Former Pastor Steven Bicknell Imprisoned for Sex Abuse

Judge Steve Verby rejected a proposed sentence of 60 days in jail in the plea agreement for the case of former pastor Steven Bicknell on Tuesday, Dec. 16. Bicknell was charged with sexual abuse of a minor regarding his treatment of a 9-10-year-old girl in 2005-2006. The abuse occurred when Bicknell was pastor of Priest Lake Commmunity Church in Idaho. The girl reported the abuse to her parents earlier this year.

The charge was subsequently downgraded to felony battery as part of a plea agreement. Unfortunately, this charge carried the potential of a mere 60-day jail sentence and probation. Though Bicknell’s attorney claims his client has been “racked with guilt” for three years and Bicknell said predictably, “I hope that in time, somewhere down the line, that like the good book says that we take so faithfully, that you will find it within your heart to forgive as we have been forgiven,” neither the family nor the judge were so easily convinced.

According to the referenced article, the victim’s parents have voiced strong objection to the plea agreement. They contend Bicknell had a moral obligation to confess early on and plead guilty as originally charged. They are so right! They have exactly pinpointed the problem with these court confessions. After-he’s-caught-confessions are not worth a thing. They are just “I’m sorry I was caught” confessions, no matter what skillful words or how many tears the defendant may throw on the court.

The judge has imposed a 2- to 5-year prison sentence, though Bicknell could be released after serving six months.

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2 Responses

  1. It seems NOT just the churches, but the law of the land at times can really be a bit NUTS when it comes to this!

    6 Months? THat is just as bad as the case I read about today.

    http://eaandfaith.blogspot.com/2008/12/senseless-and-complacent-domestic.html

    His wife is dying of cancer, and he goes to steal her meds. He uses a hammer to take care of her when she refuses him – gets three months in jail. Meanwhile, her mother is her caregiver. He approaches her home, and she boots his butt out due to demands on his end. She leaves her other daugther in charge of the care of the dying daugther – he returns with a shotgun and shots the sister in the face due to NOT allowing him in! He was accused of ‘battering’ the first time because it was his wife, but his sister? WELL that’s different attempted murder due to NOT being a family member directly!

    I have to wonder when I read these cases if the whole world has lost their minds!

    • No kidding!

      One thing is absolutely certain. The law is not about justice. Even lawyers know that. It hasn’t been about justice for a long time. It is not even taught that way in law school. Law is about who can argue cases most effectively and get their client the best deal — period. It has nothing to do with justice. Justice is incidental to the process.

      We have to use that process to attempt to find justice because it is what is available to us. But victims would be very wise to choose their attorneys carefully and stay on top of what is happening. Plea bargains are in the best interest of the perpetrator not the victim. While they do help the victim avoid the agony of a trial — which is nothing less than re-victimization of the worst sort, that must be carefully weighed against the fact that perpetrator is going to get off with a slap on the wrist or less with a plea deal. With the law the way it is, even full sentences are usually slight unless the crime is particularly heinous — and our society’s conscience is remarkably callous.

      — Danni

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