Former Minister Sentenced for Soliciting Sex From Minor

A former Pensacola minister will spend nearly three years in prison for soliciting sex from who he thought was a teenager over the Internet.

A judge has sentenced 43-year-old Michael Harris to two years and ten months in prison. Harris pleaded no contest last month to third-degree felony charges of attempted lewd or lascivious battery and using a computer to solicit the sexual conduct of a crime.

Harris was pastor at Saint Paul Lutheran Church.

He was arrested April 13 after going to a soccer field to meet with a 14-year-old boy who was actually an undercover officer.

Escambia County sheriff's officials say Harris began communicating with the boy in an online chat room April 4. Authorities say Harris steered the conversation toward the topic of sex.

Harris says he takes full responsibility for his actions.


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