James Lilly, a transgender youth minister at several Episcopal churches, including Christ Episcopal Church in Bluefield WV, pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual abuse.
The plea was the result of an agreement with prosecutors, in which 28 accounts were dropped. Citing a lack of remorse and attempts to discredit a witness, Lilly was sentenced to between 2 and 10 years in prison. Additionally, he is required to register for the rest of his life as a sex offender and will be on 30 years’ supervision following his release.
Lilly reportedly was terminated from a previous position with All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta, Ga. There, rector Noelle York-Simmons informed authorities that Lilly had told multiple lies.
At the time of his arrest, Lilly was transitioning gender to become female, and was planning a teaching career.