The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 2:56 pm

Former band director placed on house arrest for child seduction

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

A former band director at Heritage Junior-Senior High School won't serve time behind bars after admitting to child seduction.

Allen Superior Court Judge Steven M. Godfrey today handed Josiah Pfenning, 32, a five-year suspended sentence and five years' probation, with two of those years on house arrest.

Pfenning pleaded guilty last month to child seduction. As part of a plea deal, another child seduction charge and a charge of possession of child pornography were dropped.

Godfrey ordered Pfenning to have no contact with his victim for the term of his sentence and was ordered to pay restitution to the victim and her family for expenses they suffered as a result of this crime and the subsequent criminal case. As required by Indiana law, Pfenning will register as a sexual offender, the Allen County prosecutor's office said.

"The victim's family spoke on her behalf and talked about the painful 17-month court process and the emotional toll Mr. Pfenning's actions took on their daughter," a statement from the prosecutor's office said today. "It was the family's wish for the Court to accept this plea agreement so they could have closure for their family and work towards healing."

Pfenning was charged in December 2019.

A girl told police Pfenning began pursuing her during her junior year of high school when she was 16 and continued throughout the summer and into the first week of school in September 2019.

Pfenning eventually told her he loved her and that when she turned 18, the two could start doing "a whole lot more," court records said.

The encounters took place in the band director's office, band room and storage room, court records said.

Pfenning asked her to take photos of herself, eventually asking for photos of her without clothing. He told her what to send because "it would make him happy."

Pfenning always told her not to say anything because he would "be put away for a very long time." He also told her to make sure she deleted everything, including conversations they had on Instagram, court documents said.

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