Wife Prayed Instead of Reporting Husband’s Rape of Children

Wife Prayed Instead of Reporting Husband’s Rape of Children February 21, 2019

An Idaho woman received only a year in prison for failing to report her husband’s two-decade sexual abuse of multiple children. Sarah Kester told police that she did not report her husband’s sexual abuse because her faith prohibited her from involving government agencies in her family’s life.

For nearly two decades, Lester Kester sexually assaulted four children between the ages of 1 to 13 years old. One of his victims was assaulted for more than a decade. His crimes went overlooked by his wife, Sarah, for more than seventeen years.

Everything changed for the family in the summer of 2018. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Children and Family Services became aware of a young girl that told authorities Lester Kester molested her. After finding out about the girl, the department contacted police to investigate the claims.

After the first girl came forward, three more victims admitted that Lester sexually assaulted them. One of the victims told police that they had been raped as recently as 2016.

Police arrested Lester Kester in June 2018 for the crimes spanning from 1997-2018. During an interview with police, Sarah Kester dropped a major bombshell on investigators.

She admitted that she first learned of Lester’s abuse more than 17 years ago. Instead of reporting her husband to authorities, she prayed for the demons to leave his body. Additionally, she tried her best to keep her children away from her husband.

For 14 years, Sarah kept Lester’s secret and did nothing to stop him. Then in 2015 one of his victims, a 10-year-old girl confided in Sarah that Lester raped her. Lester began raping his victims as soon as they turned 10, according to authorities.

Instead of helping the child, prosecutors said that she called the victim a “whore” and “slut.” Sarah went as far as blaming the 10-year-old girl for the abuse.

Investigators arrested Sarah for failing to report the abuse. Instead of going through a trial, she entered an Alford Plea in court. The plea meant she did not admit to any guilt but understood there was enough evidence to convict her of a crime.

At her sentencing, three of Lester’s victims shared that they told Sarah about the abuse. They said that instead of helping them Sarah told them that a demon was possessing Lester.

Sarah cried in court and said,

When she first learned of the abuse, “I should have listened and got out of my marriage right there,” Kester said . “I screwed up deep down. I didn’t mean to hurt (these) kids.”

After the victims’ statements, the judge sentenced her to only a year in prison to complete a counseling program. If she fails to finish the required program within a year, she will serve 4-10 years in prison. She received credit for 119 days of time served.

Sarah’s defense attorney blamed her inability to report the abuse on ‘some deficits.’ Her attorney requested she receives only probation because she had no criminal history.

Thankfully, the judge did not bend to that request.

Sarah and Lester Kester belonged to a church that is known for faith healing. Children in the church do not see medical doctors. Instead, the congregation prays for the child’s full healing. Apparently, this same church doesn’t believe in reporting atrocious sexual abuse.

Mothers are supposed to protect their children from harm. Rather than protecting her children, she minimized the abuse and blamed the victims. The fact that she knew about the abuse for 17 years means she could have stopped the abuse of multiple children.

Instead, she stuck to her ludicrous belief system that valued family privacy over the safety of children. Her sentence is a mere slap on the wrist. She will serve less time in prison than Lester’s victims were abused.

What these children went through will take a lifetime to recover from and is devastating. Perhaps the sentencing of Sarah and Lester will enable the children to move forward and break free from their church.

Lester Kester pled guilty in November to five lewd conduct charges. He faces up to life in prison with no possibility of parole.


*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.

She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • ShamrockGecko

    Absolutely sickening…

  • HematitePersuasion

    I’m glad to see that thoughts and prayers are as effective as ever.

  • 24CaratHooligan

    Render unto Caesar that which is fucking Caesar’s!! That means complying with the law of the land and reporting your bastard of a husband for raping children! These people sicken me.

  • Michael Bean

    For 17 years she never noticed that the invisible guy in the sky wouldn’t help them. Maybe the guy in the sky doesn’t care? Or…maybe the guy in the sky doesn’t exist!

  • Mitch_Haelan

    I’m usually all for corrective incarceration instead of punitive. Hurting somebody who did something wrong doesn’t actually fix the problem. You need to fix the person. But a single year to complete a counseling course doesn’t seem like enough time to actually fix this problem.

  • stevie68a

    She should get 17 years in prison.
    Maybe her god will help her escape.

  • ilr1950

    I hope they both die in prison.

  • towercam

    ONE YEAR was not nearly long enough. The woman should be listed as a child abuser and should not be allowed alone with a child.
    What a shitty legal system – that would allow this criminal such a short term.

  • Claire Nollet

    Or maybe the guy in the ski likes to watch, and was rubbing one out every time a kid got raped. Because if the guy in the sky is real, the one thing we do know about him for sure is that he’s a sadistic SOB.

  • Stephen Harvie

    Mo Lester Kester

  • Mike

    I hope she gets raped daily while she’s in prison.

  • Lurline O’Brien

    Even if she’s released after one year of counselling, a condition of that release should be an additional decade of counseling with a return to prison if she fails to attend weekly.

  • charles rivera

    Too bad Lester the Molester is only given life in prison, if that. Inmates, even hardened ones, don’t take too kindly to child fuckers. I hope he enjoys the sexual assault from his new roommates. He probably will.

  • Rob Kane

    She’s mentally ill but also must pay for not reporting the abuse to the authorities. Not church authorities though, they would cover it up and use the Bible as a mandate to submit to her husband’s whims.

  • InGodsImage

    Hey, Thoughts and Prayers will fix everything from children with guns mass shooting up; a school, My deepest thoughts and prayers that it does not happen again and stopping my partner from raping children, I pray to God every night to stop it while I hear it in the next room but why is my prayers note being answered?

  • InGodsImage

    Just one example of a sadistic SOB this loving heavenly father is capable of.

    Exodus 20:5
    You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

    Sooooooo. I will be punished for what my great grandparents did way before I was born. The sins of the father I shall carry.
    Some loving Father God of heaven and whatever.

    To the bible bashers. I do know what this means so no correspondence shall be entered into so just bugger off and I am not going to crawl to someone begging for forgiveness for what my great great grandparents, great grand parents. grandparents or my parents may of did to piss him off.

    And FFS this woman only got ONE year!

  • phatkhat

    Lester Kester the Molester. Sheesh. Is that Sarah or Lester in the photo? Life in Idaho must be rough. Ugh.

    In any case, wasn’t it Idaho that just refused to ban child marriage? People like this are why. Sick.

  • Sharon Diehl

    Is the photo with the article of Sarah or Lester? Can’t tell.