Preacher sentenced for sex crimes that happened in 1998 - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Preacher sentenced for sex crimes that happened in 1998

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Thomas Archie Wiggins Jr. (Source: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office) Thomas Archie Wiggins Jr. (Source: New Hanover County Sheriff's Office)

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – A preacher from Wilmington was sentenced in superior court Monday to six to nine years in prison for sex charges that date back to 1998.

Thomas Archie Wiggins took a plea deal Monday, pleading guilty to six counts of sex offense in a parental role.

He confessed in 2011 to five charges of first degree sex offense and five counts of indecent liberties with a minor for incidents that happened in 1998.

The charges stem from allegations of a boy who was 14 years old at the time of the incident. Prosecutors said Wiggins asked the victim about his sexual experience when he turned 14 and started sleeping in the same bed as the adolescent, cuddling him.

According to prosecutors, Wiggins was acting as a substitute parent. They testified they incidents happened on the weekends with the victim, who was from Bolton, would stay with Wiggins in Wilmington.

Prosecutors said the victim was living out of the state when the investigation started in 2011. They say someone close to the victim called the sheriff's office to tip them off.

Wiggins is listed as the preacher and superintendent at the Faith Temple Church of God in Christ, located at 1119 S. Fourth Street in Wilmington. He also works with Bolton Church of God in Christ in Columbus County.

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