Brent Girouex, 31, has been charged with sixty counts of sexual exploiting a minor. Girouex confessed to at least some of the charges, and has been sentenced to 17 years in prison. The judge then suspended the sentence in order to allow Girouex to get sex offender treatment.
It should be noted that in the state of Vermont, such treatment often coincides with prison terms rather than instead of.
Girouex has been given five years probation, the maximum allowed by law.
At least eight young men have filed complaints against the youth pastor from Council Bluffs, Iowa. The victims allege that the pastor tricked them into having sex with him while he prayed to help them attain “sexual purity in the eyes of God.”
Girouex told police this past February that he had sex with at least four young men beginning back in 2007 in order to “help [them] with homosexual urges by praying while he had sexual contact with [them].” Since that confession, four other young men have come forward to file complaints.
Girouex was an unpaid youth volunteer for the Victory Fellowship Church from 2006 until his victims went to the church’s pastor to report the abuse. The pastor urged Girouex to turn himself in.
Erin Girouex, Brent Girouex’s wife, has filed for divorce. She joined with the Girouex’ victims in order to express their outrage that the youth pastor was given such a light sentence. She called on any others who have been victimized by Girouex to come forward.
The couple have four children, two of them foster children. Erin Girouex found out about the abuse through her parents who learned about Brent Girouex’s crimes from elders at the church. Erin Girouex stated that “It just turned my world upside-down.”
Emily Baker, the wife of one of the victims stated that “I think what victims need in any situation is a sense of justice, and we didn’t have a sense of justice (Wednesday).”
Baker added her voice to that of Erin Girouex calling for other victims to come forward. She said “We just encourage other victims that you have what it takes, you have a voice, and to come forward and to report what’s happened so it doesn’t happen again.”