Former church custodian sentenced for sexually assaulting girl, 7, says she 'tempted' him
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A former church custodian was sentenced to 15 to 35 years in prison for the sexual abuse of a young family member.
Charles Brainard Hogan, 58, of Cross Lanes, gave a lengthy statement to Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib, telling a courtroom full of people that they had all sinned.
"Romans 3:23 says 'for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,' " Hogan said. "So nobody in this court can say they have not committed any kind of sin, because if they do they are a liar."
Hogan said he engaged in sexual acts with the 7-year-old girl in his care because his wife was not receptive to him. He told authorities the girl tempted him by "prancing around in short shorts."
"I'm very ashamed of what I've done, I'm not proud of it," he said. "I did this because my wife was not there for me. I had no relationship with her for three years and she was not in my bed for two years. She has completely forsaken me."
The judge finally had to interrupt Hogan's speech, in which he quoted scripture and said he would be forgiven his sins.
"I'm just trying to say I'm sorry, and I'm not taking this lightly," Hogan said.
Jim McQuerry, a pastor at Bible Center Church, said Hogan was a faithful and dependable custodian there for 16 years. He said he was shocked to learn of the charges last year.
"It was unbelievable," McQuerry said. "I'd had many conversations with him. He was in line with what our church believes."
Assistant Prosecutor Erica Lord asked McQuerry, "Do you want this court to think that the members of Bible Center Church condone this?"
"No. Absolutely not," McQuerry responded. "And our hearts go out to the family."
Lord asked for the maximum penalty for Hogan.
"Mr. Hogan is one of the worst types of criminals we ever see," she said. "He took a child's innocence away. He took the time he should have cherished, to do things he should do with her, whatever she wanted to do at 7 years old.
"But what he did with that time was abuse her, manipulate her and change her life forever," Lord said. "Do you think any amount of therapy she is going through will ever erase what he did to her?"
The child's mother told the judge, "Hopefully nothing else will ever happen to her again. I can't understand how anyone could say it is a 7-year-old's fault. That's not a child's fault at all."
Lord said, "He is a monster. He wants to come in here and give us a theology lesson. He comes in here and says, 'Poor me.'
"I am sickened by him," she said. "On behalf of everyone in this court system, I apologize to her."
Zakaib declined to impose a sentence other than prison, as Hogan requested and said he had no sympathy for the man.
Hogan will have to serve a minimum of 15 years before he is eligible to come before a parole board. The judge ordered an additional 40 years of supervision upon his release from prison, and he will have to register for life as a sexual offender.
Hogan already has served 391 days behind bars since his arrest.
Contact writer Cheryl Caswell at email@example.com or 304-348-4832.