The former pastor of an Indiana megachurch who is awaiting sentencing in a sex crimes case told a 17-year-old girl that Jesus wanted her to have sexual relations with him.
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday released letters in which former First Baptist Church pastor Jack Schaap explained that the underage girl should have sex with him because it was part of God’s plan.
“In our ‘fantasy talk,’ you have affectionately spoken of being ‘my wife,’” Schaap wrote to the girl. “That is exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us + become eternal lovers!”
Last year, Schaap pleaded guilty to having the girl transported across state lines into Michigan so he could have sex with her. Prosecutors said that the former pastor had tricked church members into bringing the girl to his cabin in Cadillac, Michigan because she was “in an extremely vulnerable state” and needed to spend extended time alone with him.
He also allegedly had sex with the girl at his property in Crete, Illinois and at his office at the megachurch.
Letters provided by prosecutors showed that Schaap told his victim that he wanted to put her on a “better path of living — that’s what we call Righteousness.”
“He told me to confide in him, to trust him, and he made me feel safe and comfortable around him as a man of God,” the girl wrote in documents provided by the government. “[Schaap] preyed on that trust and my vulnerability.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jill Koster defended the government’s request that Schaap only receive a 10-year sentence by pointing out that he had agreed to plead guilty before the charges had even been filed.
Watch this video from Fox Chicago, broadcast Sept. 19, 2012.
Watch this video from Schaap’s sermon to FBC Hammond’s Youth Conference in 2010.