“Rape the gay away” Pastor receives suspended sentence

Let us see how many people cover this case in the coming days:

Iowa pastor and youth counselor Brent Girouex, who claimed with a straight face that he was trying to “cure” teenage boys of their “homosexual urges” by having sex with them, has had his sentence reduced from 17 years in prison to sex offender treatment and probation.

Since Girouex confessed to having sex with four underage boys, eight additional young men have come forward saying they were sexually violated by the 31-year-old pastor. Girouex, who is not longer a pastor at the Victory Fellowship Church, believed that he could rape away the gay by “praying while he had sexual contact” with the boys, all in an effort to keep them “sexually pure” for God.

According to reports, he told police that “when they would ejaculate, they would be getting rid of the evil thoughts in their mind.”

This is not the first time I have heard of someone using this kind of warped logic. The film Mea Maxima Culpa featured a similar account. While I am not a religious person, I do find it horrible when someone uses a person’s faith to justify violence against them. Not only did Girouex violate the boys’ bodies and trust, but he violated their faith. Using a child’s faith to trick them into abuse is truly disgusting.

Yet in this case there is added level of horror because Girouex’s job was to “cure” the boys of their homosexuality. He did something far beyond that. The potential damage he did is profound. These boys may now be completely confused about their sexuality. They do have genuine sexual interest in other males. What Girouex did could ruin the boys’ understanding of what a consensual and abusive relationship looks like. It can also affect how they react to other males’ interest in them.

Then there is this:

Girouex pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in the third degree. He also entered an Alford plea on two counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist, admitting prosecutors had enough evidence to find him guilty. One charge is a felony, and the other is a misdemeanor.

A judge issued a 17-year prison sentence Wednesday, but then suspended it to allow Girouex to get sex offender treatment and probation. Girouex’s probation will last five years — the maximum allowed by law.

Girouex will also be under the supervision of the Iowa Department of Corrections for the rest of his life, as part of the state’s special sentence for sex offenders,

None of the articles I read about the case give any reason for why the judge reduced Girouex’s sentence. I cannot fathom what the judge could come up with given the circumstance. This was clear predatory behavior, and five years of probation is hardly the right the sentence.

If the case receives as much media attention as the Stacey Rambold case, perhaps this judge will reconsider the decision.

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5 thoughts on ““Rape the gay away” Pastor receives suspended sentence

  1. I wonder if the desired treatment is only available outside the prison system and that motivated the suspended sentence. I’ve heard quite a bit about that here in Minnesota.

    I also really wonder if the “supervision of the Iowa Department of Corrections for the rest of his life” will be clearly and demonstrably sufficient to assure he does not abuse again. Because he seems very likely to abuse again without years of very specialized treatment or thick steel doors between him and children. That treatment is really kind of rare I think, and the judge has ruled out the steel doors. I am afraid for what he will do without at least one of those.

    And if anyone is doing any outreach and offering therapy to his victims, because when 8 new young men come forward, it suggests there are a lot of victims. Sometimes there are numbers like 100 and more. I wish there were money for an ad campaign with a message for healing the damage this kind of abuse does. I think the awareness is such that a message could be heard now. Without addressing that, it will play out in an almost predictably ugly manner and all we have to do is care about these young men enough to create another outcome. It would be money well spent, and far cheaper than the alternative.

    Just, what organization has the courage and vision to do it? None I know of.

  2. I wonder if the desired treatment is only available outside the prison system and that motivated the suspended sentence. I’ve heard quite a bit about that here in Minnesota.

    That is possible, however, there is no chance he could rape another child while in prison. He could serve time in prison and upon release receive treatment.

    And if anyone is doing any outreach and offering therapy to his victims, because when 8 new young men come forward, it suggests there are a lot of victims.

    I agree. I suspect that the reason the other eight cases did not result in charges is because of the statute of limitations. However, there is also the possibility that some of his victims bought into his phony practice and think themselves “cured.” Others may have accepted their sexuality and may see what he did to them as okay or a learning experience.

  3. there is no chance he could rape another child while in prison.

    True, and yes, that is a proper question to focus on, though I tend to think of prison as the gold-plated Mercedes most-expensive-possible-way to create protection for children. And costing over $100 million a year housing sex offenders here, Minnesota cannot and will not continue to afford it. Hence I call for more non-legal-system and treatment type responses. In the long run, you could do a lot more of it, creating potentially a lot more protection for children, and that is what I care about, as you do. Not vengeance, not punishment, not gender politics.

    Others may have accepted their sexuality and may see what he did to them as okay or a learning experience.

    Given how little concern and attention there is to male victims, you could, rather ironically, just call it a “learning experience”. But from my perspective, which is looking back over 40 years from that “learning experience”, we as a society could do better teaching boys about sexuality than leaving that to …. pedophiles and abusive types. The resultant effects and PTSD actually look a lot like the somewhat negative aspects of men, obscuring it’s a matter of learning and who’s teaching so to speak. But raising funds for outreach, I’m told repeatedly, is extremely impossible-hard for male-oriented programs, amid cries of more money for the “real victims”. Certainly none of these programs are funded by the hundreds of millions funding VAWA and hundreds of women’s programs.

    These young men are ghosts. Nobody can see them. Yet they live amongst us and we know they are there. Like people who see ghosts, those of us who see these young men and would help them, dare not speak about them lest we be attacked as crazies and be put away ourselves.

  4. “I cannot fathom what the judge could come up with given the circumstance.”

    This is actually quite easy to fathom. First, the victims were male. That automatically discounts their value, especially the value of their virginity or sexual purity. Second, they swere also homosexual. Like heterosexual boys who have sex with their adult female teachers, homosexual sex with an adult pastor is a right of passage and something they will be able to brag about. They would obviously want this contact. not to mentiion the added benefit of not being able to get their abuser pregnant, so they won’t have to pay child support to their abuser. since they are not “real” victims, but merely disgusting homoseual boys who wanted it anyways and to whom no harm can come, there would be no reason to lock up the “perpetrator.”

    /sarcasm

  5. There is no indication that the boys were ‘homosexual’, but merely confused youth struggling with ‘adolescence’ the way most kids do. The period of probation is only ‘five years’, post-treatment. But for this vile person’s victims the sentence could be ‘LIFE’. Brent Girouex gratified his own sexual urges & tricked the boys into thinking he was performing some magical cure for what he ‘indoctrinated’ in them as deviant behavior. There is no cure for HIS deviance, just as there is no ‘cure’ for homosexuality. Homosexuality isn’t a disease nor a choice. Girouex is a pathological liar and predatory psychopath, whose urges compromised the well-being of the youth entrusted to his care and counsel. He should be in jail. No question.

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