Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Black Collar Crime

So here is another edition of Black Collar Crime Blotter, borrowed from the Freedom From Religion Foundations (FFRF), where we take a look at the various preachers or others similarly entrusted with the religious care of others, get sentenced for their various offenses. These sentences are of course after accusations and a trial has taken place.

You may say they are just humans like everyone else and I would agree. None of these people should have been placed in positions of responsibility in the first place. In fact, preachers and pastors should be held to a HIGHER standard than regular citizens, and when they offend, it should be identified and punished. 

But still the Catholic Church refuses to release their files where the sexual offenses of generations of priests are held under lock and key. Multiple crimes against parishoners go unpunished because of this misplaced respect we have for religion.

Fortunately, offenders are beginning to be punished.


Michael G. Sperou, 64, Happy Valley, OR: 20 years in prison after being found guilty by jury on 3 counts of unlawful sexual penetration. Sperou, founder/pastor of North Clackamas Bible Community, was convicted of molesting the daughter of a church member in the 1990s. Six other girls also alleged he molested them but the statute of limitations had expired. They testified at his trial.
The girls and their parents lived communally with Sperou. Judy Sperou, his current wife and mother of alleged victim Amy Robinson, told the jury she doesn't believe her daughter. Four other parents have discounted their daughters' allegations and remain in church leadership roles.
"I'm very happy the girls got justice," said Carole Green, Sperou's former wife and former church member. "Many of us are praying God will bring Michael to complete repentance while he's in prison." Source: AP, 4-30-15
Godwin Moffat, Esit-Eket, Nigeria: 3 years in prison on 37 theft convictions for stealing 56 electrical transformers meant for distribution to communities. Moffat, pastor of an unidentified Christian church, was also a member of the Niger Delta Development Commission, through which he received 90 transformers. Source: Pulse Nigeria, 4-27-15
Adam Metropoulos, 53, Bangor, ME: 12 years in prison with 5½ years suspended and 3 years' probation after being found guilty of 4 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and pleading guilty to possession of sexually explicit materials and violation of privacy. Metropoulos, pastor at St. George Eastern Orthodox Church, denied molesting a 15-year-old altar boy in 2006-07. Superior Court Justice Ann Murray said at sentencing she didn't believe Metropoulos' testimony.
His guilty pleas involved possession of about 400 sexual images, including many showing children, and secretly recording a woman in the shower who was visiting him. Source: Daily News, 4-27-15
Damien K. Bonner Sr., 33, Tulsa, OK: 23 years in prison and a $20,000 fine for conviction by a jury of 2 counts of lewd molestation. Bonner, pastor at Galilee Baptist Church, was acquitted of 7 counts. He was charged with molesting 3 teen parishioners on 9 occasions.
He was found guilty of having intercourse with a 14- to 15-year-old girl from Galilee and groping another girl at Mt. Zion Church, where he was youth pastor. The girl, now 16, testified they had sex about 17 times and said Bonner once gave her a pill when she expressed worry about being pregnant. Source: Fox23/Tulsa World, 4-27-15
generic pervert
John Calnan, 76, West Cork, Ireland: 3 years in prison with 1 year suspended after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a girl during her first confession in 1989 when he was a Catholic priest and she was 7.
Sgt. Maurice Downey told the court Calnan digitally penetrated the girl while hearing her confession, according to her 2013 complaint. She alleged he also appeared to be doing something to himself at the time.
Calnan's release date for earlier sentences of sexual assault of a minor male and a minor female is July 2017. He was removed from the ministry in 1992. Source: Irish Times, 4-24-15
John K. Councilman, 45, Pascagoula, MS: 20 years in prison, 15 years' probation and $32,000 in fines after pleading guilty to 2 counts of sexual battery and 4 counts of touching of a child for lustful purposes.
Police Det. Kim Stevens testified Councilman told the girl's parents they were studying the bible. "It was a long grooming process," Stevens said. "He'd known her 12 years of her 14-year life."
Stevens testified he assaulted the girl in a storage shed while they read bible verses. He used scripture to justify having oral sex and intercourse, Stevens said. Source: Sun Herald, 4-20-15
Annamalai Annamalai, 49, aka Dr. Commander Selvam and Swamiji Sri Selvam Siddhar, Norcross, GA: 27 years and 3 months in prison for 34 convictions of tax fraud, bank fraud and bankruptcy fraud. Annamalai, leader of the (now bankrupt) Hindu Temple of Georgia, was also ordered "to not engage in any spiritual service for compensation."
Annamalai offered spiritual guidance in exchange for money but added unapproved charges to clients' credit cards. Source: Journal-Constitution, 4-13-15
Jerry D. Francis, 42, Dayton, OH: 120 days in jail, 5 years' probation and restitution for the $67,000 stolen from Great Hope Community Church in New Carlisle, where he was pastor. His wife, Tamra Francis, faces counts of theft and complicity to commit theft. She has filed for divorce.
The couple also operated Mayhem & Mystery dinner theater at the Spaghetti Warehouse in downtown Dayton. Source: Daily News, 4-9-15
Darin Evans, 43, Elmhurst, IL: 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal sexual assault. He was accused of sexual contact with a girl over a 4- to 5-year period, starting when she was 16. At the time, he was her youth pastor at West Suburban Community Church. Source: NBC Chicago, 4-10-15
Calvin D. Gideon, 54, Plymouth, WI: 3 years in prison and 3 years' probation for convictions on 10 counts of possession of child pornography. He also was ordered to pay $3,442.
Gideon at first denied having the charges, called porn "disgusting" and said he'd been fired as youth pastor at St. John the Baptist Church for drinking. Though he'd gone on church-related trips overseas and in the U.S., he denied having sexual contact with juveniles.
Authorities found computers and storage devices with photos and videos of children as young as 4 engaged in graphic sexual activity. Source: Sheboygan Press, 4-8-15
Matthew Boos, 25, St. Louis Park, MN: 90 days in jail and 3 years' probation for soliciting a child with an electronic device. Boos, youth pastor at River Valley Church in Savage, admitted to using his job to start online conversations with about 15 underage girls by setting up female personas on profiles.
The mother of a girl under age 15 found a message traced to Boos in which he asked the child if she was bi-curious and would send naked photos.
The complaint said Boos, who is married, asked for photos from girls as young as 12. Source: KSTP, 4-6-15
Roy Harriger, 72, Albion, NY: 15 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of sexual abuse of 2 of his grandchildren while he was pastor at Community Fellowship Church.
"It started with me when I was a kid and I'm his sister," Nona Blackchief said. "And I'm his son," George Harriger said. "And he messed with me and then my son." State Police Sgt. Michael Notto said 15 alleged victims have been identified. Source: TWC News, 4-6-15
Johnny Botello, 78, Wichita Falls, TX: 10 years' deferred adjudication [charge dismissed with completed probation] after pleading guilty to indecency with a child by sexual contact. The plea stemmed from a 2013 incident when Botello took an 11-year-old girl into his Assembly of God church office and put his hand under her blouse.
Another alleged female victim, now 38, testified Botello inappropriately touched her and kissed her on the mouth when she was between the ages of 11 and 13 and later had intercourse with her 3 times. She said she kept silent out of fear her family would be destroyed and because she thought it was "her fault" for dressing a certain way. Source: Times Record News, 4-3-15
Josh Swain, 34, Carbondale, IL: 6 years in prison for theft, aggravated identity theft and loan fraud. Swain, pastor of The View Church, was also ordered to repay $18,500 to the church, a $40,000 loan obtained without authority by the church and $17,775 to a credit card company for an account he opened up in the name of a church member. Source: The Southern, 3-30-15
Mike Overd, 50, Taunton, UK: Fined $300 and $1,800 in costs and compensation for using threatening or abusive words or behavior. Overd, a Christian street preacher who uses a loudspeaker, was charged with calling homosexuality an "abomination."
Overd was unrepentant after sentencing. "I'm going to go straight back now and preach." Source: The Independent, 3-28-15
Michael J. Havrilla, 46, St. Mary's County, MD: 18 months in jail suspended and 3 years' probation after pleading guilty to 2nd-degree assault for molesting a preteen girl in 2008 as a youth leader with Faith Bible Church. He was charged with touching the girl under her clothes at a residence. Source: SoMdNews, 3-27-15
Anthony McSweeney, 68, London: 3 years in prison for sexual abuse of a 15-year-old boy at Grafton Close Children's Home in 1979-81. McSweeney, a Catholic priest, was charged with his friend John Stingemore of molesting the boy. Stingemore, manager of the home, died before trial.
Judge Alistair McCreath said McSweeney "has a voyeuristic interest in children, either in seeing them unclothed, or in seeing them sexually abused by others." Source: BBC, 3-27-15

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