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Youth pastor denies charges of sexual conduct with teen

By John Weiss

weiss@postbulletin.com

WABASHA -- A Cresco, Iowa, man who was youth pastor for Trinity Evangelical Free Church of Plainview in October when he allegedly had sexual contact with a teenager, pleaded not guilty Monday in Wabasha District Court to four charges connected with the incident.

Brian Michael Looney, 24, was charged Jan. 31 with four counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Two of the charges say he was at least four years older than the girl with whom he had the contact and was in a position of authority over her. The two other charges are for sexual conduct during a time when he was meeting with her to give her spiritual aid or comfort.

In a short hearing Monday, Looney waived his omnibus hearing. A pretrial conference was set for June 13.

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The complaint alleges the church's pastor entered a Sunday school room at the church Oct. 1 and found Looney alone with the partially clothed girl. Afterward, the pastor approached Looney, who was packing his belongings. "(Looney) said words to the effect that there was nothing to talk about; that it was his fault," the complaint says. "He left the church quickly and mentioned that he needed to get away and think." The victim later told police about sexual encounters with Looney.

Looney is no longer the church's youth pastor.

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