COUNCIL BLUFFS (KPTM)- A former youth pastor and convicted sex offender will not spend time behind bars.
Brent Girouex was in court today. He was sentenced to sex offender treatments and life on probation. This sentence has some officials worried.
Emotions were running high in court today, and it was standing room only.
Girouex is no stranger to court. Last March, he was charged with 89 counts of sexual abuse. The prosecution combined many of those, and reached a plea deal back in November. Girouex plead guilt on three counts.
Wednesday was his sentencing, and though a year long ordeal came to a close, many are frustrated and say justice was not served.
"I am sorry for the confusion I've caused," said Girouex in court. He publicly apologized to his victims. As he looked out during the verdict, the prosecution argued people are seeing two different things, or two different sides of a coin.
"We got a guy who used his position as an elder in this Church," said Prosecutor Dan McGinn, about the bad side.
"He was trying to say all the right things so he'd get probation," said McGinn.
That's exactly what he received. He was put on a lifetime probation and if he is to violate it, he'd head straight to jail.
"Symbolically to not make the trip to prison, to the average-joe on the street or kid out there, it looks like, oh, he got probation. You know, it kind of minimizes things," said McGinn.
The Judge said he was looking out for society and Girouex, but some say he overlooked one important thing, the victims.
"It is a disservice for any other victim that is to come forward because of what's been done today," said Lonnie Parton, the pastor at the Church where Girouex volunteered.
As Girouex left the courtroom, people were quiet. It was then end of a 2-hour long verdict, a year long trial, and years spent dealing with the abuse.
All that time should have been adding up to what some say, should have put Girouex behind bars.
Girouex has 30 days to appeal the courts decision. If he violates his probation, he will have to go to jail for up to 17 years.