"Speedcuffs" by Skiddie2003 / Public Domain

Horsham pastor sentenced to 200 years in federal prison for taping himself abusing two children

Sep 23, 2020

By Jeremy Roebuck

The retired pastor of a Horsham church was sentenced to 200 years in federal prison Thursday for video-recording himself sexually abusing two children over a period of years.

Jerry Zweitzig, who led the nondenominational Horsham Bible Church until his retirement in 2016, apologized for his actions moments before U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone imposed the maximum punishment for each of the seven child pornography counts to which he had pleaded guilty, with each to be served consecutively.

As recently as earlier this year, prosecutors noted, the 72-year-old Hatboro resident was still seeking to justify and explain away the abuse he inflicted on children.

“Children are taught to be ashamed of their bodies,” Zweitzig said during a presentencing interview quoted in court filings, in which he discussed the elder of his victims. “I taught [the child] that in the house, there was nothing wrong with nudity. … I really felt that I was trying to help.”

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