The Pastor Who Preys

This article contains frank discussions regarding sexual abuse and rape.  Due to the direct manner in which this topic is approached, some may find the content triggering.  Please be mindful when sharing this content with others.

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Brent Girouex, a Youth Pastor in Council Bluffs, Iowa pled guilty to sexual abuse in the third degree and two counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist.  The judge sentenced Mr. Girouex to 17 years in prison, but then suspended the sentence ordering the man to receive counseling and remain on probation for five year.  Mr. Girouex is required to be on the Iowa Sex Offender Registry.

Mr. Girouex claimed that he was helping boys as young as age 14 achieve sexual purity by having sex with them, while they prayed.  He said that when they ejaculated the impurity was leaving their bodies.  Mr. Girouex is accused of over 60 counts that involved several young boys in the teens.  One of the longest lasted for four years and Mr. Girouex stated, it was a consensual relationship.  The teen stated that they had had sexual contact over 100 times.

As I did my research for this post I found several ways of taking on this topic.  First, in the media this is being called the “Rape the Gay Away” case.  I could certainly take this on from a LGBT prospective.  We do not know if the boys that were assaulted in this case were actually gay.  They could have confessed some sort of interest and that is what opened the door for a predator to come in and abuse them.  But again, we don’t know that to be the case.

My next thought was because Mr. Girouex is male and his victims are male, most will assume that he is gay.  Let’s be very clear about this.  Mr. Giouex is a predator.   He had sex with boys as young as 14 years old.  He used his position as a Youth Pastor to get these boys into his home.  At which point he sexually abused them.  That is NOT the behavior of a gay person.  That is the behavior of a sexual predator.

As a survivor of child molestation by my step father for 10 year, I can say that these types of assaults are not only physically painful but also extremely damaging to the psyche.  There isn't a day that goes by that I’m not reminded of the actions of a vile man so many years ago.  My hubby and I were in a restaurant having a nice dinner and a song came on the overhead speakers that my step father used to sing.  In an instant I was that little girl again.  Scared and ashamed, haunted by nightmares the majority of my life.

I’m not sure why the judge in this case decided to suspend the sentence of Mr. Girouex.  By his wife, Erin Girouex’s own account, her husband should not be around children. This behavior led to the following open letter to Judge Steensland found on KETV NewsWatch 7’s Facebook page.

My heart cries for the victims.  Their trust destroyed.  The faith they had in a mentor or pastor betrayed.   The trust in the judicial system, lost.

My predator died many years ago.  He developed cancer and died, from my understanding, a slow painful death.  I was called to his deathbed.  He was heavily sedated and couldn't speak.  My mother pushed me up to the bed and said to me, “Forgive him, so he can die in peace.”  She walked out of the room and left me there alone for a while.  He gurgled a bit.  The man in my nightmares, the big man who scared me. He was here, lying in the bed weak and hollow.  The hands that once beat me into submission and touched my body in ways that a father never should, couldn't even move his bowels.  I walked out of the room and left the hospital.  I never forgave him. 

If he died in peace it was of his own making.  On my drive home I was called and told he died. Those old repeating nightmares ended that night. And the struggles of living as a survivor began.
For these young survivors their struggles are just beginning.  Each of them will need to deal with their monster in their own way.  Sometimes I don’t think about it at all, and other times it consumes me.
I believe that we should be protecting our children.  We need to be sure to show support for these teens and any others that might come forward on hearing this.  The real travesty here is that after sexually molesting these teens, repeatedly for years, the Pastor serves no time in prison.

I read on WebMD that a person does not choose to be attracted to children.  In the same way that a straight person does not choose to be attracted to the opposite sex.  While I agree that you do not choose to be straight or gay and it would stand to reason you would not choose to be a pedophile, I will have to stand by the assertion that acting upon that attraction is where the line is crossed. 

There is a petition set up on to send a message to the judge in this case.  I welcome you to join me in signing it.

Namaste & Blessed Be

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