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Tennessee pastor & coach faces up to life in prison after pleading to child exploitation charges

Joshua Henley, 33, who has lived in Benton County, Tennessee, and Evansville, Indiana, is set to be sentenced in August.
Credit: Benton County Sheriff's Department

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Tennessee pastor and girls’ basketball coach has pleaded guilty to child exploitation charges.

Joshua Henley, 33, who has lived in Benton County, Tennessee, and Evansville, Indiana, is set to be sentenced in August after pleading to charges of producing sexual abuse material involving three minors, transporting a minor across state lines to engage in sexual activity, sending obscene videos and images to a minor, and possessing and transporting child sexual abuse material.

The U.S. Department of Justice said in 2018, Henley was pastor at Holladay Church of Christ in Benton County and coached Holladay Elementary School’s girls’ basketball team. In April 2021, they said he took a position with a church in Evansville, Indiana. Then in June 2021, he drove back to Tennessee to pick up a girl, taking her back to Indiana to “help with his Vacation Bible School there.” Prosecutors said Henley had sex with the girl who had just turned 15. They said the girl told them that Henley had been engaging in sexual activity since she was 13, and asking her to take sexually explicit pictures to send him through a chat app.

Investigators said in 2020, another 15-year-old girl in Evansville said Henley asked her to send sexually explicit pictures to him.

Henley was arrested in June 2021 as he was driving the first girl back to Tennessee. Investigators said after getting a warrant for his cell phone, they found sexually explicit pictures of both girls, and video of Henley having sex with a third girl in November 2020, who had just turned 14.

Prosecutors said Henley worked with children in several states, including Oklahoma and Texas.

Henley faces at least 15 years to a possible life in prison term when he is sentenced August 23, 2022, in Jackson, Tennessee.

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