GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A 40-year-old former Green Bay pastor has pled guilty to Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor following an FBI investigation that revealed he had allegedly sent explicit images and videos to a minor he had met on a mission trip to Ecuador.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Cory J. Herthel entered a guilty plea to the charge on August 31 and will receive a federal prison sentence of at least 15 years when he is sentenced on December 4.

In May, the FBI was contacted by the church where Herthel was employed as a pastor and was told information about how Herthel possibly had been involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a minor from Venezuela.

An investigation revealed that Herthel sent the child explicit videos of himself, and at Herthel’s request, the minor sent similar videos and images to the pastor, authorities say.

Herthel reportedly acknowledged knowing the minor from a mission trip he had taken to Ecuador. After the child, and his mother, returned to Venezuela, Herthel allegedly kept in touch with the child.

The 40-year-old also acknowledged sending the child monetary payments through various online applications. 

Herthel is now required to register as a sexual offender under state and federal law.

The investigation was part of Project Safe Childhood and was investigated by the Green Bay and Milwaukee offices of the FBI with assistance from the Green Bay Police Department.

No other information was provided.