Mt. Vernon | A former pastor in Southern Illinois was sentenced to three years in prison on one charge of child grooming in Jefferson County Circuit Court Oct. 19. Garrett Biggerstaff entered a guilty plea on the count Sept. 11. A second count was dropped. Biggerstaff was arrested on the abuse charges in January. He had been working as athletic director for Spring Garden Consolidated Community School District. He was also pastor of Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Fairfield, but the church terminated Biggerstaff shortly after his arrest.
A minor first reported claims of grooming behavior, leading to an investigation by Benton Police and an arrest in Sept. 2022. In addition to the jail time, Biggerstaff was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine and restitution to the victim to cover counseling services.
— with information from Judici.com and WMIX