BENTON, Ill. — A federal jury in Benton found a 58-year-old former pastor of a West Frankfort church guilty Wednesday of attempted enticement of a minor child following an FBI sting targeting child exploitation.
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 on August 30, 2020, after he traveled to a residence in Marion, Illinois 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.