Former youth pastor accused of revenge plot over sexual assault case
A former youth pastor convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage girl in Pennsylvania is alleged to have tried to hire a prison inmate to kill a senior church official and a judge who were involved in his case, authorities said.
The man, Jacob Malone, 37, will face murder-for-hire charges, the Chester County District Attorney's office said Friday in a news release.
The district attorney's office alleged that as he was serving a three- to six-year sentence at a minimum-security prison southeast of Pittsburgh, Malone offered an inmate $5,000 for the murder of Harold Lee Wiggins, the head pastor at Calvary Fellowship church in Downingtown, Pennsylvania,
Malone worked at the church as a youth pastor in 2014 and 2015. He was charged in 2016 with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl, and he was convicted the following year.
He told an inmate that he "wanted to get revenge on the people involved in his case," the district attorney's office said in the news release.
It wasn't clear Sunday what role Wiggins played in Malone's conviction, but Malone also offered money for the murder of Somerset County Common Pleas Judge Jacqueline Cody, who presided over his sexual assault case, the DA's office said.
The inmate told the district attorney's office about the offer last summer, the statement said. Malone was arrested Thursday.
He was being held at Phoenix state prison north of Philadelphia, according to prison records. It wasn't immediately clear Sunday whether he has an attorney.