DA: Ex-pastor to plead guilty in rape case

WEST CHESTER >> The former pastor at a Uwchlan megachurch intends to enter a guilty plea to criminal charges brought in the case of a teenager he allegedly raped and impregnated, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Assistant District Attorney Emily Provencher of the DA’s Child Abuse Unit told Common Pleas President Judge Jacqueline Carroll Cody in court that Jacob Matthew “Jake” Malone had made it clear through his attorney that he would plead guilty and be sentenced.

However, the alleged victim, who is now 20 years old and lives in Arizona, has made it clear that she would like to be present for the proceeding. Thus, Provencher and defense attorney Evan Kelly of West Chester, who represents Malone, have been attempting to arrange a mutually agreeable date to present the plea and proposed sentence to Cody, who is overseeing the case.

The prosecutor said that they had initially hoped to appear before Cody the last week of March. Cody, however, said she had meetings that would keep her away from the courthouse that week, so the parties are expected to formalize a date in April later this week. Provencher did not detail the proposed sentence, and Kelly declined comment when contacted Wednesday.

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Malone, 34, of Exton, is charged with rape, sexual assault, institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors, and endangering the welfare of children. He has been held on bail in Chester County Prison since his arrest in January 2016 after returning to the United States from Ecuador.

According to police, the victim reported that she had met Malone at a church in Mesa, Arizona, when she was approximately 12 years old. Malone was a pastor at the church that the victim attended. Several years later, in June of 2014, Malone contacted the then 17-year-old victim and invited her to stay with him and his family in Minnesota, where he had become a pastor at a local church.

While in Minnesota, police said, the victim alleged that Malone began trying to have inappropriate contact with her. In July 2014, Malone moved his family to Chester County, where he was starting a new position as a pastor at Calvary Fellowship, a non-denominational church off Route 100. Malone again invited the victim to live with him and his family, and he even registered the victim in a local high school.

The victim, according to police, reported that Malone began sexually assaulting her in the fall of 2014 while she was living at his residence in the unit block of Atherton Drive in Exton and attending Calvary. She was 18 at the time.

The victim reported that Malone provided alcohol to her on two occasions, and that during one of those incidents, the victim alleged that she became highly intoxicated and was molested by Malone.

Police said Calvary parishioners brought the victim forward when they found out a crime had occurred. They confronted Malone and terminated him from his position at the church.

To contact staff writer Michael P. Rellahan call 610-696-1544.