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Ogden • A former Weber County youth pastor was sentenced to prison for five years to life on Wednesday for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl in his flock.

Aaron Witcher — known locally as the rapping "Pastor Soulja" — had pleaded guilty in 2nd District Court to two counts of first-degree felony rape.

Judge Ernie Jones said prison was appropriate because Witcher, 38, had sexual intercourse with the girl more than 20 times as well as other instances of sexual activity.

"This was not a mistake, not a one-time thing," said the judge, who nevertheless opted to run the two terms concurrently.

The victim's father had asked for consecutive terms to give his daughter as much time as possible to "grow up" before the defendant was released from prison.

Through a letter read in court by a victims' advocate, the father said Witcher had "mocked and betrayed God" and that God's punishment of him would be worse than anything handed down by the court.

Defense attorney Gregory Smith told the judge that Witcher's conduct was "unconscionable and a sin. He absolutely knows that."

Smith added that Witcher was "incredibly selfish and stupid … he feels unclean."

Smith argued that due to Witcher's otherwise spotless criminal record, concurrent prison terms should be imposed.

Deputy Weber County Attorney Dean Saunders said that, as part of a plea deal in which six other rape counts were dismissed, prosecutors didn't ask for consecutive terms.

The courtroom held some two dozen people who support Witcher, as well as family and friends of the victim.

According to police, Witcher began a sexual relationship with the girl during the summer of 2010. The investigation began in August, after a Roy police officer found the two in a parked car and became suspicious. Police said that under questioning, the pair eventually acknowledged their relationship was sexual.

No other charges have been filed, despite investigators having said they were looking into other possible relationships between Witcher and underage girls. Detectives said they were specifically checking Witcher's past pastoral assignment at New Pilgrim Baptist Church in southern Salt Lake County and, most recently, the The Genesis Project church in Ogden.