Church youth leader pleads guilty to child sex offenses

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An Enola man who volunteered as a youth leader at a Harrisburg-area church has admitted in court that he sexually abused an 11-year-old girl he met through the church and that he had a sexual relationship with another girl when she was 16 years old.

Joshua Markelwitz, 28, pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, indecent exposure, sexual abuse of children, unlawful contact with minors, corruption of minors and furnishing alcohol to minors, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors said he will likely receive 12 to 24 years in a state prison when he is sentenced September 8.

Markelwitz was arrested in December 2012 after one girl told police she was molested by him numerous times in her home, at the Charlton United Methodist Church, and in his car over three years beginning when she was 11 years old.

Weeks later, a Cumberland County girl told police that Markelwitz, a volunteer with her high school band, had a sexual relationship with her after she turned 16 years old.

Pennsylvania’s Sexual Offender Assessment Board will evaluate Markelwitz to determine whether he is a sexually violent predator under the state’s Megan’s Law.

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