Judge tells Washington youth pastor who terrorized and raped a teen for years that he “cannot hide behind the concept of sin.”
After cutting a deal with prosecutors and pleading guilty to four counts of third-degree child rape a frustrated judge sentenced Christopher Trent to only 5 years in prison, the maximum allowed under the terms of the plea deal.
At a sentencing hearing Wednesday Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis told the former youth pastor and church leader that she wished she could impose a longer prison term, but was bound by terms of the plea deal.
However, Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis did take the opportunity to blast the child rapist for hiding behind his religious beliefs, declaring:
You cannot hide behind the concept of sin, as you have represented to the court. These were poor choices. They were your choices, over years. You had every opportunity, every day, to stop what you were doing to this child, and you chose to continue.
The judge told the former youth pastor his behavior had been “insidious and terrifying,” noting:
It is not in the court’s authority or ability to hand out forgiveness. But I listened to what happened to (the girl), and I read about her experiences, and your response to that. And it is unforgivable.
Before sentencing, the victim read an “excruciating, tearful letter” to Judge Montoya-Lewis. Standing only a few feet from her rapist, the girl described how her youth pastor “had stolen her dignity and her teenage years,” explaining:
I lived my life in fear of the next thing he would do to me, what the next day would bring, and if it would bring more mental and physical pain than the day before. Your honor, I never knew someone could harm another individual as much as Chris did, when he put his hands on me for the first time.
According to reports, the girl was only 13 when the Washington youth pastor started to sexually abuse and rape her.
Raw Story reports:
The girl estimated that Trent had sexually abused her over 100 times, and she told police the youth pastor described her as his “sex slave” and forced her to endure painful sex acts that let her bleeding for days.
Prior to sentencing, the child rapist cried while quoting Bible verses and confessing –“before God and man” – that he was guilty.
Bottom line: This story, the story of a youth pastor raping children, is all too common. While Christians worry about where transgender individuals will urinate, their children are being raped at church.
As Dan Savage once observed:
If kids got raped at Denny’s as often as they get raped at church every Denny’s in the U.S. would be burned to the ground.
And so it goes.