Former Church Youth Group Leader Gets 40 Years For Child Molestation

Judge Terrance McGann sentenced Nathaniel Morales, 56, to 40 years in state prison for molesting at least four boys during the 1980s. The abuse occurred while Morales was active at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD.  

Morales sang onstage and worked with a teenage youth group. 

This May, testimony during one of the Morales’s trials indicated that three of the teen victims or their families had come to church leaders for help in the early 1990s and that the church officials did not call police.

Jeremy Cook, who now resides in Raleigh, N.C., was only a teenager when Morales abused him around 50 times during church-related sleepovers.

“This was not a one-time thing, there was a pattern. This is someone who won’t change,” Cook stated. “To see justice served, and to see a predator taken off the street, is worth all of this.”

The judge chastised the former youth group leader Thursday, calling him a “cowardly pervert” and “pathetic human being.”

“He [Morales] acted as a predator. He found ways to get access to children and then abused them over the course of years,” Cook added. “He was a chameleon.”