Former canton of Plain. Church director and Canton radio producer plead guilty to child sex crimes
TOWNSHIP — The former director of media and communications for a Plain Township church, who was later hired as a news radio producer, will spend 30 days in Stark County Jail on sex abuse charges on children dating back over 20 years.
Joseph A. DiAngelis, 62, of Plain Township, appeared in Stark County Common Pleas Court on Friday for his sentencing before Judge Kristin Farmer.
According to court documents, DiAngelis and the victim, a teenage videography assistant, engaged in sexual acts inside the First Christian Church at 6900 Market Avenue N between September 1999 and September 2000. Court records show that the victim was 15 when the acts began.
The victim described the physical damage and emotional impact when given the opportunity to speak on Friday.
“He hurt,” the woman told the court. “He said my tears were beautiful.”
Stark County Assistant District Attorney Dan Petricini said the victim tried to report the ongoing abuse to church leaders who have since retired.
“I am very happy that we were able to help him find a conclusion and bring justice more than 20 years later,” Petricini said after the sentencing.
DiAngelis did not address the court or the woman when given the opportunity to speak. Defense attorney Rick Pitinii also declined to comment on behalf of his client.
Farmer told DiAngelis he had 30 days to report to Stark County Jail to begin his sentence.
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DiAngelis, known to WHBC radio listeners as show producer JD DiAngelis, was originally indicted by a grand jury in November on two counts of rape, both first-degree felonies.
DiAngelis reached a plea deal on Jan. 28, pleading guilty to two lesser counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, both fourth-degree felonies.
After his release from prison, DiAngelis will spend three years on probation and must complete 200 hours of community service. He will have to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years.
Farmer told DiAngelis he was to have no contact with the victim or anyone under the age of 18. If found in violation of the terms of his probation, he will serve the maximum sentence of 36 months in prison.
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Sexual acts inside the place of worship
According to the victim, DiAngelis would take her to a storage closet inside the church and repeatedly make her perform sex acts.
After DiAngelis left the church, the victim told the court that she was called to DiAngelis’ home where the sex acts continued in DiAngelis’ garage for nearly two years.
Jimmy McLoud, current executive pastor of First Christian Church, said DiAngelis was a contracted, paid consultant to the church from April 12, 1999 to April 12, 2000.
“He then became an employee of First Christian Church from April 12, 2000 until his resignation effective September 9, 2000,” McLoud said.
Local radio station producer resigns from WHBC job
DiAngelis was working as an executive producer at 1480 WHBC and the Morning News in Canton when he was charged.
Alpha Media Canton vice president and market manager Larry Gawthrop said DiAngelis was hired in 2003 and resigned from the station in December.
“Although these crimes were committed prior to Mr. DiAngelis’ employment here at WHBC radio stations, our thoughts are with the victim and the families affected, and we are confident that justice will be served,” Gawthrop said.
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This article originally appeared on The Repository: Jail sentence for former church leader who committed child sex crimes