SALEM, Va. — A Virginia appeals court has rejected the appeal of a man convicted of using a computer to solicit a minor and taking indecent liberties.

The court this week ruled against Major Lance Hillman of Lynchburg, who is serving a six-year sentence.

Authorities say a 14-year-old girl who attended a church where Hillman was a volunteer youth pastor sought him out for counseling in 2015 because of prior sexual abuse. The two later exchanged nude images of themselves.

Hillman argued that the judge erred in finding that the evidence proved that he knew or should have known that the girl was under 15, and that he had exposed himself to her.

The appeals court rejected the idea that exposure requires a person to be in the physical presence of someone else.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.