WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A former pastor from Southwest Virginia was sentenced to four life sentences after he pleaded guilty to multiple child sex crimes.

A release from the office of Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Josh Cumbow states that Terry Frank Compton was sentenced in Washington County Circuit Court. Compton was sentenced to 240 years in addition to the four life sentences. The release states that no time was suspended.

Compton had previously pleaded guilty on Nov. 29, 2022 to the following charges:

  • Sodomy of a helpless victim
  • Sodomy of a child less than 13 years old
  • 2 counts of object sexual penetration of a child less than 13 years old
  • 12 counts of aggravated sexual battery of a child less than 13 years old

Cumbow’s office reported that Compton was not offered a plea agreement.

Compton was arrested in February 2022 after a months-long investigation by the Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office (WCSO). In a release issued by the WCSO at the time, Compton was identified as the pastor at a baptist church in Damascus.

He was initially charged with 30 felony counts, all against juveniles. The WCSO reported at the time that multiple victims had come forward, and detectives had determined that Compton had been abusing children for about 26 years.

Cumbow thanked members of his office, as well as investigators with the WCSO, Washington County Victim/Witness Program and the Children’s Advocacy Center for their roles in the case.

“My office will continue to fully prosecute child predators and seek heavy sentences,” Cumbow stated in the release. “I admire the brave young women who came forward and without whose help this successful prosecution could not have happened. I hope this result helps bring them closure.”