(Photo: Facebook/Bible Center Church)
A former church custodian from Charleston, W.Va. blamed his wife for neglecting him after he was sentenced to 15- to 35-years in prison for sexually assaulting a 7-year-old girl he claims tempted him by "prancing around in short shorts."
The Charleston Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that the former custodian, Charles Brainard Hogan, 58, who worked at Bible Center Church for 16 years, made a lengthy statement to Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib during which he reminded onlookers in the packed courtroom that they were all sinners.
"Romans 3:23 says 'for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,'" said Hogan. "So nobody in this court can say they have not committed any kind of sin, because if they do they are a liar."
Hogan also apologized for sexually assaulting the young girl, a family member left in his care, but explained that his wife had been neglecting him for a long time.
"I'm very ashamed of what I've done, I'm not proud of it," said Hogan. "I did this because my wife was not there for me. I had no relationship with her for three years and she was not in my bed for two years. She has completely forsaken me."
Hogan then continued quoting scripture claiming that he would be forgiven of his sins until the judge was forced to interrupt.
"I'm just trying to say I'm sorry, and I'm not taking this lightly," Hogan added.
Jim McQuerry, a pastor at Bible Center Church who testified to Hogan's character, said he was shocked when the custodian was charged last year because he was faithful and dependable on the job.
"It was unbelievable," said McQuerry. "I'd had many conversations with him. He was in line with what our church believes."
Assistant Prosecutor Erica Lord, however, would not be swayed by his comments.
"Do you want this court to think that the members of Bible Center Church condone this?" she asked the pastor. "No. Absolutely not," replied McQuerry. "And our hearts go out to the family."
Lord then requested the maximum penalty for Hogan ripping into him as among the "worst" kinds of criminals.
"Mr. Hogan is one of the worst types of criminals we ever see," said Lord. "He took a child's innocence away. He took the time he should have cherished, to do things he should do with her, whatever she wanted to do at 7-years-old. But what he did with that time was abuse her, manipulate her and change her life forever," Lord added. "Do you think any amount of therapy she is going through will ever erase what he did to her?"
"He is a monster. He wants to come in here and give us a theology lesson. He comes in here and says, 'Poor me.' I am sickened by him," she said. "On behalf of everyone in this court system, I apologize to her."