Pastor convicted of sex assault sentenced

A Red Deer pastor will not go to prison after being sentenced for sex assault

A Red Deer pastor convicted of sexual assault will serve his sentence in the community.

Stanley Richard Schalk, 58, was given a 90-day conditional sentence order, including 30 days of house arrest, by Red Deer provincial court Judge Darrell Riemer on Wednesday.

Schalk will also be under probation for one year and will have his name on a national sex offender registry for 10 years.

The Crown had asked for a prison sentence in the four- to six-month range.

As he delivered his sentence in a packed courtroom, Riemer acknowledged it was a “sad day” for the Potter’s Hands Ministries pastor and his family and that he hoped Schalk would use his gifts to help the community in future.

Since 2006, Schalk has been in a partnership that has created affordable housing in Red Deer.

Schalk was convicted last September of touching a woman’s breast on June 15, 2015 at an acreage near Delburne. Riemer said the woman had told him to stop and was angry and upset by what he did.

That incident constituted sexual assault, said the judge.

Riemer said the woman said she felt betrayed, manipulated and violated by Schalk and had flashbacks and nightmares.

As a pastor and the woman’s part-time employer, Schalk was in a position of trust, which he breached, said the judge.

An aggravating factor in sentencing was that Schalk had touched his victim’s buttocks about a week earlier during another incident that did not constitute sexual assault.

However, the woman’s reaction then put the accused on notice that physical contact was unwelcome and would not be consented to, said Riemer.

The judge noted that Schalk had founded a church in 1988 in Red Deer (not Potter’s Hands) but was fired as pastor in 1997 because he had an affair with another woman.

In Schalk’s favour was his lack of criminal record, recognition of the anguish he had caused and his efforts to get counselling, said the judge.

In a pre-sentence report, Schalk’s wife of 38 years described him as an exceptional father and she remained loyal.

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