CAMP VERDE -- The former children's minister with the Cottonwood's Emmanuel Fellowship is expected to be sentenced to prison for a period ranging from 9 to 12 years when he faces the judge Monday afternoon. The sentence is punishment for preying on a child in his own congregation.
Christopher Furey was charged with 19 offenses when it was discovered he had had a relationship with a 16-year-old girl between last May and August.
Judge Warren Darrow told attorneys the range of his proposed sentencing during Furey's change of plea hearing plea in late January. That range will be aggravated or mitigated based on a pre-sentence report ordered by the judge.
Furey pleaded to eight of the original counts. In addition to sexual conduct, attempted sexual conduct and sexual abuse, he also pleaded guilt to four counts of luring for sexual exploitation.
The minister and young girl are said to have had extensive contact through text messages over the four-month period.
Arizona is especially strict where sexual conduct with a minor is at the hands of a parent, teacher, clergyman or priest and requires that the convicted person is "not eligible for suspension of sentence, probation, pardon or release from confinement on any basis."
That means whatever Darrow eventually hands down must be served in its entirety, less time already served.