NJ pastor who admitted to sexually assaulting children wants to withdraw plea

MOUNT HOLLY, N.J. (AP) -- A former New Jersey pastor who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting several children wants to withdraw his plea.

Robin Lord, the attorney for 75-year-old Harry Thomas, called the guilty plea a "death sentence" for the Medford man. Thomas faces a 20-year prison term without parole under the agreement his previous lawyer reached with Burlington County prosecutors.

Thomas founded the Come Alive Church and was a promoter of Christian music concerts. He resigned from the church after his arrest last December and then pleaded guilty in February to sexually assaulting four juveniles and having "inappropriate interaction" with another child.

Thomas was due to be sentenced last Friday, but officials say that was postponed due to his bid to withdraw his plea. The matter will now be considered this Friday.

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