If you have not already heard about this story, be prepared to scratch your head and be offended. If you’re not offended, then there is something wrong with you. Please seek help. But not from this man. A 31-year old youth counselor and former pastor of the Victory Fellowship Church in a town called Council Bluffs Iowa, Brent Girouex, a father of 4, was convicted after admitting to raping at least 4 boys in his care beginning in 2007. An initial report from March of 2011 here indicates that 4 young men approached the other pastors of the church to report what was going on. For his part Mr. Girouex turned himself, but was released on $30,000 bond in early March of 2011 to await trial.
His plan, as he described it to police and the court over the course of the trial(here, here, and here), was that by forcing himself on these boys while praying, it would help them to resist their homosexual urges and get rid of the ‘evil thoughts in their mind.’ Several young men described him manually stimulating them in order to help stop them from pursuing a homosexual lifestyle. Apparently the fact that he was performing homosexual acts on them while trying to “cure” their own homosexual urges didn’t seem to dawn on him as both horrible and horribly absurd. If the normal misconception of people who hate the LGBT community is that one can pray away the gay, then what does that make this? To rape away the gay? By having gay sex with someone you stop them from wanting to have gay sex with other men? Although he only initially admitted to raping four boys, multiple sources report at least eight young men eventually coming forward.
But this isn’t even the scariest part of the story. How could that be you say? Well here’s the thing. Although he was sentenced to 17 years in jail, the judge later decided to suspend the initial verdict and instead changed it so that Mr. Girouex will see no jail time, will only be on probation for the maximum of five years, but must attend mandatory treatment for sex offenders. So now, this man who has admitted to raping young men by exploiting his position in the community will essentially get off Scott free as long as he doesn’t violate the parameters of his parole. I do understand that there are those in the mental health community who consider sex offenders less as evil predators and more as poor sick souls, but what kind of message does this send? As long as you agree to not touch people inappropriately for five years and attend some classes after the fact, then it’s okay to molest people? Unfortunately I could not locate any transcripts detailing the judge’s reasoning, though it isn’t hard to extrapolate that the judge must be fully immersed in the patriarchal rape culture that dominates this world and is under the impression that rape isn’t as bad as the victims make it out to be. Why else would they “allow” themselves to be victimized?