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A North Carolina  pastor has been found guilty of nine counts that included taking indecent liberties with a child and sex offense of a child.He has been sentenced to serve time for sexual abuse of a minor.

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Keith Devon Pitts, 44, of the 8600 block of Catawba Cove Drive, south of Gastonia, was found guilty of nine counts that included taking indecent liberties with a child and sex offense of a child, among other charges. The former pastor of New Life Christian Center was sentenced to between 20 and 24½  years in prison. The conviction followed a five-day trial that ran throughout last week. Jurors deliberated for three hours Friday afternoon, recessed for the weekend, then reconvened Monday morning and reached the verdict before lunch.

The conviction followed a five-day trial that ran throughout last week. Jurors deliberated for three hours Friday afternoon, recessed for the weekend, then reconvened Monday morning and reached the verdict before lunch.

Pettis was arrested in August 2009 on charges that he sexually abused a 12-year-old girl in his home in August 2006 by performing a sex act on her. He allegedly sexually abused her again on Sept. 1, 2008, and Sept. 20, 2008, then forced her to perform a sex act on him in February and March of 2009.

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