Michaelle Bond, Staff Writer for phillynews.com, has reported that former pastor Jake Malone attempted to plead guilty on March 29, 2017 to sexually assaulting and impregnating a teen who lived with his family. However, Judge Jacqueline Cody rejected the plea deal, calling the circumstances “way too serious.” The plea deal would have resulted in a two year prison sentence.
You can read Michaella Bond’s story in its entirety here.
You may recall that Thou Art The Man covered this story on January 31, 2016 in an article titled “Another Day, Another Protestant Preacher Abusing Children.” At that time Jake Malone was forced to resign from his pastoral job at Calvary Fellowship when it became known to church leadership that Malone had impregnated a young woman who had been living with them since she was 12 years old. Malone attempted to pass his resignation off as a “self-imposed sabbatical” to refocus on the calling God had given him, which was his family. He stated that he was “really excited about what God is going to do in us and in our lives and in our family as we focus 100% of our time on that calling that He has given us.” Since the video Malone fled to Ecuador for a few weeks, and then returned to the USA where he was met by Law Enforcement and arrested. Since then Malone has spent 100% of his time behind bars.
In her article, Michaella Bond stated that:
“The teen, who met Malone at age 12 when he was her youth pastor in Arizona, did not have a father in her life, and Malone invited her to stay with him and his wife in their home in West Whiteland Township. She helped look after Malone’s three children…
Sexual contact, which also included touching and kissing, occurred almost daily during the teen’s senior year in high school.”
In March, 2016 the young woman gave birth to Malone’s daughter. She was present at the hearing on March 29th and read a statement in which she said wanted more than a two-year sentence for Malone.
It sounds as if Malone admitted his guilt in the hearing, which leads me to assume that if the case proceeds without a plea bargain he wlll plead gulity. Again, from Bond’s article:
“On Wednesday, Malone, wearing shackles, bowed and shook his head while the woman read her statement before he addressed the courtroom. He did not say he forced himself on her, but he said he had made “mistakes” and should be held responsible for the sexual contact.
“I want to just express my sorrow and my regret over the things I’ve done,” he said. “She admired me, she looked up to me, and I betrayed that trust. … I betrayed the trust of thousands of people who put their faith in me as a member of the faith community across the country.””
My thanks to Judge Jacqueline Cody for not accepting this plea bargain. Malone committed a heinous crime in which he abused his positon and betrayed the trust of a young woman. Two years in prison is not much more than a slap on the wrist.