YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A man found guilty of raping a mentally disabled woman was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.
Rev. Ronald Lee Pyles, 59, was accused last year of raping the 19-year-old woman between October 2010 and March 2011 while she was staying at Victory Harvest Ministries on Palmyra Road.
Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court sentenced Pyles, who waived his right to a jury trial, to concurrent prison sentences of 10 years for rape and three years for gross sexual imposition.
Although he was credited 225 days for time served, he will not be eligible for early release because of the nature of his convictions and he will have to register as a tier 3 sex offender.
Pyles came under investigation after the woman's guardian reported the pastor to the Jackson Township police in March 2012.
Natasha Frenchko, assistant county prosecutor, says Pyles acted as a father-figure to the victim since she was 7-years old.
"She completely trusted him and she kept the secret," she says. "That's what he called it, 'the secret.'"
Pyles was a pastor at the church, which provides temporary housing for homeless people as well as drug- and alcohol-addiction counseling.