Jack Schaap in court today in an orange Porter County Jail jumpsuit and leg irons

Hammond pastor pleads guilty in federal sex case

Schaap told Lozano he had someone else — who was not named during the proceedings — drive the victim to locations in both Crete, IL., and western Michigan for the encounters. He told Lozano what he did “was a sin. It was wrong.” But he also claimed he did not realize it was illegal at the time he was carrying out the acts.

11837 reads

There are 47 Comments

WilliamD's picture

"Throughout the proceedings, he periodically winked and gave a thumbs-up to family members and others gathered in the visitors gallery."

That would really weird me out if I was sitting in the visitors gallery. What a sick man. All the way to the big house, he wants to put on the deluded appearance that he still has everything under control. 

"(wink wink, nod nod) don't worry my KoolAid drinking fans, I still have it under control... this won't take long, we'll be outta here in no time, (thumbs up) I gotta deal worked out..."  

That's the message I would get if I saw him in court doing that. 

Jim's picture

Additional local reporting with mug shot

http://posttrib.suntimes.com/news/lake/15398300-418/pastor-charged-with-...

Jack Alan Schaap, the former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, said Wednesday that he didn’t know he was committing a crime when he transported a minor girl across state lines for sexual activity.

“I was not aware of the law,” he said during his change of plea hearing at the U.S. District Court in Hammond.

jimfrank's picture

Does "I didn't know the speed limit was 35" stop a policeman from writing a ticket for speeding?  NO!  A typical police officer will answer, "Ignorance of the law is not an excuse, sir or ma'am."  Perhaps "someone else drove" is his attempt to use the "It Wasn't Me!" defense.  Now that Schaap has made his plea and attempted to blame his driver, it is entirely fair to say, "Jack, you are one sick lizard."  Schaap will spend the next few years in Federal custody. The question remains, "What sort of a church would allow such a man to lead them?" 

Perhaps the case of Chattanooga's Highland Park Baptist Church and the associated Tennessee Temple University is instructive.  A recent article posted on this site probably points the direction where First Baptist of Hammond is going.  A 5,700 seat auditorium now seats about 300.  The church has renamed itself, separated itself from its heritage, and is planning to relocate.  The associated school has declined in enrollment to the point where the school administration cannot maintain its facilities.  Of course, Lee Roberson caused no scandal, nor was there any impropriety or scandal caused by the succeeding pastors or college administrations. 

It is entirely likely that First Baptist of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson College will suffer a similar fate as has Highland Park and Tennessee Temple, only more quickly. 

Jim's picture

My questions:

 

  1. Who "[drove] the victim to locations in both Crete, IL., and western Michigan for the encounters"
  2. Did that one know the purpose of these drives?
  3. Was / is that person on staff at HAC or FBC?
  4. Will that person be prosecuted?
Michelle Shuman's picture

I'm thinking that there is someone else that should be prosecuted.  It will be interesting to see if and when Jim's questions are ever answered. 

Michelle Shuman

Ron Bean's picture

The idea that a man who was in the position of pastor/counselor/school administrator was not aware of the law approaches ridiculousness. Twenty years ago I read a book that exposed the corruption that permeated FBCH, HAC and its leadership and decided to distance myself from that bunch. For twenty years I continued to hear stories of what was going on there and wondered why some prominent people in fundamental circles either continued to fellowship with them or meekly chastised them for their "weaknesses". This current scandal is one incident from a scandulous history.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

rogercarlson's picture

Ron,

To add to what you said.  How could he not, especially in light of the Bob Gray fiasco (which was in his own circle).  But even so, ignorance is no excuse.  Very sad all the way around.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

GregH's picture

Ron Bean wrote:

The idea that a man who was in the position of pastor/counselor/school administrator was not aware of the law approaches ridiculousness. Twenty years ago I read a book that exposed the corruption that permeated FBCH, HAC and its leadership and decided to distance myself from that bunch. For twenty years I continued to hear stories of what was going on there and wondered why some prominent people in fundamental circles either continued to fellowship with them or meekly chastised them for their "weaknesses". This current scandal is one incident from a scandulous history.

My guess is he was was referring to the fact that he was not aware that transporting a minor across state lines changed the required age of consent to the federal age of consent rather than the age of consent in those states.  That is what got him prosecuted.

Jim's picture

(Saw this on FB)

Judge: “Did you know it was against the law?”

Schaap:  “No” then pause to talk to attorney, then, “I didn’t know the codes. I knew it was wrong as pastor. It was sin.”

 

(From the Do Right Hyles Anderson FB group ... the woman is a professional (nurse) who was in court and reported to that site)

Rob Fall's picture

There is a difference between knowing something is wrong and sinful and knowing it's against Federal Law (the Mann Act?).

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

rogercarlson's picture

Yes Rob.  But My point about the Gray incident, is that the legal issues and moral issues were discussed at great lenghts.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Rob Fall's picture

Pardon me Roger, but living out here in San Francisco (aka Pluto), I didn't hear all the details of the Grey Affair.  Was the Mann Act involved?

rogercarlson wrote:

Yes Rob.  But My point about the Gray incident, is that the legal issues and moral issues were discussed at great lengths.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

rogercarlson's picture

Not directly.  But, the age of consent laws were batted around quite a bit ( much like they were with the Chuck Phelps mess).  But they Grey issue was in his orb.  It may have been before you were on SI, but we discussed it here in great length.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Rob Fall's picture

Roger, I wasn't speaking to the age of consent issues.  Though the Feds did get involved because the Federal age is lower.  What made it a Federal crime was the transportation across state lines.  As I understand the case, she was above the age of consent in the Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois.  What he was pleading ignorance to was the Mann Act and its lower age.  So, he learned the "lessons" from the Grey case (make sure your victim is above the age of consent), just not the Federal one.

rogercarlson wrote:

Not directly.  But, the age of consent laws were batted around quite a bit ( much like they were with the Chuck Phelps mess).  But they Grey issue was in his orb.  It may have been before you were on SI, but we discussed it here in great length.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

rogercarlson's picture

I see now.  A couple of things.  The Illinois law is 18 (that is my state).  He pastored close to Illinois.  A lesson to be learned (besides fleeing and fighting sin) is to know the laws in surrounding states.  It helps us in reporting issues.  Reporting is hard and ugly, but we have to do it.

Roger Carlson, Pastor
Berean Baptist Church

Rob Fall's picture

From the mug shot in the OP, he's not going to have any problems with hair checks for awhile.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Jonathan Charles's picture

1.  Is this the result of genuine repentance?

Or

2.  Did his lawyers calculate that he risked worse consequences if he went to trial?

Knowing that you were going away immediately, I would think one would want a trial, even if it only meant prolonging the inevitable. 

 

Rob Fall's picture

Please see the link to the WSJ article up the thread.

In the Federal system, a plea bargain can take the uncertainty out of the sentencing.  In this case, he plead guilty to a single charge in exchange for a ten year (the mandatory minimum under the Federal guidelines).  If he had gone to trial, the Federal attorney was prepared to bring multiple counts bringing with them a possible life sentence.  Also, the various states dropped their investigations, keeping him from bouncing from the Federal system to multiple state systems.

Jonathan Charles wrote:

1.  Is this the result of genuine repentance?

Or

2.  Did his lawyers calculate that he risked worse consequences if he went to trial?

Knowing that you were going away immediately, I would think one would want a trial, even if it only meant prolonging the inevitable. 

 

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Jim's picture

Jonathan Charles wrote:

1.  Is this the result of genuine repentance?

Or

2.  Did his lawyers calculate that he risked worse consequences if he went to trial?

Knowing that you were going away immediately, I would think one would want a trial, even if it only meant prolonging the inevitable. 

 

 

The WSJ article was in another thread ... here's the link again.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000087239639044358930457763761009720680...

 

Note the graphic called "Tough Odds"

The Feds had the goods on him. Better to cop a plea than expend limited financial resources going to trial where he would have gotten more than 10 if convicted.

 

Jim's picture

I commented on this on another thread

Here: 

http://sharperiron.org/comment/47579#comment-47579

Summary: 

I'm skeptical that there is any correlation between the plea bargain and repentance. He and his lawyers looked at the case the government had against him and made the best of a bad situation. 10 years (if that is how it turns out) is better than 15. Cutting bait is better than protracted legal proceedings that would consume Schaap family financial resources. Bargaining with one legal entity (the Feds) is better than dealing with 4 (Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and the Federal government

Jay's picture

Jonathan Charles wrote:

1.  Is this the result of genuine repentance?

Or

2.  Did his lawyers calculate that he risked worse consequences if he went to trial?

Knowing that you were going away immediately, I would think one would want a trial, even if it only meant prolonging the inevitable. 

We got into that on another thread, but it certainly sounds like he avoided other charges by taking this plea agreement.

As for 'genuine repentance' - if he's winking, shooting the thumbs up at people from the church and family, and the like, it doesn't sound to me like the actions of someone who is truly repentant.  Saying that "I know it's a sin, but I didn't know it was a crime" doesn't sound like conviction or godly repentance to me.

Jim - I haven't dealt with the Fed side of the criminal justice system, but my understanding is that the Feds don't necessarily have to keep him in state, although that could be either a mitigating (family and friends in state) / extenuating (victim is a minor, Schaap has already traveled out of state) circumstance when it comes to the judge's decision on where to send him.  

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jay's picture

My understanding is that whoever drove the girl to the adulterous liaisons COULD be legally liable as an accessory if they knew what they were doing and what was going on.  If they didn't suspect or were unaware, then that makes it different.

Of course, I would also argue that someone should have had enough sense to ask why this was necessary.  But that's a different matter from how the law works.

On a final note - this is why you call the cops or lawyers when this kind of stuff is suspected or occurring.  I know a little bit about how the system works and am just trying to help answer questions, but I am not licensed to practice law or discuss courtroom proceedings with a high level of  certainty.

 

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Rob Fall's picture

The Federal prosecutors observed the actions in your first paragraph.  So, while the Shaaps may be thinking Pekin, Illinois, I get a funny feeling he's going to end up somewhere there's no snow or frost line.  Maybe Florida or Arizona.

Jay wrote:

SNIP

As for 'genuine repentance' - if he's winking, shooting the thumbs up at people from the church and family, and the like, it doesn't sound to me like the actions of someone who is truly repentant.  Saying that "I know it's a sin, but I didn't know it was a crime" doesn't sound like conviction or godly repentance to me.

Jim - I haven't dealt with the Fed side of the criminal justice system, but my understanding is that the Feds don't necessarily have to keep him in state, although that could be either a mitigating (family and friends in state) / extenuating (victim is a minor, Schaap has already traveled out of state) circumstance when it comes to the judge's decision on where to send him.  

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Jay's picture

Rob Fall wrote:
The Federal prosecutors observed the actions in your first paragraph.  So, while the Shaaps may be thinking Pekin, Illinois, I get a funny feeling he's going to end up somewhere there's no snow or frost line.  Maybe Florida or Arizona.

The thing that Schaap and others have to learn is that they now have absolutely NO control over anything anymore.  Schaap will find that out for sure when he gets put behind bars, and if he tries to manipulate the system to regain control, he'll be a noncompliant prisoner and that will get noticed for sure.  Prison officers and employees have a LOT of experience with people trying to manipulate them...comes with the job description.

With a sex crime on his record, I very highly doubt he'll be going to any kind of minimum or rehab facility.  It will be medium security or higher; there's a listing of the types of prison classifications and security measures at this site.

I've got a feeling he's heading far, far away too.  I can't explain it, but if I was the judge, I'd be sending him to Alaska, New York, California or somewhere like that...as far as he can go from Indiana.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Rob Fall's picture

Looked up the link in post 29.

My vote is for FCI (Medium) Victorville, CA (I or II).

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Pages