Convicted former Homestead pastor gets more jail time
The former pastor of a Homestead church was given additional jail time Monday for violating probation when he sexually abused two boys he was counseling.
At a probation/parole violation hearing Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge David R. Cashman sentenced Duane E. Youngblood to 54 to 108 months in prison for violating terms Cashman set for probation on March 3, 2008.
At that time Cashman sentenced Youngblood, 48, of Wilkinsburg to a year of house arrest and seven years probation as part of a plea deal.
On Dec. 15, 2014, Youngblood pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony count of corruption of minors before Common Pleas Judge Jill E. Rangos.
On March 10, Rangos sentenced Youngblood to 16 to 48 months in prison for sexually abusing two teenage boys he was counseling between 2009 and 2011.
Rangos reiterated Cashman’s previous order that Youngblood be registered as a lifetime sex offender under Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law.
On Monday, Cashman ordered lifetime registration for Youngblood under terms of the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. The 2006 law is known as the Adam Walsh Act in memory of a 6-year-old boy abducted from a Florida department store and murdered in 1981.
Youngblood founded Higher Call World Outreach Ministries Inc. in his former home in Wilmerding. In 2003 Higher Call purchased the former SS. Peter & Paul church building at 1321 Mifflin St. in Homestead.
Court records show that Allegheny County police charged Youngblood in 2006 with sexual assault, corruption of minors and other charges.
In that case, he was accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in 2002 while counseling the boy. The teen sought counseling from Youngblood because a cousin had molested him, according to a police affidavit.
Youngblood also was arrested on a corruption charge filed July 12 related to an allegation that he inappropriately touched a teen victim, who is now in his 20s, on about 25 occasions while he was counseling the youth between 2009 and 2011.
In August, additional charges were filed against Youngblood for sexual contact he had with a second victim, age 23, who told police that he and Youngblood had sexual relations on five or six occasions over a three-week period when the victim was 17 and 18.
One count was waived to court while the other was turned over to administrative closure.
After Youngblood’s March sentencing, defense attorney Milton E. Raiford said Youngblood officially retained the title of pastor at Higher Call but ultimately turned the position over to someone else.
“My client is very repentant, he is very contrite,” Raiford said. “He takes accountability for what he did. He recognizes that those who are abused are more likely to become abusers.”
Raiford said his client had himself been a victim.
“My client was abused as a young, talented musician in the church by other church leaders,” he said.
“He prays, in time, that those he has victimized can forgive him. In the meantime, he recognizes and takes accountability for not being the safe place he should have been as a person in authority in the church.”
Higher Call, which calls itself The Life Church on its telephone answering machine and some online references, could not be reached for comment.