Former pastor Larry Clark sentenced to 35 years in prison for sex crimes with a minor
Former pastor Larry Clark has been sentenced to 35 years in prison, which was the maximum.
He was convicted in October on five counts of committing sex crimes against a minor.
Monday’s hearing was very emotional for not only the victim and his family, but Clark’s family as well. Clark’s 84-year-old mother and sister were at Monday’s hearing.
His sister took the stand and gave an impact statement. She believes her brother is innocent. She says he would never hurt a child.
The victim in this case chose not to say anything during the hearing.
But we did hear from Clark for the first time. He spoke for about 10 minutes and said this has been the worst year of his life.
Clark addressed his victim by his first name many times and called him a liar. He said all of the stories are fabricated and that he needs serious professional help. He also said he plans on proclaiming his innocence until he dies.
“He doesn’t get it. I mean, it’s frightening he doesn’t get it,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Christopher Billias said. “And the concern of course you have, is there a possibility of someone like him doing it again? They just don’t understand the nature of their acts of what they’ve done.”
The victim’s mother said she didn’t appreciate what Clark had to say to her son, but they are looking forward to moving past this chapter of their lives.
Clark’s defense attorney says they plan on appealing. Clark is set to go to trial again in March.
Another person who says Clark molested him will take the stand against Clark.
Clark used to be the pastor at Pentecostal Outreach Church in Buena Vista. The church has since changed its name and hired a new pastor.
Former pastor Larry Clark will be sentenced Monday afternoon in Rockbridge County.
Clark faces 35 years in prison.
Back in October, a jury found Clark guilty of five counts for sex crimes against a minor.
According to the victim’s mother, the child was a member of Clark’s congregation when he was a pastor at the Pentecostal Outreach Church in Buena Vista.
WDBJ7 spoke to the victim’s mother by phone Monday morning.
She says she hasn’t decided if she will give an impact statement or not, but she says her and her son will be inside the courtroom for the decision. They both hope Monday’s sentencing will bring closure to their family.
WDBJ7 also spoke to the lead investigator on the case.
Investigator Miles Kelly says regardless of the outcome of the sentencing hearing, they will move forward with a second trial against Clark.
In October, the Commonwealth’s Attorney told WDBJ7 they were going to wait and see how many years Clark would get for the first victim before moving forward with another trial for the second victim.
However, Kelly says they will definitely go to trial again.
Kelly says the trial date will be set after Clark is sentenced. Kelly says this victim was 15-years-old at the time of the alleged sexual assault.
Clark will face three charges including indecent liberties with a child and cruelty to a child.