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A former Alto Pass pastor was committed to 51 years in the Department of Human Services Friday in Union County Circuit Court.

Bill Vandergraph, 76, during a discharge hearing in September 2013, a judge heard evidence sufficient enough to determine that the defendant would've been convicted had the matter gone to trial. The charges were predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, a Class X felony and two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony.

Vandergraph, former pastor of Full Gospel Pentecostal Church in Alto Pass and former Union County school bus driver, was arrested in July 2010. He is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with a 4-year-old child between January and April of 2010.

Union County States Attorney Tyler Edmonds said this is essentially a life sentence for Vandergraph.

“We are happy today we have closure for the victims,” he said. “The case has gone on for some for a quite awhile with some mental health issues, but we are pleased to know he will not be able to harm any more children.

“He is going to be in a secure facility where he won’t be having any contact with the public.”

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