Former Md. church leader sentenced for child sex abuse

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA9) -- A former Montgomery County megachurch youth leader and Christian school teacher was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday for sexually abusing several boys in the 1980s and 1990s.

Nathaniel "Nate" Morales was found guilty on three counts of sexual abuse of a minor and two more counts of sexual offense in the second degree in May.

He was a youth leader at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg when he sexually abused boys at group sleepovers and in their homes from 1983-1991.

The youngest victim was 11, and the abuse continued until he turned 18, officials say. The abuse was not reported until 2009, when the victim was in his 20s. He told his parents and his church pastor about the abuse but according to charging documents, no police report was ever made. The victim later learned that his friends had also been abused by Morales.

Morales faced up to 85 years in prison.


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