Friday, November 04, 2005

 

Youth pastor sentenced for sex abuse


EUGENE, Ore. -- A high school science teacher who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two former students was sentenced to five years in prison.

Dustin Beck, 32, who taught at Mohawk High School in Marcola, told Lane County Judge Doug Mitchell on Monday that he intends to spend the rest of his life proving he has a good heart.

Beck said he regretted the pain caused by his "foolishness."

Mitchell scoffed at Beck's use of the word.

"The only hope you have will be for you to understand and accept what you did was criminal -- not a mistake, not bad judgment," the judge said. "You need to take responsibility."

Beck, who also coached soccer and was a youth pastor, was sentenced to four years and four months in state prison, followed by eight months in the Lane County Jail. He will also undergo sex-offender treatment.

The abuse occurred between 2000 and 2004, according to court documents.

The father of one victim said Beck didn't just abuse the girls. Beck, he said, abused his community, his school, his teams, and his congregation.

"This was cold and calculated," he told the judge.

The victims, standing side by side, told Beck they are pleased to see him headed to prison.

One said she felt humiliated, embarrassed, ashamed and disappointed in herself at falling victim. She said it was tough to report the crimes because of Beck's popularity.

Bill Warnisher, the deputy district attorney in Lane County, said the girls were "courageous and diligent" for reporting the crimes in a small community where they would be widely recognized.


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

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