Former Abundant Life pastor convicted of sexual battery



FORT WALTON BEACH — Larry Michael Thorne, the former pastor of Abundant Life Church in Fort Walton Beach, was convicted Thursday afternoon of sexually battering a 14-year-old girl.

The conviction was confirmed by Bill Bishop, chief assistant state attorney for Okaloosa County.

Thorne was arrested Nov. 14, 2014, after the victim reported he had sexual contact with her on numerous occasions between January 2014 and shortly before the time he was taken into custody.

Thorne, who reports said admitted to having a relationship with the victim but denied having sex with her, was originally charged with sexual battery on a minor as well as lewd and lascivious behavior with a child.

A new charge of witness tampering was added in 2016.

Bishop said the jury convicted Thorne on all counts.

His trial actually got underway in May, but a mistrial was declared and postponement was granted when Okaloosa County Circuit Court Judge William Stone was slightly injured in a car wreck during a lunch recess.

Details about Thorne’s sentencing were to be released Friday, the State Attorney’s Office said.