Victims Upset With Predator's Sentence

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

A former youth pastor, accused of sexual abuse of young men, is sentenced as his victims and their families watch.

Brent Girouex was given the maximum sentence, then it was suspended a move that upset many of his victims and their families.

Girouex entered the courtroom facing up to 17-years in prison but walked out with the very real possibility of never having to spend a day behind bars.

Judge Steensland suspended the prison time and opted for a lifetime of supervised probation.

Judge Greg Steensland says, "Can I put together a sentence that shows that not only do we care about your personal rehabilitation but we care about the message it sends to society and society needs to feel protected from you."

Several of his victims came forward to describe how Brent Girouex manipulated them into sexual relationships under the guise of counseling them.

The prosecutor worries about the message the sentence sends.

Dan McGinn says, "People will look at this as a slap on the hand, when you give a guy street probation and he avoids prison some other victim being picked on by a teacher of a counselor may say well I'm not going to say anything because nothing is going to happen anyway."

The defense pointed out that only one of Girouex's victims was under the age of consent and all of them returned for more counseling sessions with Girouex.

The defense and sentence, according to the victim's pastor, combined to re-victimize the young men.

Rev. Lonnie Parton says, "Their interpretation of his is that justice isn't being done."

Any violation of the conditions of his probation could result with Girouex serving that 17-year sentence.

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