LA PORTE, Ind. — A man has pleaded guilty to child molestation for alleged sexual activity with two boys, including sex acts that took place at his grandfather’s church.

Mark Comford, 24, pleaded guilty Friday in LaPorte Circuit Court to two counts of child molesting, which represent two of the nine original counts he had faced.

Comford has been in custody since July 2007, when allegations surfaced that he had engaged in sexual contact with a 12-year-old boy. A police investigation also led to allegations that Comford had inappropriately touched a 9-year-old boy.

The charges he pleaded guilty to involve both of those boys.

At the time of the alleged encounters, Comford was actively involved with Faith Baptist Church just west of LaPorte. Some of the sexual acts occurred at the church and off the grounds during church-sponsored functions, according to court records.

Comford’s grandfather, the Rev. Jack Cox, is named in a $30 million lawsuit filed by the family of one of the victims. Comford and the church are also listed as defendants in that civil suit.

The lawsuit alleges that Cox was aware of concerns about his grandson but did nothing to stop Comford’s role as a leader at the church or prevent him from having contact with the children.

If a judge accepts Comford’s plea during an Oct. 17 hearing, he could face up to a 20-year prison sentence and eight years of probation.

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