Pastor Mike Sperou: Guilty on all 3 counts of sex abuse, sentenced to 20 years, while his devoted followers discount their own adult childrens’ testimonies of sex abuse

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Update on an earlier story:

Pastor Mike Sperou of North Clackamas Bible Community Church found guilty on all 3 counts of sex abuse of minor under 12 and is sentenced to 20 years.

 

This is one of those cases that leaves you shaking your head, thinking that you couldn’t make this stuff up if you tried. But this is good. I have a happy update to report.  Earlier, I posted about the story of Pastor Mike Sperou who was arrested for sex abuse charges.  The article is here: Pastor Mike Sperou Will Have His Day in Court: Seven Women Come forward with Sexual Abuse Allegations.  To briefly recap, this story is closely connected with my friend (and friend of SSB), Pastor Ken Garret, who previously attended Sperou’s church, North Clackamas Bible Community, where two of his daughters were sexually abused. A total of seven women came forward and reported sex abuse to authorities.

Seven women had reported their sexual abuse to authorities; however, Oregon’s Statute of Limitations prevented Sperou from being tried for 6 of the cases.  However, the one remaining case was within the Statute of Limitations. The court hearings occurred the last two weeks. Two days ago, Sperous was charged, tried, and convicted of all three counts of first-degree sexual penetration of a person under the age of 12. This earned him a sentence of 20 years.

The following is a screenshot showing the picture on the front page of TheOregonian/OregonLive. Reporters, Rick Bella (who covered most of the story) and Steve Duin, did a stellar job of capturing what it felt like to be sitting in the court room with cult leader defenders on one side of the room and supporters of the sex abuse victims, family, friends, and former members on the other side. Can you imagine the tension in that room?

 

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This is a remarkable story in that the six women who were not allowed to take their cases to court, were allowed by the judge to testify (as well as other former members, including Ken).  Their voices were heard. I am so proud of these women who chose to report their stories and go public.

This article, Steve Duin: Memory and moral suicide in Happy Valley, I found especially revealing in that it showed the insidious relational dynamics of the cult:

She usually wore Calvin Klein boxers and a t-shirt, she said. Her pastor and spiritual mentor came to bed in boxer shorts, and frequently hugged the long pillow – that he dubbed “Sally” – that separated them. Asked how long this bizarre sleeping arrangement continued, the 30-year-old Mitchell said, “Until now.”

SAY WHAT?!!!!!!

 

In this same article, we read how parents refuse to believe their adult daughters who said they were sexually abused. The parents essentially disowned them as they continued to defend and protect their brazen and unapologetic “pastor” leader. Folks, this is what we see with narcissists. There is an inner group always looking out for the leader, defending him, building him up, denying reality, even to the expense of abandoning relationships with their children.

Christ does not do this. Cults do!

Later, we read from Ken Garrett as he is quoted:

“Moral suicide,” Garrett calls it. Thirty years ago, Sperou’s disciples “never dreamed that allowing and cherishing a lie would corrupt their entire character,” he said. “Where they would actually sit in a courtroom, look in the faces of the daughters who came to them and said they were molested, and call them liars. They never dreamed they would end up here. Now that they’re here, they’re numb.”

Congratulations to Ken and Sharon. Congratulations to these brave 7 women:
Emily Bertram, 33
Shannon Clark, 28
Bryn Garrett, 30
Jennifer Olajuyin, 32
Amy Robinson, 35
Rachel Schackart, 29
Jessica Watson, 33
You are heroes. Your voices have been heard and justice is now being served.
I’m so grateful to you for standing up against this tyrant.  BRAVO!!!!

I encourage you to check out the other outstanding articles from OregonLive reporters, Rick Bella and Steve Duin:

 

29 comments on “Pastor Mike Sperou: Guilty on all 3 counts of sex abuse, sentenced to 20 years, while his devoted followers discount their own adult childrens’ testimonies of sex abuse

  1. “In this same article, we read how parents refuse to believe their adult daughters who said they were sexually abused. . . Christ does not do this. Cults do!”

    It is so hard to fathom this behavior from parents. Boz Tchividjian says he sees churches support the abusers all. the. time. But parents? It’s phenomenal what cultic groupthink can do to people.

    Giving thanks for the justice and victory that these brave women so rightly deserve.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Blessings to these women who stood up- keep coming out! It is time for us to stand as an united front against this sickness! Parents please listen to your kids! Where in the world have we gone where we give our mind, souls, and bodies to these impostors of the Gospel? Come on…really???

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes….. this is the advantage of the internet these daYs. Report clearly where the ‘wolves’ are lurking. Should we hold ‘non-forgiveness’ for the wickedness of men? no….. he still has time to repent of his sin and error in judgment. Wise person says pray that t people would not fall into temptation of fornication …..

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  4. I would like to hug each and every one of these women. One pedophile behind bars, so many more to go. There should be no Statute of Limitations on any crime against a child. What Sperou did was murder their childhood, spirit, bodies and future all the while gaining allies of their families. It is devastating to not be believed. There is no Statute of Limitations on murder there should be none on this kind of murder either.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Where in the world have we gone where we give our mind, souls, and bodies to these impostors of the Gospel? Come on…really???

    Did “we” give our minds over intentionally? Absolutely not. These wolves are deceptive and master manipulators. This is the insidiousness of cult leaders, that they are able to brainwash people without them knowing it. The folks that got caught up into this cult are not dumb. They are highly intelligent people. I’ve met some of them – great people. It’s important to keep in mind that when you first get involved in a church/cult like this, the wolf does not show his true colors.

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  6. Pingback: » Pastor Mike Sperou: Guilty on all 3 counts of sex abuse, sentenced to 20 years, while his devoted followers discount their own adult childrens’ testimonies of sex abuse

  7. Julie Anne, I was one that gave my everything to a sole pastor/eldership thinking that this was the way of God, so you are right it is insidious.

    It breaks my heart to hear these stories. I just have a hard time thinking parents won’t believe their children over a mere man of the cloth, but brainwashing has a way of creating cognitive dissonance over time you are right.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great result! Glad the judge let in the testimony of the other victims on sentencing, both to hear what they had to say and so that justice may be done. A note of thanks to the prosecutors and LEOs who worked on this case is in order.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. L.R-“Yes….. this is the advantage of the internet these daYs. Report clearly where the ‘wolves’ are lurking. Should we hold ‘non-forgiveness’ for the wickedness of men? no….. he still has time to repent of his sin and error in judgment. Wise person says pray that t people would not fall into temptation of fornication …..

    What on earth are you saying Laura Raggedy? No one is holding non-forgiveness. I long for vengeance against men who molest innocents, no crime in my desire as long as I don’t take vengeance. Another thing, I don’t consider fornication in the same category as child rape. Your comment leaves me cold.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. The chances of this man asking for forgiveness, repenting or making restitution are very slim. Forgiveness is for our own hearts not for the one who has done evil against us. Leslie Vernick gives wise and Godly counsel where forgiveness is concerned (and other issues, as well). Sperou, along with other pedophiles who are sentenced to prison continue enlisting allies from behind the walls. Clara Hinton, writer of Finding a Healing Place blog, was married to a child molester for most of 40 years. He began that life when he was 14. She always knew something wasn’t quite right, but could not get a grip on what was going on. Her former husband still denies he has done anything wrong even though he admits what he has done. He was also a preacher and made numerous allies within the church. To my knowledge the parents of these children did not turn against them.

    I believe the phrase, “error in judgment”, really doesn’t cut it.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. When given an opportunity to address the court, Sperou refused to do so, but looked at his supporters and mouthed, “It’s okay” as he was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs. So, there was no attempt to take responsibility, confess, or to release his deluded followers from his stranglehold over them. When I used the term “moral suicide” to Steve Duin I was referring to the deliberate choices of the will that the cult-members (including parents of victims) were making, day after day in court, to burn any and all bridges that might provide a way back to truth, and to their daughters. It may not have been Kool-Aid in a jungle, or remaining in a burning farm house for the crazy leader, or eating pudding with lethal doses of barbiturate mixed in, but it was every much in the same way an act of self-abandonment for Sperou, even if pathetic and useless. Like tragic endings of cults–the followers found that committing perjury was one of the last acts of loyalty they could give to Sperou. I suspect each of the remaining members of the cult would have given their right arm for the opportunity to do so, and most likely feigned disappointment that they were not all asked to testify on his behalf.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Ken, that is beyond creepy. The stranglehold he has over his followers is disgusting. These people are like programmed robots.

    Friends, when reading Ken’s words, I have to tell you that this is not a man who exaggerates.

    Ken, this conviction does not remove the abuse, give you the dozen or so years that you and your family and so many others lost, but it validates and gives a little bit of justice. You, while having gone through so much as a family, continue to give hope, provide comfort, and to be a great support to so many, including some whose parents have abandoned them. I have so much respect for you, friend. Congratulations on this court victory. And thank you for all you do to help wounded sheep.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. She usually wore Calvin Klein boxers and a t-shirt, she said. Her pastor and spiritual mentor came to bed in boxer shorts, and frequently hugged the long pillow – that he dubbed “Sally” – that separated them.

    A dakimakura pillow? (AKA “body pillow” or “cuddle pillow”)?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakimakura

    Those things usually have “life-size” erotic portraits of anime characters printed on the pillowcase.

    Like

  14. I was so happy to see the outcome of this trial. Happy and relieved for the victims and the families of the victims who have stood by them.

    Warning – Don’t read the comments on O’Live’s articles. I’m amazed at what some are saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am troubled. After reading some more coverage of this case, it appears that the other victims testified in the guilt phase. Prior bad acts in most jurisdictions are not generally admissible to prove guilt of other charges. Maybe it is different in Oregon.

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  16. The article also describes the cult as an “…orthodox Christian church…” maybe a typo?

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  17. Keith –

    Re: prior bad acts. I’ve been an attorney for over 20 years, I have not looked into the specifics of Oregon criminal procedure, never practiced there, but many jurisdictions change the Rules of Evidence and let in testimony that would not otherwise be admissible in cases of this nature, violent sexual and sexual molestation crimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. The power and manipulation of a socio-path is incredibly powerful…..I was in a relationship with one and their ability to con everyone around them is mind boggling….I pray for the children, the parents and everyone concerned to love like Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. From the picture, it appears the perp may be old enough so that 20 years is tantamount to a life sentence. I wonder if parole is a possibility. Even if it is, it seems that sex offenders have a particularly difficult time before the parole board, at least where I live.

    Like

  20. Truth Detector: I mention the prior bad acts evidence because there were several commenters who raised it in the Oregon Live comments section. It would be a shame to see a reversal.

    Like

  21. I just wanted to post a couple of FREE resources, Dr. Ronald Enroth’s well-known books about abusive churches (in case someone who reads this article would be helped by such books). Bless Dr. Enroth for making his books available for free in electronic form.

    1. Churches That Abuse http://www.ccel.us/churches.toc.html

    2. Recovering from Churches That Abuse
    http://www.ccel.us/churchesrec.toc.html

    That are other well-known, good books out there about spiritually abusive churches but you have to pay for those.

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  22. Thanks for the article Julie. There is so much more that happened that the current members are not even aware of. I wish it could all be known. I was there too. I had hoped it would end after he was enact created but he continues to manipulate them from jail.

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  23. Melody, I have heard similar reports. It reminds me of Warren Jeffs from the Mormon FLDS sect who was able to also lead from prison. The emotional ties with these tyrants are so strong. I pray that the current members will somehow see the light and will leave this man and his evil ways.

    Like

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