New Jersey

NJ Pastor, Music Festival Co-Founder Can’t Withdraw Guilty Plea in Child Sex Case

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A former pastor who co-founded a Christian music festival has lost his bid to withdraw his guilty plea in a child sex abuse case.

Harry Thomas had argued that his plea was invalid because his testimony had not established an adequate factual basis for four charges against him. But an appellate court rejected those arguments in a ruling issued Friday.

Thomas is the former pastor of Come Alive New Testament Church in Medford and co-founder of the Creation Festival, billed as the country's largest Christian music festival.

Thomas had acknowledged sexually assaulting a 9-year-old, having sexual contact with three girls ages 7 to 9 and exposing himself to a girl.

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