Thursday, September 22, 2005


Former youth pastor sentenced

Yakima, Wash. - A former youth pastor who molested a 13-year-old girl he knew from his West Valley church was spared a prison sentence Tuesday.

William J. Hogan, 30, must undergo sex-offender counseling and could be sent to prison to serve the balance of a 41-month suspended sentence if he fails to comply with other conditions of his probation, Yakima County Superior Court Judge Michael Schwab warned.

In June, Hogan, a married father of two, pleaded guilty to second-degree child molestation and third-degree child rape involving the girl he knew in 2001 and 2002 when he was youth pastor at West Valley Foursquare Church.

Based on his record, family support and the expert opinion of a psychiatrist, Hogan qualified for a suspended sentence under the Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative.

Before his sentencing, Hogan turned and apologized to the girl, who attended the hearing with her father and grandmother. Hogan's wife, his mother-in-law and his parents also were present.

The girl turned Hogan in last year after she told authorities he was grooming another girl at church. He has been in jail ever since.

"There's nothing I can do to rewind time, take back the things I've done," he told the girl and her father. "I just want you to know I'm really sorry."

Under the terms of the program, Hogan is not allowed to have a computer or use the Internet, he must refrain from using drugs or alcohol and he is not allowed to have contact with his children without permission from his wife or his probation officer.

The judge also prohibited Hogan from seeking work that involves children, especially employment in the field of social services.

"You can go to church, which generally involves supervision by other adults around," Schwab said in response to Hogan's question.

See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.

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