News Articles

Illinois children’s home worker sentenced on sexual assault charges

Daniel Lanning

Editor’s Note: In support of the sixth strategic action of Vision 2025 adopted by messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting, Baptist Press will continue to report every instance of sexual abuse related to Southern Baptist churches or leaders of which we are made aware.

CARMI, Ill. (BP) – A former staff member of the Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services was sentenced to 22 years in prison Nov. 3 in White County Circuit Court.

Daniel W. Lanning pled guilty to two counts of criminal sexual assault of a minor ages 13-17. He was arrested in April on four counts involving a teenager in his care at the Carmi facility. Two charges were dropped. The sentence is 11 years for each of the class 1 felony counts to run consecutively.

Lanning and his wife were house parents in a BCHFS cottage from July 2021 until the time of his arrest when his employment was terminated. His wife was not implicated in the investigation. Interim BCHFS Executive Director Doug Devore said a thorough background check was conducted at the time Lanning was hired with no incidents reported.

Lanning could have been sentenced from eight to 30 years in prison without parole. He may be released after serving a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence.

The Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services is a not-for-profit ministry founded in 1918 to serve orphaned children in Illinois. In recent decades, services have been expanded to assist children in troubled situations with the goal of restoring them to their families. BCHFS also operates a home for women with crisis pregnancies, a pregnancy resource center and outpatient counseling centers in 14 locations across Illinois.

BCHFS is one of three entities operating under the umbrella of the Illinois Baptist State Association. The Association itself (IBSA) serves almost 1,000 Illinois churches in missions, evangelism, church planting, and leadership development. The Baptist Foundation of Illinois (BFI) leads financial development for Illinois Baptist interests and church members. All three entities operate with their own separate constitutions and boards of directors.

With reporting from Judici and WROY/WRUL.

If you are/have been a victim of sexual abuse or suspect sexual abuse by a pastor, staff member or member of a Southern Baptist church or entity, please reach out for help at 202-864-5578 or [email protected]. All calls are confidential.

    About the Author

  • Illinois Baptist staff