Former youth ministry director at US Army Base admits to sexual abuse of numerous minors

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Fort Leonard Wood SOURCE: Orlin Wagner

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A former soldier in the Army National Guard pleaded guilty in federal court today to sexually abusing four minors over several years while he was director of the youth ministry at Fort Leonard Wood U.S. Army Base.

David J. McKay, 42, of Waynesville, Missouri, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of transporting a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and four counts of sexually abusing a minor.

McKay, at the time an Army National Guard First Sergeant, was the youth ministry director for the Religious Services Office at Fort Leonard Wood. McKay is not currently serving as a member of the National Guard. By pleading guilty today, McKay admitted that he sexually abused four victims, ranging in age from 11 to 17 years old, on dozens of occasions from 2010 to 2017.

According to today’s plea agreement, the sexual abuse occurred at Fort Leonard Wood and various other locations within Pulaski County, Mo. The victims also reported being abused during the youth group’s ski trips to Colorado and on camping trips at Fort Leonard Wood.

Under federal statutes, McKay is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole.

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