Last May, an Ohio pastor pleaded guilty to multiple counts of child sex trafficking. Kenneth Butler was sentenced to nearly 18 years in prison for his role in sexually assaulting underage girls (plural), including one was was a foster child and a previous victim of sexual abuse.
The details were even more disturbing than the charges themselves. The three men basically passed the girls between each other like playing cards, raping them, then discussing how much fun they had.
The two other pastors involved in the trafficking ring didn’t plead guilty. They wanted a jury trial, which offered a possible “not guilty” verdict as well as the risk of a lengthier sentence. It didn’t work. Both of the other men were found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.
Anthony Haynes, the former leader of Greater Life Christian Center, was one of those pastors. And during his recent sentencing hearing, he urged the judge to have mercy on him because he’s really a decent guy. And isn’t the two years he spent away from his family, including his five kids, punishment enough?! (Answer: No.)
The judge thankfully didn’t fall for Haynes’ emotional argument.
“I don’t deserve life. I don’t deserve life,” Haynes said during a sermon-like speech. “Like I said, I’ve been doing life for 27 months while I’ve been away from my children and this hurts … my need today is for you to have mercy on Anthony Haynes.”
While [U.S. District Court Judge Bernard] Friedman said he felt sympathy for Haynes’ five children, they were not the ones who committed the crimes. The judge said he didn’t even think such a case would exist because of the “disgusting, horrible” things that occurred. Additionally, Haynes displayed a lack of remorse, Judge Friedman said.
He deserves at least a few months for referring to himself in the third person…
Don’t feel bad for him, though. One of the girls he abused was someone who moved in with his family as a foster child. Haynes later offered her body up to his pastor buddies. (The girl, who was 14 at the time, is 19 now and she testified at his trial.)
Don’t feel bad for his family, either. They helped cover up his crimes.
Pending in relation to this case is that of Haynes’ wife and stepdaughter. Alisa Haynes and Alexis Fortune are accused of kidnapping and threatening the girl to not testify in the trial against Haynes.
Good riddance. While Haynes will appeal the sentencing, even God is on the prosecutors’ side for this one.