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'Extremely delusional' North Olmsted youth pastor sentenced for sexual relationship with teen
North Olmsted youth pastor Brian Mitchell, 31, was sentenced Thursday for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl. CLEVELAND, Ohio -- A North Olmsted youth pastor will spend a decade in prison for carrying on a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old member of his church. Brian Mitchell, 31, sat Thursday with his brow furrowed for most of the 90-minute hearing where Cuyahoga County Judge Patrick Corrigan sentenced him to 10 years in prison. Mitchell -- a husband and father of three children under the age of 8-- was the youth pastor at Columbia Road Baptist Church in North Olmsted when he met the victim. He pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual battery. "I'm so sorry to (the) family," Mitchell said. "I can't imagine the work and effort you've had to put into fixing your family." The girl in a letter to the judge that she looked up to Mitchell, and that she sought him out to learn how to live a more spiritual life through religion. Mitchell began sending her text messages that became more and more frequent. Someone brought it to the attention of church leaders and the texting stopped for a time. He started up again, and the girl said the tone of the messages quickly turned from innocent and fun to serious. She said he complained about his wife and their marital problems. She wrote that she wanted the texts to stop but felt scared to say anything because he was a powerful figure in the church and in her life. One day, he drove to her home and told her to come out to his car. He kissed her and told her he wanted to see her again. The next time he drove out to her home, he had sex with her in his car. Another time he had sex with her at her home while his wife was out of town, Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Kristen Karkutt said. "I did not give him permission," the girl wrote. "I clearly said 'no, didn't want to.' I felt like he tricked me." Mitchell directed her to delete text message exchanges between the two and told her never to tell anyone. He picked her up during her lunch break from school. He sent her flowers for her birthday, then asked her mother at church if she knew who sent them. Normally an outgoing teen who played sports and worked two jobs while going to school, she found herself unable to get out of bed. She struggled in school. Once the relationship came to light, the church reported the accusations to Fairview Park police. The girl's mother said in court that church officials told her their family couldn't return to the church until she apologized to Mitchell's wife. Defense attorney Ian Friedman said Mitchell was never aware of that. The family has since left the church. The girl wrote that she still has nightmares and displays what Corrigan called textbook symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. "This is a perfect example of the psychological damage caused by these types of crimes," Corrigan said. Friedman said Mitchell acknowledges that he betrayed the girl, her family, his own family and the church. "The whirlwind two or three months of Snapchats and texts and the secrecy involved created an adrenaline- and lust-filled situation where he felt like there could be a future," Friedman said.   Mitchell, who received about three-dozen letters of support given to the judge, apologized to the girl's family and said he was sorry for what he did, not that he got caught.  He said that he dreamed of being a father and asked for leniency in order to take care of his kids. Corrigan, who had the option to sentence him anywhere between one and 20 years in prison, did not adopt Friedman's recommendation for house arrest. "Your delusional excuse -- that there were emotions and love involved -- is troubling," Corrigan told Mitchell. "That's extremely delusional." To comment on this story, please visit our crime and courts comments section.
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Brook Park councilwoman charged with shoplifting at Target
Julie Ann McCormick, a Brook Park councilwoman, is charged with theft. She is due in Rocky River Municipal Court on Nov. 29. Julie Ann McCormickNorth Olmsted police  NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio - A Brook Park councilwoman is accused of shoplifting at Target in North Olmsted. Julie Ann McCormick, 33, of Brook Park, is charged with theft, a first-degree misdemeanor, in a Monday incident at the Brookpark Road store, according to court records. Her arraignment is scheduled at 1 p.m. Nov. 29 in Rocky River Municipal Court. McCormick is accused of stealing more than $900 in merchandise from the store, North Olmsted Detective Sgt. Bob Wagner said. McCormick could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Council President Jim Astorino said he read the news of McCormick's arrest on Facebook, but declined to comment until he spoke with her to get more information. If you'd like to comment on this post, please visit the cleveland.com crime and courts comments section. 
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