FERNDALE - A former Ferndale youth leader is not expected to serve more than a few days behind bars for making sexual advances at three teenage boys he ministered.
Jason T. Curry, 30, pleaded guilty last week to texting explicit messages to three of his students - aged 14, 14 and 17 - from North Whatcom County Young Life, a Christian youth group. For each count, prosecutors suggested a sentence of one year behind bars, with all but one day suspended. So if he violates his probation, he could serve up to three years in jail.
Under the agreement, Curry would undergo a sexual deviancy evaluation, obey the orders of the evaluator, cut off all contact with the victims and report to a judge four times each year until the probation is over.
In late October 2011, a parent found a sexual text message Curry sent to her son: He wanted to go to the boy's bedroom, so he could hold him "in my arms again" and whisper "I love you's (sic) into (his) ear," according to court records.
Over the next few weeks, detectives found explicit messages sent to two other boys. Curry was fired from Young Life in early November.
Nineteen students were interviewed by detectives. They said Curry would sometimes ask to "snuggle," but most of the kids figured "it was just Jason being Jason," according to charging documents.
Curry admitted to investigators on Nov. 22, 2011, he had sexual fantasies about minors, but said he "never crossed the line," according to court records.
Curry was convicted Dec. 13, 2012, of three counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
A clerical error delayed Curry's official sentencing on the day he pleaded. This week, it was delayed again when Superior Court Judge Charles Snyder said he didn't feel comfortable signing the paperwork, because another judge, Ira Uhrig, is more familiar with the case.
Curry already served a few days in jail before posting bond. He was reached by phone but declined to comment.
Before getting hired at Young Life, Curry worked at Rebound of Whatcom County, a faith-based group that works with at-risk children.
Rebound released a statement just after Curry's arrest. It read, in part: "You can do all the right things to check into the background of potential employees, but if they do not have a criminal history, you cannot know if they are dangerous to children or not. What protects children at Rebound is our training and policies on adult-child interactions."
Reach CALEB HUTTON at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2276.