Baptist Hypocrite Used Jesus to Sleep With Teen Girl

You may recall that Jack Schaap, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, was arrested last year for having sex with a 17-year old girl in his congregation. Prosecutors released a bunch of letters last week that he wrote to the girl, using religion to get the girl to sleep with him:

“In our ‘fantasy talk,’ you have affectionately spoken of being ‘my wife,’ ” Schaap wrote in one letter. “That is exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us + become eternal lovers!”

Federal prosecutors included the letters in the government’s sentencing memorandum for Schaap, which was filed Wednesday evening in U.S. District Court in Hammond.

Schaap has pleaded guilty to causing the girl to be transported to Illinois and Michigan last year for a sexual relationship. Schaap resigned from the megachurch, one of the largest in the country, last summer after church members discovered his relationship with the girl and reported it to local law enforcement.

In his letters to the girl, Schaap often discusses how he helped save her from self-destruction, helping to put her on a “better path of living — that’s what we call Righteousness.”…

In another letter written to Schaap, she says she was shocked when he first kissed her. When she asked if it was wrong, Schaap told her it was OK.

“You told me that I was sent to you from God, I was his gift to you,” the letter says.

Lock him up for a very, very long time.

21 comments on this post.
  1. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden:

    You know what I love about this mega-church?

    They turned him in.

  2. John Pieret:

    Talk about a shepherd’s staff!

    I also commend the church members who turned him in.

  3. jba55:

    @1 For real, although it’s a sad state of affairs that this is something to praise instead of the norm.

    I also think it’s sad that after my initial disgust at the man’s actions a small part of me thought “well at least 17 is better than 10.” Not good or right by any stretch, but still.

  4. dingojack:

    John Pieret – Knowing certain fundies react, hopefully we won’t be commending those who turned him in unto the earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. :(
    Dingo
    ——–
    I hope their actions achieve positive attention, but sadly…

  5. Gretchen:

    Lock him up for a very, very long time.

    For statutory rape? 17 isn’t even illegal in much of the country.

    It’s creepy and horrible, but I’m very surprised to see you say this nonetheless. And it’s almost certainly not going to happen.

  6. Artor:

    While I’m glad that the church folk turned in Pastor McCreepypants, I’m squicked out by the fact that these same church members drove the girl to his house & left her there alone with him & unsupervised, and never thought that was a sketchy thing to do.

  7. dukeofomnium:

    @Gretchen: he violated the Mann Act when he crossed state lines. Even besides the egregious violation of his position of trust and authority, he violated Federal law. The prosecutor’s looking for 10 years.

  8. kylawyer:

    @Dingo, there’s already been angry responses and death threats made against those in the congregation that were responsible for turning him in. Not to mention scores of the sheeple he tended making all sorts of excuses for Schaaps behavior.

  9. dingojack:

    Sheesh. Predictable, sad, scary and, at the same time, pathetic.
    Dingo

  10. Who Knows?:

    How long before we find Bradlee Dean in this kind of situation?

  11. Gretchen:

    @Gretchen: he violated the Mann Act when he crossed state lines. Even besides the egregious violation of his position of trust and authority, he violated Federal law. The prosecutor’s looking for 10 years.

    It’s sad that a law intended to prevent sex trafficking is being used to get a federal conviction against someone for traveling to another state to violate consent laws.

  12. thebookofdave:

    @ John Pieret #2

    Talk about a shepherd’s staff!

    The correct term is crook.

  13. d.c.wilson:

    It’s sad that a law intended to prevent sex trafficking is being used to get a federal conviction against someone for traveling to another state to violate consent laws.

    Despite what Rep. Steve King thinks, that’s SOP for anyone who transports a minor across state lines for the purpose of having sex with them.

  14. Gretchen:

    Despite what Rep. Steve King thinks, that’s SOP for anyone who transports a minor across state lines for the purpose of having sex with them.

    I understand that; I just think it’s ridiculous when having sex with said minor would otherwise be perfectly legal depending on which state you’re talking about. And even if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be equivalent to forcing someone into sex slavery.

  15. Francisco Bacopa:

    17 is AOC in Texas, which seems reasonable, though I would still point out in this case that there are consent problems because the pastor was in a position of authority. Full age of consent should be 18. At 17 xkcd’s “perv rule” should apply, making maximum partner age 25, excluding authority figures. Younger than that, a ‘Romeo and Juliet” standard should apply. Close in age and no evidence of coercion or exploiting inability to consent or not, no rape.

    Statutory rape laws seem kind of patriarchial. Sure, they came out with the right result in this case. But we need to figure out how to get these same good results without creating some bad results.

    Consent, not arbitrary lines of age, should be the guideline. And keep in mind that I totally understand how pervy older people could manipulate a teen. That’s why I put in the “no authority” provision.

  16. d.c.wilson:

    Gretchen, if they’re taking the minor across state lines to evade one state’s consent laws, then it I’d a serious crime. Otherwise, all age of consent laws would meaningless as pervs would simply take teens to the state with lowest age of consent.

  17. Stacy:

    Here’s Jack Schaap, polishing a shaft.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_&v=Tr0UpQXYkGs

    You’re welcome.

  18. chrisdevries:

    I’m not sure what the statutory rape laws in TN look like; he definitely violated federal law by transporting his victim across state lines though. Here in Canada, the age of consent was recently raised from 14 to 16, but in addition to close-in-age exceptions, adults with power and authority over children (such as teachers and pastors/priests) are forbidden from any sexual activity with any minor in their charge, no matter their age. Consent is immaterial in these kinds of situations.

    On a different but related note, I’m not sure that I agree with the principle of a fixed age of consent. Exceptions based on the older party being close to the younger party’s age eliminate some of the issues I have with such laws, but the fact remains that age is a poor proxy for maturity. 18-year-olds are allowed complete sexual autonomy, but 18 is just a number; there is no magical transformation that occurs when one turns 18 that enables one to employ impeccable judgement when one is engaged in a relationship with a sexual component. There are thousands of adults of all ages who inadvertently become parents every year precisely because they acted without thinking, and yet society doesn’t force adult couples to prove that they are capable of looking after a child before they enjoy unprotected sex.

    I think that when explicit and mutual consent is given for sex involving an adult and a minor 14-years of age or older (in the absence of a power differential present in the relationship), a prosecutor should have to prove that the minor is significantly less emotionally and intellectually mature than an average 18-year-old (to whom we grant unhindered sexual agency). Where there is a power differential in play, sex with a minor of any age should be illegal. Someone found guilty of having sexual contact with a minor while he/she has legal (in loco parentis) or implied authority over said minor (e.g. a priest) should absolutely pay a far more severe price (maybe 4-8 years in a designated facility for sex offender rehabilitation, with parole possibility after 1/2 their sentence has elapsed, plus placement on a sex offender list for 10 years to life, depending on the severity of their crime), than an adult guilty of sexual contact with a 14-17 year old who is judged to have been too immature to legally consent to sexual contact (perhaps a 2 year suspended sentence with a requirement to attend group therapy weekly for that time, and a 5-year period on the sex offender registry). The most severe penalties (long incarcerations in specialised rehab facilities) should be reserved for adults who engage in sexual activity with a child under 14 years of age. This type of assault should be what we call “statutory rape”, as it is highly unlikely that a 13-year old (any 13-year old) is emotionally or intellectually (not to mention physically, in many cases) mature enough to make the decision to be sexually active with an adult. The penalty should be even more severe if there is a power differential between a 13-year-old and the adult with whom he/she is sexually active.

    Fixed ages of consent do a disservice to teenagers: they take away power from 14-year-olds who are more informed of the risks (short-term, long-term, emotional and physical) of sex than many college graduates, and give power to 16 or 17-year-olds who are less aware of the risks of sexual activity than 6th graders. But there is no question that the law should ban teachers, employers, priests/pastors/mullahs, parents, etc. from engaging in any sexual activity with any minor under their care. Coercion (active or passive) leading to unwanted sexual activity is a problem for plenty of adults in situations where one adult can ruin the life and career of the other; it is an even bigger problem for minors.

  19. Gretchen:

    d.c.wilson said:

    Gretchen, if they’re taking the minor across state lines to evade one state’s consent laws, then it I’d a serious crime. Otherwise, all age of consent laws would meaningless as pervs would simply take teens to the state with lowest age of consent.

    So if that would really be so terrible, why is that age legal in that state?

    So far as I know, the lowest age of consent anywhere in the United States is 16. If it’s legal for a 16 year old in Kansas to have sex with a 32 year old, why should it be such a serious crime for a 16 year old from somewhere else to have sex with a 32 year old from somewhere else in Kansas? Why would it be any more terrible than going to Reno to have sex with a prostitute because you can’t do it in Dallas?

    It wouldn’t render all age of consent laws meaningless for it not to be illegal to take someone to a state with consent laws allowing for sex at a lower age– just the consent laws that require a higher age. And actually it wouldn’t render them meaningless so much as allow them to continue acting as an impediment while preventing them from being a deal-breaker. And I’m sorry, but I don’t see anything in particular about being 16 in Kansas that makes you equally capable to engage in sexual relations with an adult as a 17 year old in Illinois. There’s no good reason for the inconsistency. And I don’t consider it a “serious crime” to violate laws that exist for no good reason.

  20. slc1:

    Some states tailor the statutory rape law so that if the difference in ages between the participants is less then a certain minimum, the offense is a misdemeanor, instead of a felony. For instance, in California, if the age difference is less then 3 years, its misdemeanor statutory rape. However, if the perp is convicted, he/she still has to register as a sex offender, albeit for 10 years instead of life. This came up last year when a woman accused pop singer Justin Bieber of fathering her child. Bieber was 16 at the time of the alleged encounter and the woman was 19, but was less then 3 years older. Thus, if the encounter had, in fact occurred, she could have been charged with misdemeanor statutory rape. Turned out that DNA tests showed that the child wasn’t his, which doesn’t mean that the encounter didn’t take place. Apparently, the matter was dropped after the negative DNA tests.

  21. democommie:

    As a victim of sexual abuse (at an age far too young to even understand what it was all about, never mind consent to it) I think that ANYONE in any position of authority who uses that authority to force/coerce another into a sexual act should be severely penalized–especially when it involves minors. In other cases, I would opt for allowing a lot more leeway but make sure that all parties had adequate legal representation.

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