Woman accused of blackmailing pastor pleads guiltyA woman accused of blackmailing a North Dakota minister who paid her for nude dancing and sex has pleaded guilty to a felony coercion charge.
MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — A woman accused of blackmailing a North Dakota minister who paid her for nude dancing and sex has pleaded guilty to a felony coercion charge.
Bunny Byington of Moorhead is to be sentenced Oct. 19. Under a plea agreement, the 46-year-old Byington would serve 90 days in jail and repay $7,000 to the Rev. Mark Ostgarden of Valley City, N.D.
Court documents said Ostgarden put $7,000 in cash in envelopes under Byington’s apartment door after she demanded the money to keep quiet about their affair. He refused her demand for another $18,000.
Byington contacted his wife and church officials and sent the bishop a picture of Ostgarden wearing underwear and a T-shirt.
Ostgarden has resigned as an associate pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Valley City, has said he is working to save his marriage.