For the latest local information regarding COVID-19, follow us on Facebook and see ourlocal news page

Federal Jury Finds Former West Frankfort Pastor Guilty of Enticement of Minor

BENTON – A federal jury found a former West Frankfort pastor guilty Wednesday of attempted enticement of a minor child following an FBI sting targeting child exploitation.

Fifty-eight-year-old Mark Allen Fitzpatrick was pastor of Greater Life Sanctuary Church in Benton. He was arrested in 2020 and is currently free on a personal recognizance bond that has been continued until Fitzpatrick’s sentencing in August.

Fitzpatrick was arrested August 30, 2020 after he traveled to a home in Marion for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity with what he believed was a 15-year-old juvenile male named “Cody.” FBI agents had set up the meeting and intercepted him before placing him under arrest.

The arrest came after agents had set up a profile on a dating site posing as the juvenile male.

Fitzpatrick had allegedly engaged in sexually explicit text conversations that included the exchange of pornographic photos of himself.