FREDERICK, Md. (AP) - The former pastor of a Montgomery County church has pleaded guilty in Frederick to second-degree sex offense with a 10-year-old girl.
Seventy-four-year-old Joe Ivey of Walkersville entered into the plea deal Tuesday.
Frederick County prosecutors dropped charges of second-degree assault and sexual abuse of a minor.
Prosecutors say they'll recommend at Ivey's March 28 sentencing that he serve four years in prison, with another 16 years suspended. Defense attorney Richard Bricken says he'll ask for no prison time.
He cites the lack of a prior criminal record. Ivey was charged in September with having had sexual contact with the girl from January 2009 to December 2010.
The abuse began when the girl was 10. Ivey resigned in September as senior pastor of the Barnesville Baptist Church.