A Red Deer community leader and volunteer pastor has been found guilty of sexual assaulting a female employee.
Stanley Richard Schalk, 57, was convicted of one count of sexual assault by Judge Darrell Riemer in Red Deer provincial court on Wednesday afternoon. Sentencing was adjourned to a later date.
Schalk showed little emotion as the judge announced his decision, which follows a trial that ran over several days in July and August.
Riemer said the victim’s evidence was “credible and reliable.” The woman’s name is withheld under a publication ban that protects the identities of victims of sexual assault.
In contrast, Schalk’s evidence did not raise a reasonable doubt that his 43-year-old victim had consented to the sexual contact that occurred on June 15, 2015 at an acreage near Delburne, the judge said.
The victim testified during the trial that Schalk had pushed her down on a blanket and while laying next to her slid his hand under her sports bra and touched her breast. She testified she pushed him away and yelled at him.
Riemer noted the woman, who had worked for Schalk and known him for several years, called the incident the “worst thing ever” in her testimony.
Schalk had testified that he believed he had the woman’s consent and was surprised at her reaction to his advances.
Riemer said he found the woman’s evidence about the incident “credible” and that “there is no such thing as implied consent.”
Groping her breast constitutes sexual assault, he said.
About a week earlier in a separate incident, Schalk had hugged the victim and grabbed her buttocks in other unwelcome contact. The woman said it was not a normal hug and she told Schalk it was wrong and he apologized.
The judge said it was not surprising the woman continued to work for Schalk after the incidents given her “straitened financial circumstances.”
Defence lawyer Lorne Goddard has asked a pre-sentence report be prepared, which typically take six to eight weeks to complete. A sentencing date, likely sometime in December, will be set on Sept. 29.
Schalk is the pastor of Potter’s Hand Ministries and co-owner of Potter’s Hands Developments that operates River Valley Apartments, a townhouse development in Riverside Meadows, apartments above Potter’s Hands soup kitchen, and The Buffalo apartments.