex offender.


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  • Cricket at the lake Nov 6, 2008

    How many more were there?

  • elmer Nov 6, 2008

    the whole justice system is a joke,it all should be rewritten without the goodie two shoes around. if a man commits a murder and is convicted of it beyound the shadow of doubt who cares if he suffers it will be over in a little while, this pervert should be castrated and given a life sentence

  • Arkansas Razorback Nov 6, 2008

    Boogereater....my thoughts excactly.

  • Arkansas Razorback Nov 6, 2008

    When I was 14 years old the deacon of my church tried to molest me. I was able to squirm away thank goodness. He was very worried that I was going to blow the whistle on him. About 2 months later I told my older brother. You should have seen him the following Sunday. My brother beat the wheels off of him. It was hysterical watching him lie about what happened to his face to the congregation. To this day my parents and the church still have no idea. The deacon goes out of his way to avoid me and my brother. He is very old now and one of the most respected men in the church. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.

  • pwilliamson53 Nov 6, 2008

    Robbing a child of her innocense is beyond words, especially when it's the minster. His sentence is pitiful and a slap on the wrist. What has our system come to when a man can take away the innocense of a child and get probation? But you take a teenage boy that has sex with a willing partner until her parents find out and then it's rape..and he goes away for life in prison. Why is there so many different charges and sentences for the same crime? Being a sexual predidator is just a name placed on him, he still has a life outside of prison. What does these young children have to deal with in their lifetime because of him?

  • Boogereater Nov 6, 2008

    Wow God must be really proud of the human race that he "created"
    I am so glad I am atheist! I don't have to worry about my daughter being molested because she doesn't go to church. HAHA everyone is a sheep

  • ptahandatum Nov 6, 2008

    See? This is exactly what I've been telling people about all this time, and I've been accused of being anti-xtian, etc. This kind of mess has been going on for quite sometime, and has been hushed up in the churches because of, "not in my church". Yeah, right. Law enforcement: please do your undercover work and go inside these houses of ill repute. Arrest these people. There is much more hiding under those robes than you might begin to perceive.

  • TomLynda Nov 6, 2008

    I am a Christian, and for a minister (former) to do this to a child, he deserves at the least life in prison with parole.

    This kind of a sentence is a mockery of the Justice System. Something is very, very wrong with this case.

  • Ladybug Nov 6, 2008

    Three 2-yr sentences and put on probation. That's not right! He needs to go to PRISON!

  • dazrite Nov 6, 2008

    this just isn't right. there was a guy in johnston county that was charged with three counts of indecent liberties...and got 50 years and nine months. theres something very wrong with this picture.