Pastor sentenced in sex case

Published 11:31 am Thursday, October 14, 2010

CASSOPOLIS — Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz Friday announced the conviction of a local pastor of attempted criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree (CSC fourth).

Fitz identified the offender as John Lohr, 41, of 28600 M-60, Howard Township.

Attempted CSC fourth carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a mandatory 25-year registration on Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry.

Lohr’s conviction resulted from sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl in the fall of 2009.

It resulted in an investigation by the Cass County Sheriff’s Office earlier this year.

Lohr was a pastor and the victim in this case was a member of Lohr’s congregation.

Fitz commented, “The defendant violated the trust of a young parishioner. This action was inexcusable and extremely unfair to this vulnerable child. This conviction assures that the public will be informed and on notice of this tragic offense.”

Lohr pleaded guilty to attempted CSC fourth on Sept. 13. He had originally been charged with the two-year offense of CSC fourth.

Lohr was sentenced by Judge Stacey Rentfrow of Fourth District Court Sept. 30 to 21 days in the Cass County Jail and six months probation.

Fitz thanked the sheriff’s office for its “effective investigation in the case” and praised the victim for her bravery in coming forward.

“Because of this young girl’s courage, other similarly situated youths are less likely to become victimized.

“While nothing can change the deplorable acts committed against her, there is some solace in knowing that others will now be protected,” the prosecutor said.