Former pastor gets 1 year jail in child sex sting

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- The former Wausau pastor convicted of child enticement will spend one year in jail and four years on probation.

Scott Patschke, 54, will also have to register as a sex offender.

Wausau Police arrested Patschke in September after doing an investigation into a citizen action group's online child sex sting operation.

According to court documents, Patschke believed he was talking to a 15-year-old boy on the Text Now and Grindr apps , but was actually speaking with members of the group, Impact. In the conversation, police said Patschke shared a picture of his genitals, continually asked for pictures of the boy, and suggested sexual physical contact.

Patschke agreed to the terms of a plea deal in February.

In August 2018, Patschke left his senior pastoral position in Missouri to become a pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wausau.

The church told 7 Investigates Impact presented the evidence of the conduct to church members then promptly handed it over to police.

The church met with Patschke who they said confessed his actions and submitted his resignation letter as pastor of the church. They said Paschke also resigned from the Missouri Synod, which is a pastor roster of the Lutheran church, so he can no longer be a pastor anywhere.

Below is the church's full statement.

On Friday, September 21 our Senior Pastor was contacted by a group which presented evidence of improper conduct by an associate pastor of the church. The Senior Pastor and the Board of Lay Ministry reviewed this information and promptly turned it over to the police. Because the conduct was inconsistent with the standards of behavior expected of a pastor, we met with the accused individual on Saturday morning. He confessed his actions and submitted his resignation as a pastor of the church. He also resigned from the pastoral roster of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

1 Peter 5:8-9 reminds us to constantly be vigilant: “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of things.”

It is a sad situation, and we ask for prayers for all, including the former pastor, who clearly needs support to follow through on his repentance. The Gospel proclaims that we are redeemed through Christ’s blood and count on His grace to sustain us on a daily basis!