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.
Filed under: abuse and the church, Abusive Leaders, child abuse, child sexual abuse, In the News - Abuse & the Church, pedophiles, predators, sex abuse | Tagged: abuse and the church, abuse of power, child abuse, child sex abuse, church abuse, Clergy Abuse, clergy sex abuse, molestation, pastor abuse, pedophiles, predators, sexual abuse, spiritual abuse |