GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4)– A pastor who pleaded guilty to sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust has been sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.
Gerald Clark’s victims include three young women who knew him through the church they attended with their families. The abuse happened over a period of seven years and date back as far as 2005 and as recently as April 2012.
Clark originally faced 10 counts, but those were dropped in exchange for a guilty plea in December 2012 to one count that covers all three felony counts of victims under the age of 18.
At the sentencing on Friday, the judge said it was a disturbing case even troubling his own faith as he went over the details, not only because it involved sexual abuse but also spiritual abuse.
The first young woman to come forward told police that Clark was a father figure and mentor to her. She said the sexual abuse occurred approximately 30 to 50 times between 2009 and 2012 when she was 13 to 16 years old.
Clark met that alleged victim and her family at Victory Church. They then followed Clark to Jericho Ministries International that Clark ran out of his Westminster home.
“Looking back now I see how they were able to coax us into that and then separate us from our family, and manipulating our family life and telling us our parents are wrong,” said one victim who didn’t want to be identified.
“The most difficult part about the situation that we all were in was specifically because there was no way out, there was nobody for us to talk to… Our entire life was that church,” said another victim who didn’t want to be identified.
One victim testified at the sentencing hearing that when she approached the pastor’s wife about the abuse she claims she said that Clark was preparing them for marriage and that his affection was similar to a father’s.
Clark and his wife are still married.