Turtles all the way down

Happy Valley Pastor Mike Sperou convicted of child sex abuse, sentenced to 20 years in prison

Posted by doctore0 on May 1, 2015

Pastor Mike Sperou was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a girl who grew up in his Happy Valley church.

Two sheriff’s deputies led Sperou away in handcuffs while several supporters sobbed. He didn’t address the court.

A Multnomah County jury of six women and six men had convicted Sperou moments earlier on three counts of first-degree sexual penetration of a person under the age of 12. The jury deliberated just 2½ hours after hearing 12 days of conflicting testimony.

Circuit Judge Cheryl A. Albrecht also ordered Sperou, 64, to register as a sex offender and to pay the victim $20,000 for her ongoing counseling and mental health therapy. When Sperou is released from prison, he must remain under supervision for an additional 10 years.

Victim Shannon Clark said by phone that she was “thrilled” with the sentence, for her the closing chapter in a long legal struggle. Clark was among seven young girls who complained in 1997 that Sperou had abused her while her family was part of the North Clackamas Bible Community. After a Portland police investigation, prosecutors declined to file charges and dropped the case.

But the case was reinvestigated in 2013 and 2014, leading to new charges against Sperou based on new allegations.

“I am very happy that someone believed me — after all this time,” said Clark, 29.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Mascal said she was pleased that the jury saw Sperou’s pattern of abusing helpless children – now adult women.
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