Former Sunday school teacher sentenced to 87-109 years in prison for child sex abuse

SMITHFIELD — On Monday, a Johnston County jury found Benson’s Jonathan David Young guilty of multiple counts of rape, sexual offense and indecent liberty with children. The charges related to three separate children and spanned from 2003 to 2014.

Prosecutors said much of the child sexual abuse happened at the Firstborn Baptist Church near Benson. Young served as a Sunday school teacher at the church for several years.

Jonathan David Young listens to testimony during his trial in Johnston County Superior Court. Photo by John Payne

During the two-week trial, the jury heard from two additional witnesses who said they were sexually abused by Young as young children.

Superior Court Judge George Collins presided over the trial. After the guilty verdicts, Judge Collins sentenced the 38-year-old defendant to serve a minimum of 87 to a maximum of 109 years in prison.

“The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office is pleased with the verdicts and the sentence imposed. Our hearts go out to the brave survivors who have had the courage to come forward and testify in this case,” said Paul Jackson, Assistant District Attorney. “Everyone in our community owes them a debt of gratitude. Their courage in the face of such harsh judgment and scrutiny was incredible and an example of true heroism.

“We thank Lead Investigator Lt. Jamie Snipes and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work in this very complicated and difficult case,” Jackson said.

“Fortunately, this sexual predator will never be able to harm another child again. The Johnston County District Attorney’s Office will continue to aggressively prosecute and bring to justice those who prey on children in our community,” Jackson said.

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