Jack Schaap Asks For Vacated Sentence: Lawyers Didn’t Smear Victim

Jack Schaap Asks For Vacated Sentence: Lawyers Didn’t Smear Victim March 22, 2014
Jack Schaap feigning masturbation from the pulpit

by Bruce Gerencser cross posted from his blog The Way Forward

(Editor’s note: This week at NLQ we’ve had a plethora of new commenters showing up defending Jack Schaap, calling the victim all sorts of naughty names before being auto-banned. The nicer ones were allowed to post comments and to a man they all are repeating the same thing verbatim about how the victim should be punished too. Outrageous and it looks like this plan of attack was organized by the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church, not just Schaap’s followers. This is what hard-core spiritual abuse sanctioned by a church looks like. That a church could be involved in tearing apart a young girl is beyond disgusting.)

Convicted felon Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, has asked the U.S. District Court to vacate his 12 year prison sentence. Reason? His lawyers failed to argue that his sentence should be mitigated because the girl he victimized was “aggressive” and had prior sexual experience. In other words, it was her fault that Schaap was a pathetic, weak man who took sexual advantage of a 16-year-old girl that he had a professional pastoral relationship with.

Schaap is an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor who received his ministerial training at Hyles-Anderson College. He is married to the daughter of the late Jack Hyles, a man who had his own problems with sexual impropriety. He is also the brother-in-law of David Hyles, a man widely considered to be a serial adulterer. Lest people forget exactly what Schaap wrote to the girl he emotionally/mentally manipulated and took sexual advantage of:

From a birthday card

I can’t get you out of my mind. I keep thinking about how much I enjoy talking with you, how great you look when you smile, and how much I like your laugh. I daydream about you off an on all day, replaying pieces of our conversation . . .laughing again about funny things you said or did. I’ve memorized your face and the way you look at me . . . it melts my heart every time I think about it. And I catch myself smiling when I imagine what will happen the next time we’re together. You must be something really special, because I can’t remember the last time I felt so strongly about someone. Even though neither of us knows what the future holds, I know one thing for sure – you’re one of the very best things that’s happened to me in a long time.

From a handwritten letter

Hi [Jane Doe],

Because my time with you is so limited, I find great comfort in writing to you. Certainly it is no substitute for being with you – nothing is – in fact, being with you is unlike anything I have ever experienced.

You have a gift of making me feel more alive and more happy than I have ever felt! THANK YOU! I’ve been doing much thinking about you – our brief journey together has been like a spiritual allegory (a story that illustrates a truth :) . . .

Your life began to deteriorate w/ actions + activities that were self-destructive + that would have brought great tragedy eventually. Then, as your Pastor, I began to counsel you [unintelligible] you to God, the truth, and to a better path of living – that’s what we call Righteousness. Almost immediately, I felt such a profound tug in my heart for you – an intense desire to pull you away from destructive habits + to pull you into pure love + acceptance. I felt the only hope I had to truly make that difference was to pull you 1st to myself – if I could get you to trust me + open your heart to me. I could not have anticipated or hoped for what happened.

You opened your heart wide to me – you made me more than a Pastor/Rescuer – you made me your friend your confidant, your beloved. You gave me your trust, your heart, your love, + your affection. [Unintelligible] must feel when a sinner makes Him more than a Savior – he/she makes Him a beloved lover + friend. I have never felt so truly loved in my life. It is a feeling that is incomprehensible! (off the charts)In our “fantasy talk,” you have affectionately spoken of being “my wife.” That is exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us + become eternal lovers!

I tried to craftily catch your heart so that I could lead you into a better life. You have caught my heart + I have never felt so loved by anyone! Thank you[Jane Doe]. Thank you for the privilege of helping a struggling teenager. Thank you for opening your heart. Thank you for your trust. Thank you for your love. My hope and prayer is that someday you will comprehend what an impact you have made on your Pastor and friend.

[Jane Doe] you have such a wonderful life ahead of you. I must be careful not to spoil that with any of my selfish fantasy desires. It would be grossly unkind to you for me to hold you captive in any fashion. When we get scared, Jesus sends His spirit to live within us. But He does not personally live with us. He waits until we have fully matured before he takes us to Heaven to live with Him. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are exceedingly so – sorta like [name redacted] (sp?) or a young child dying too young.

I must follow the example of Christ. I have espoused you to Him as a chaste virgin. You are pure + lovely + perfect in His eyes. Now you must mature in His grace until the time he brings you to Himself. Until then, I am here to guide you + help you. [Unintelligible] your heart.

I could only wish you would carry my love for you with you + in you forever. For me to wish for more would only be hurtful to the beautiful life He has planned for you. I will die 10,000 deaths knowing I cannot have you in my life as I would desire. But I would far rather die those deaths than to hurt you in any way by injuring your future.I would gladly do anything for you + I must lay down my life – my desires – for you

I will ALWAYS be here for you [Jane Doe]!! Always And I will carry you in my very soul as a part of me forever. I ‘ve never met anyone like you. Please keep on becoming what you are becoming now. I’ve tried to point you in the right direction. PLEEEAASSE don’t ever go back to what you were when we found each other. That would put my soul in Hell!

I promised you I would do anything to help you – and I have shown you what I mean by that. I still promise you I would do anything TO HELP YOU but I be me let + can you when see to by stop time- time from Text you! hurt would that anything do>part of your life + decision-making. But live your life – the life God has for you. Be 17 + enjoy this great stage of life. I’ll always be watching + always be pulling for you. I will always love you –

FOREVER! Your BFF, Pastor.

From another handwritten letter

Hey Baby, Hope you slept well.

I’m sitting at my table reading the Words that help me through powerful emotions that are surging through me. I miss my Bible Reading partner. It was fun to have our Bible Study yesterday morning. I Have my good music on – “I will trust in You” + the “Power of the Cross.” Good music drives me to the Scriptures to find the strength to go forward when my emotions want me to “freeze” time + go back to yesterday.

No matter how glorious the past, the future is the only direction we can go without dying inside. The past 3 days w/ you were beyond my imagination :! But what I hope you take from this wk. is more than the “magic” we enjoyed but also some better understanding of how incredibly important + special + awesome you are to Jesus! I wanted you to feel + know how much He loves you! I wanted to let some of the hurt + headache – the bad hurt – out of your heart.

This week, [Jane Doe], I tried to climb into your heart and write the graffiti of the Gospel on the walls. I wanted to spray paint in Neon colors that you are Priceless + Precious + are “off the charts” important – yes – to me personally -but especially to OUR Savior Jesus Christ. I’m reading my Bible now to draw a little closer to God – even if it’s a millimeter closer – because if we both get a little closer to Him, we also get closer + stronger + deeper w/ each other.

Every relationship not built around that truth eventually must die – that’s what happened w/ you + J. And that’s why afterwards you pursued “dead” things + “dead”relationships. My passion this week was to show you a living relationship + how to keep it alive! [Jane Doe], however, whenever God takes our love, we never have to[unintelligible] to each other. Keep pursuing Good and we keep living because He is Life!!

I have a special gift for you that I want to give you Sunday if you would stop by my office when you arrive. Also, I really want you to download the App Olive Tree Bible Reader when you get it, I’ll teach you how to use it.These days w/ you are tattooed on my heart + in my mind – Forever!

But these days, also gave me great insight to the profound needs of my teens + young adults. You’ve helped me. Finally, I want to thank YOU for giving me something I was not planning to receive. Through you, I have felt very loved by God. I gave Him my heart when I was 5, I gave Him my life when I was 17. And yes I love Him + know Him +understand much about Him, but, sometimes I just need to “feel” His love in away that only He can provide . . . and this week, through you, I have “felt” His love.

I absolutely cannot thank you enough!! It is obvious to me that God must trust you very much. He gave you the work of caring or ministering to His servant- just as the angel ministered to Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemine. Of course,you have been given enormous responsibility. The Scriptures do not tell us what the Angel said, how he arrived or how he left + apparently no one knows to this day – 2000 years later – what happened. That’s a very wise Angel! And so are you, Baby! 1432444!!!!!

From the Sentencing Memorandum of Jack Schaap.

[Editorial Note: This article is written from the premise that the Bible is not the authoritative last word for faith and practice. If you are not one of those readers, please be understanding of the intended audience and refrain from commenting on whether the Bible should be taken as such. Please show some respect for the writer and others of their faith or own belief/nonbelief by discussing the topic, rather than questioning whether the topic is one that even should be discussed or attacking the author. We try to be supportive of everyone coming out of abusive theology and Religious Trauma Syndrome. For more info on the site please visit – Is NLQ an Atheist Website?]

Comments open below

Read everything by Bruce Gerencser!

Spiritual Abuse Survivor Blogs Network member, Bruce Gerencser blogs at The Way Forward.

Bruce Gerencser spent 25 years pastoring Independent Fundamental Baptist, Southern Baptist, and Christian Union churches in Ohio, Michigan, and Texas. Bruce attended Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac, Michigan. He is a writer and operates The Way Forward blog. Bruce lives in NW Ohio with his wife of 35 years. They have 6 children, and nine grandchildren.

NLQ Recommended Reading …

Breaking Their Will: Shedding Light on Religious Child Maltreatment‘ by Janet Heimlich

Quivering Daughters‘ by Hillary McFarland

Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement‘ by Kathryn Joyce


"I just finished watching Season 1 of Picard and the last season of TNG. I ..."

Jill Rodrigues Breaking Ohio’s Mandatory Stay ..."
"She's "bringing people to Jesus" by handing out pamphlets to people who are very likely ..."

Jill Rodrigues Breaking Ohio’s Mandatory Stay ..."
"If I'm not mistaken,they don't even believe in medical treatment. Hoping this will be the ..."

Jill Rodrigues Breaking Ohio’s Mandatory Stay ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Trollface McGee

    Most if not all jurisdictions do not allow a victim’s prior sexual experience to be put at issue unless it is directly related to the defendant’s guilt or innocence (ex. x claims y raped her, x had sex with z an hour before the alleged assault, in that case x’s relations with z may be introduced and only in that limited context, the fact that she had sex with z a week before and with q, r, s the year before would be inadmissible because it’s not relevant and prejudicial). Furthermore, most jurisdictions would not vacate a sentence because a defence attorney did not argue every possible defence (which is pretty much impossible and often a very poor tactical decision) as long as they provided a sufficient defence.
    He has a right to appeal but I think the grounds he’s appealing from are insufficient to vacate a verdict and the other half are statutorily barred from being introduced, so I would be shocked if it went anywhere.

  • IMHO, He went just about as low as it’s possible to go. He took a troubled kid who was sent to him for guidance and counciling and took advantage of her. He broke her trust, her family’s and her church’s. Not only that but he manipulated her into thinking it was somehow her fault it happened and saying so publicly. He not only deserves every second of his prison sentence, I hope he does something stupid while he’s in there and gets a couple more years tacked on.

  • Nea

    I think he only thinks it counts because “purity.” Which is not a concept in secular law.

  • Nea

    He had sex with a minor he was in a counseling relationship with. That’s two kinds of illegal right there, and what his lawyer argue, her personality, and the previous state of her hymen have no bearing or mitigation on the twin facts that he has few with a minor he was in a counseling relationship with.

    What do these people think she should be punished for? Talking, obviously, but what is the pretext… “adultery”? STILL no bearing on his crimes.

  • Those letters are not only creepy and disturbing, but they make it clear that he targeted her for his attentions precisely because of her sexual past. Oh, he tried to gussy it up by claiming,”I tried to craftily catch your heart so that I could lead you into a better life”, but honestly, what judge is going to be fooled by that “better life” excuse? No, he was counting on exactly the reaction that he got from his supporters, that they would believe that she was at fault and that he innocently fell into her trap, even though he flat out admitted in writing that he was the one who set out to catch her heart. Apparently mere evidence is no match for purity culture.

  • Allison the Great

    I want to offer my sincerest FUCK YOU to the people coming here defending a man who preyed on a minor. It doesn’t matter what you say, the man is a pig, and he should most certainly be in jail. I am so sick and tired of assholes like the people in this church doing such horrible things while hiding behind a mask of “godliness” and “righteousness”. The girl’s not at fault. Blaming her isn’t going to make this “pastor” any less of a depraved, despicable douche bag.

  • jkarov

    A classic case of a so called religious Christian who won’t own up to his crime, man up, accept his guilt, show remorse, and pay the penalty.

    Given the hard core evidence of his grooming the victim, this was premeditated, and absolutely sickening

    This man is lucky to get only 12 years

  • His lies will not fool God.

  • Trollface McGee

    Exactly, but the case is in a secular court room, and secular law applies – whether or not he actually believes the crap he’s peddling, his lawyers should have been pretty clear that the appeal is legally futile (unless he’s going for the court of fundie public opinion and wants them to look at him like a poor victim of teh sluttz0r, which wouldn’t surprise me).

  • Nea

    I think a lot of people in jail count on the court of fundie public opinion. Example: Ken Ham Kent Hovind, felon.

  • KarenH

    “I want to offer my sincerest FUCK YOU to the people coming here defending a man who preyed on a minor. It doesn’t matter what you say, the man is a pig, and he should most certainly be in jail. I am so sick and tired of assholes like the people in this church doing such horrible things while hiding behind a mask of “godliness” and “righteousness”. The girl’s not at fault. Blaming her isn’t going to make this “pastor” any less of a depraved, despicable douche bag.”

    I quoted you because, seriously, this cannot be said often enough.

    That a church would organize such a smear campaign in order to justify the sexual molestation of a pastor of one of his flock is just obscene.

  • Trollface McGee

    Kent Hovind? I have no doubt Ken Ham is a felon but I don’t recall him being convicted, yet.

  • Nea

    You’re right. I’ve confused the two. (As they’re both belligerent young-earth creationists with identical initials, well…)

  • Em

    Sometimes emotionally troubled teens do seek attention from adult men, even in inappropriate ways. What should a man do when that happens? Shut it down! you are still the responsible adult. There was a girl of about 14 who used to spend time at my family’s house a couple of years ago. She came from a pretty neglectful family situation, her own dad wasn’t around much and she would sometimes attempt to get close to mine. Occasionally she wanted numerous hugs, or even wanted to sit on his lap. What did my dad do? He would still talk to her, and be friendly toward her, but he would firmly tell her “no” before anything even got close to inappropriate. There are no excuses.

  • Allison the Great

    Oh so Ken Ham hasn’t done anything? It wouldn’t surprise me if he had. Those “Holies” always have a nasty little secret.

  • Nea

    He’s not in jail, at least.