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Watch now: Ex-Decatur pastor pleads not guilty to sex offenses involving teen

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DECATUR — A pastor appeared in court Wednesday afternoon denying charges he “enticed a child to remove her clothes” and tried to groom the same child to lure her into committing a sex act.

Joseph M. Krol, 37, also pleaded not guilty to soliciting the 15-year-old girl for a meeting and a further charge of obstructing/destroying evidence.

Krol, who used to pastor a church in Decatur but now lives in Dawson, is accused by prosecutors of trying to wipe incriminating evidence off his phone when Macon County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived at his home to arrest him Oct. 15.

Krol told Macon County Circuit Court Judge Rodney Forbes on Wednesday that he was willing to waive a full preliminary hearing where the judge would have to decide if there was probable cause to try him. Appearing with his defense attorney, Robert Wrigley, Krol entered his not guilty pleas and the judge placed the case on his own trial call and scheduled a pretrial hearing for Jan. 7.

A sworn affidavit about the case said police had been called in by the girl’s parents after they became aware of “inappropriate Snapchat messages” between their daughter and Krol.

The affidavit said the girl’s mother said Krol had invited her daughter to play online games of a sexual nature, asked intimate questions about her body, offered to buy her gifts and said he “could sneak out when everyone was asleep and come over.”

Sgt. Roger Pope with the sheriff’s office had later taken over the girl’s phone and pretended to be her while communicating with Krol. “During our conversations, Krol requested photos of (the girl) in her underwear,” said Pope, who signed the affidavit.

“Unsolicited, Krol sent her Snapchat a video of the outline of his (genitalia) under his underwear. Krol also asked her sexually explicit questions about her… fantasies to include her interest in older men.”

Pope said Krol was very security conscious during these exchanges, and would ask the girl to pan the room with her phone camera so he could be sure no one else was present.

A check of Macon County Jail records shows that Krol was being held on bail of $75,000 but was released Oct. 23 after paying a $7,500 bond. The Macon County State’s Attorney Office had asked for bail to be set at $100,000. Krol’s bail conditions order him to have no contact with the girl and to stay away from her home.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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