Wednesday, December 28, 2005                                                                                       View Comments

Durham pastor sentenced to a year for luring children

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A Durham pastor has been sentenced to a year in jail after pleading guilty to attempting to lure a child for a sexual liaison.
Kenneth Wayne Symes, 36, of Whitby, will serve just a few more months after being given two for one credit for the four and a half months he's been in custody since his arrest last summer, a source with Durham Regional Police said. Mr. Symes, pastor at the Ajax Alliance Church, will also serve a three-year term of probation.

The married father of a young child was busted in August after a sting operation in which a Toronto police officer posing as a 12-year-old girl had a number of Internet chat room exchanges with a user who called himself "garyneartoronto." After a number of chats that became increasingly more sexual in nature the two made arrangements to meet in Toronto.

When Mr. Symes showed up he was arrested by Toronto police child exploitation unit officers.

Police subsequently searched the man's Whitby home and the church in Ajax.

Mr. Symes was originally charged with one count of attempted luring and invitation to sexual touching. A second luring charge was laid after police here were contacted by authorities in the United States who made similar allegations, the Toronto Star reported.

The invitation to sexual touching charge was dropped when Mr. Symes entered his guilty plea, a police source said.