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Gay-hating Philly minister convicted of soliciting sex from male teenager

Gay-hating Philly minister convicted of soliciting sex from male teenager

A Philadelphia minister who has condemned homosexuality and was known for using a bullhorn to preach to passersby at colleges was convicted of soliciting sex from a teenage boy. Jurors deliberated for 3-1/2 hours Wednesday before convicting the Reverend Craig Stephen White of criminal solicitation to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and related offenses. White, 40, who faces a minimum three-year prison term on the most serious charge, showed no reaction. His mother wept and said, "He's innocent; he's innocent." Defense attorney Robert J. Donatoni said he was "disappointed but not surprised." "This was a very difficult case for everyone," said Donatoni, who suggested that the teenager was mistaken, confused, or just seeking attention. The charges stemmed from a stop White made in West Chester, Pa., in June, when he asked a 14-year-old boy for directions. The boy said White also asked about strip clubs or adult book or video stores and later came back and offered him $20 to take part in sexual activity. White denied making any sexual proposition and said he asked directions to a video store because he wanted to buy the movie Shrek for his children. White has preached on campuses against homosexuality and atheists, using a bullhorn to rile up students about "fornicators," "whores," and "sodomites." He started a Temple University campus group called Soldiers for Christ, worked at a youth ministry in Gloucester County, N.J., began the Philadelphia Gospel Outreach Center in North Philadelphia, and was enough of a fixture on the University of Pennsylvania campus that the chaplain's office held a panel discussion about his methods in 1998.

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