Youth pastor facing sexual abuse, pornography charges agrees to plea capping prison sentence at 14 years

Mikkelson and Vig

Attorney William Vig, left, goes over paperwork with Isaiah Mikkelson during a status hearing in Adams County Circuit Court on Tuesday morning. | David Adam

QUINCY — A youth pastor at a Quincy church facing sexual abuse and pornography charges has agreed to a plea negotiation that will cap his sentence to the Illinois Department of Corrections at 14 years.

Isaiah Mikkelson, 22, of 3340 Wynstone Drive appeared with Springfield-based attorney William Vig on Tuesday morning in Adams County Circuit Court before Judge Tad Brenner.

Brenner said at the beginning of Tuesday’s hearing that the case was on the November jury docket and he was simply checking on the status. However, Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck said Vig had called her late Monday afternoon and agreed to a negotiated plea, and she hoped to present it to Brenner.

“The court was not anticipating taking up a plea on this case today,” Brenner said before asking for details.

Keck said Mikkelson had agreed to pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse with a person under the age of 18. Both are Class 2 felonies punishable for between three and seven years each. Mikkelson would not be eligible for probation.

Mikkelson’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 17.

In exchange for the plea two other counts of aggravated sexual abuse with a person under the age of 18, one count of criminal sexual assault and two counts of child pornography (soliciting a person under the age of 18 to appear in a visual production involving an act of masturbation) were dismissed.

An arrest warrant was issued Feb. 24 for Mikkelson, and he was arrested March 9. An Adams County grand jury returned a bill of indictment on March 23 that Mikkelson was guilty of all seven charges.

Keck said she could show evidence that two girls attended a youth ministry at Hope Lutheran Church, 1739 Harrison, and Mikkelson was their youth director. She said Mikkelson touched the vaginas of the two girls, who were younger than 18 at the time, outside their clothing between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021.

When Brenner asked Vig if Keck could present that evidence, he replied, “Substantially.”

Keck also made a motion to get a passcode from Mickelson for his cell phone.

An investigation began in January after law enforcement agencies were contacted by a parent of a juvenile who had disclosed possible sexual abuse by Mikkelson. During the investigation, multiple juveniles were interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center about alleged abuse.

The initial bond on Mikkelson’s arrest warrant was set at $200,000, then increased to $250,000 on March 9. Mikkelson bonded out the next day.

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