Bible teacher sentenced to prison for sex with underage girl

Robert Russell Browning, 60, must register as sex offender

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former Bible school teacher at a Jacksonville Christian school was sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to sexual activity with an underage girl, according to court records.

Robert Russell Browning, 60, was sentenced on Tuesday to seven-and-a-half years in prison, followed by seven-and-a-half years probation, records show. He will be forced to register as a sex offender and is not allowed to have contact with the victim.

According to court records, Browning pleaded guilty on Nov. 28 to charges of lewd or lascivious battery, molestation and transmission of material harmful to a minor by electronic device. The original police report said Browning allowed a girl between the age of 12 and 16 perform oral sex on him inside Cedar Creek Baptist Church.

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Investigators found text messages between Browning and the girl about the incident. The victim's father said he discovered the inappropriate relationship when he checked his daughter's cellphone and found she and Browning were exchanging nude photos and lewd text messages.

In addition to terminating Browning and trying to support the victim's family, the church said it was also increasing security and adding more surveillance cameras "to make sure this can't happen again."

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