Former Pastor Gerald Klever Sentenced in Sex Abuse Case

Former pastor Gerald Klever was sentenced on Tuesday, July 29, 2008, to 10 years’ probation, one year of house arrest, 1,000 hours of community service, and restitution of $25,000 in his sex abuse case. In May he pled no contest to rape and guilty to sexual assault involving two women who were children when he assaulted them in 1980 while he was pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Delaware. Klever is now 76 and in failing health.

The sad thing is that Klever’s behavior was reported by victims to church authorities within a few years of his actions but the reports were ignored. It wasn’t until two years ago – 26 years later – that a new pastor dared to send out letters asking for any potential victims or witnesses to come forward. God’s people perpetrated this injustice.

Upon investigation of dozens of complaints, only 4 women agreed to speak with police. Klever was originally charged with 15 counts and pled to two counts.

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4 Responses

  1. Thanks for your article. I am the primary victim in this case (against Gerald Klever). I was the first to come forth. My abuse began in 1976 and I reported it at that time. I finally got the interim pastor of the church 30 years later to listen to me and that’s when he sent letters to the congregation requesting anyone else who was victimized to come forth. Actually, more than 4 victims spoke with the police as a result of the investigation, but only 2 of us were within the Statute. Normally, the Statute would have stopped running after so much time, but since the defendant left the Commonwealth of Penna. in 1983, the Statute stopped running then. Lucky for myself and one other victim, we got our day in court and justice has finally been served. It’s been a long 30 years coming, but Mr. Klever is now paying for his transgressions. Thanks for posting this story.

  2. I’m so glad you stuck it out and kept trying! We need more victims to keep daring and keep trying. Unfortunately, so many are intimidated into silence — and I completely understand why — but it leaves predators out there to prey on more innocent lives.

    Bless you!!!!!

    — Danni

  3. Would you be kind enough to email me. I’m very interested in your work. I, too, have been a stay-at-home mom for 16 yrs. I’m thinking about returning to school and also would love to write a book. Your inspiration and guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

  4. I reported abuse at my own Presbyterian church (largest in the state). After a grueling year of fear and frustration because no one at the church would come alongside us as we were waiting to face the minister and his lawyer at a district church trail, the perpertrator renounced jurisdiction which ended judicial proceedings. Thankfully this ended his career as as PCUSA minister. What angered me (and others) most is that governing leadership would not reach out in care or compassion and this after going to many many people in leadership. What complicated and even angered us more was that the senior pastor was already aware of his own pastor’s behavior from a few years back, but covered it up. He refused to explain or apologize to the church, but resigned from his postion a year later. It is bittersweet because there was never a public acknowledgement of the wrong done by him. The denial and minimization that we heard from those we looked up to and trusted for help is sad and continues to be a point of heartache. I’m glad justice was served in some degree in your situation. I’m afraid there are many other victims throughout the church who are still silently bleeding by the roadside while the Levites walk by on the other side of the road.

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