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During his sentencing, Schaap refered to a news story about rescuers saving people who had fallen through ice and said, at first, his intentions had been honorable.
“I thought I wanted to be this family’s savior,” Schaap said. “Sometimes people try to be heroes … in trying to be a hero, I became a fool.”
He apologized to his wife, children and parents and urged the congregation of Hammond Baptist to show compassion for the victim and her family.
“If you love me, please don’t blame this family for my wrongdoings. Blame me,” Schaap said.
Lozano noted that in the aftermath of the scandal, the girl was expelled from Hammond Baptist High School and the family from the church.
[Judge] Lozano noted that Schaap, former First Baptist Church of Hammond pastor, pleaded guilty, but considering the government's case, he almost had to. He mentioned that Schaap fired an employee who went to his wife with information about his affair with a teen girl, and also asked a tech employee of the church if the photos and texts could be erased. The employee told him they could not, then went to church deacons and the FBI with the images and texts
Schaap's family left the federal courthouse without comment, but his attorney spoke about his sentence.
"What happened in this matter was horribly unfortunate. He accepts absolute responsibility for what happened," Schaap's attorney Paul Stracci says. "It's important also, it was important to him that the congregation of his church or his former church understands that the buck stopped with him."
Eddie Wilson, spokesperson for the church released this statement:
"Today our former Pastor Jack Schaap was sentenced to prison. Many people are asking if we believe that the sentencing is fair and just. We from the beginning have turned everything over to our local authorities because we believe in the justice system. We always knew this day would come and still feel the same today as we did when we turned our former pastor in for the crimes that he committed. We believe that the justice system was and is fair. We are also glad that our church family can now move beyond this situation and can continue the healing process. We have selected a new pastor with whom we are very pleased and look forward to his leadership in the days ahead at the First Baptist Church of Hammond."
A friend of the former pastor's family also shared some insight.
"He wishes healing to all involved, the church, to the victim and her family and as well as his own family," Scott Pryor says.
Schaap's attorney says the pastor hopes his former church and congregation can begin the healing process.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster cast Schaap's fall in starkly different terms.
"It is," Koster began, pausing a few seconds, "troubling to hear the defendant refer to himself as a rescuer. That is faulty thinking on his part if that is how he rationalizes it. This wasn't a rescue, this was selfish, taking advantage of a victim that he knew to be vulnerable."
The church issued a statement, but a spokesman referred questions to an attorney, noting the church has been sued by the victim's family.
...waiting for the outrage from the same persons outraged that SGM victims would dare sue...