Pastor used Bible verses to justify sexual abuse.
Earlier this week a youth pastor was sentenced to life in prison for sexually assaulting multiple teens at his Texas church.
According to reports, Dell Ivan Godkin, 48, was convicted Aug. 11 of charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child. A jury in Montgomery County, Texas, sentenced him to life in prison; he will not be eligible for parole for at least 30 years.
According to court records, one victim told jurors that the abuse began when she was 13. The victim said Godkin had told her God approved of what they were doing. The sexual abuse continued until shortly before the victim’s 17th birthday.
Prosecutor Monica Cooper confirmed that Godkin would use Bible verses about men’s and women’s roles to justify the sexual abuse, noting:
He would say lots of things about God being OK with it.
According to the prosecutor, members of the church were stunned by Godkin’s actions and described him as a good Christian. Cooper said:
People were shocked when they heard that that’s how he controlled both of his victims (by quoting Scripture). He’s the scariest kind of child predator because he’s the kind that is sitting next to you in church, and he seems like the nicest guy.
Although Godkin was given a life sentence, he will be eligible for parole in 2046 when he will turn 78.
The sad fact is, this is not an unusual occurrence. Indeed, youth pastors are notorious for sexually abusing children in their church. Just a quick Google search for news events in the last month reveals the horrifying truth:
As Dan Savage once observed:
If kids got raped at Denny’s as often as they get raped at church every Denny’s in the US would be burned to the ground.
And so it goes.