Black Collar Crime Round-Up: May 5, 2012

Danny Acker, Jr. • Ronald Asplund • Donald Buzanowski • Robert Christian, a.k.a. “Pastor Bob”
Jillian Clementi • Ezekiel Foster • Allison Hargrave

Danny Acker, Jr.Sentenced: Daniel Montague “Danny” Acker, Jr., 50, former youth pastor, Westwood Baptist Church, Alabaster, Alabama; former elementary- and middle-school teacher once named Teacher of the Year; and namesake son of Republican Shelby County commissioner Dan M. Acker; “to 17 years in prison without parole after entering a guilty plea to multiple charges of sexually abusing students throughout his long teaching career,” plus “10 years on court monitoring after his prison sentence ends” and registration as a sex offender, reports NECN. Acker was charged in January with sexually molesting at least 21 girls over 25 years. Story: Conservative Babylon, February 7, 2012; Conservative Babylon, March 7, 2012; NECN, May 3, 2012

Ron AsplundArrested: Ronald “Ron” Asplund, 57, former youth coordinator, Oak Harbor Lutheran Church, Oak Harbor, Washington, on suspicion of “raping and molesting two boys,” ages 13 and 14, “one of whom he met through the church [youth program],” reports Whidbey News Times, which also notes that Asplund had been investigated “for similar allegations six years ago and [Oak Harbor detectives] are concerned there may be more victims. … Asplund admitted to molesting three different boys and showing pornographic photos to other children at a youth camp in Arlington, Wash., [Detective James Hoagland] wrote. ‘Asplund told us he knew he was wrong for what he had done, and began to cry.’” According to a 25th wedding anniversary announcement in The Wenatchee World, Asplund has been married since 1983 and is the father of two children. In August of 2011, Asplund’s wife (blog) wrote an impassioned plea for donations for “medical costs and related expenses” for her husband, who reportedly suffers from cancer: “If you know Ron, I am sure you would say ‘he’s a heck of a nice guy.’ We met in college and have been married for over 25 years. We have two beautiful daughters and live on an island in the Pacific Northwest. Ron has a long history of mentoring young people. He has been a teacher and a ‘big brother’ to troubled teens. He is currently a youth group leader at our church. Ron’s interests include computers and the outdoors. He loves to capture the beauty of nature with his camera. Thank you for your prayers and support.” Story: Wenatchee World, August 2, 2008; Whidbey News Times, May 4, 2012

Donald BuzanowskiEarly release set: Donald J. Buzanowski, former Roman Catholic priest,SS. Peter and Paul School and Parish, Green Bay, Wisconsin, convicted in 2005 of first-degree sexual assault committed against a fifth-grade boy in 1988, and sentenced to 32 years in prison, of which Buzanowski has served just seven. WTAQ reports: “Brown County Judge William Atkinson accepted a deal Friday that will allow Buzanowski out of prison as soon as next week,” and notes the reaction of victim David Schauer: “It was very frustrating to hear that after all of the difficult work and difficult time I had in testifying, but I would still do it all over again. It has made an enormous change in my life and I know it has made a difference in the lives of other children.” Story: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 27, 2005; NBC 26, May 4, 2012; Fox 11, May 4, 2012; WTAQ, May 5, 2012; Green Bay Press Gazette, May 5, 2012

Robert Christian, a.k.a. 'Pastor Bob'Arrest warrant issued: Robert C. Christian, a.k.a. “Pastor Bob,” 61, pastor, Heritage Congregational Church, Spokane, Washington; former volunteer chaplain, Spokane County Sheriff’s Department; graduate, Bethel Theological Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota; and former Toledo, Ohio, police officer; on a charge of indecent exposure. Christian has been fired as sheriff’s chaplain. Story: Spokesman-Review, May 4, 2012; NWCN, May 4, 2012

Jillian ClementiCharged: Jillian Clementi, 28, teacher, Immaculate Heart Academy (a private, all-girls’ Catholic prep school), Washington Township, New Jersey, and girls’ softball coach, Wood-Ridge High School, Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, with second-degree sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Clementi is accused of having sex with a male Wood-Ridge student. She is currently free on $50,000 bail. Story: NBC New York, May 4, 2012

Ezekiel FosterSentenced: Ezekiel “Glen” Foster, 43, Jamaican-born former deacon, Harlesden Pentecostal Church, London, England, to life in prison for the stabbing death of his girlfriend (and mother of three, two of whom witnessed Foster knife their mother 52 times), Sashana Roberts, 24, in September, 2011. Foster, who was previously convicted of battering both his ex-wife and another girlfriend, denied murdering Roberts but admitted “manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility,” claiming an evil spirit named Joseph ordered him to kill her. Foster testified: “Joseph was the main one. Sometimes I tried to cast them out but as I’m not living for God I can’t cast them out. I lost my faith in God to a degree when my wife passed. I felt comforted by the spirits because they were my friends. … The spirit said to do it. I have no recollection of these things.” Story: Conservative Babylon, April 18, 2012; London 24, April 27, 2012; London Evening Standard, May 4, 2012

Allison HargraveSentence upheld: Allison Campo Hargrave, 41, former counselor, Ascension Episcopal School (“committed to … Christian morals and teachings in the Episcopal tradition”), Lafayette, Louisiana, who in August, 2011, received “30 years in prison followed by 20 years’ supervised release for attempting to entice a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity,” per the state U.S. Attorney’s Office, which at the the time recounted that Hargrave “began counseling a 14-year-old minor female in the spring of 2009. The relationship between the defendant and the minor female continued through the summer of 2009. In the fall of 2009, Hargrave began texting and e-mailing the minor female student, graphically discussing engaging in sexual activities with the minor and making plans to meet the minor to engage in the sexual activities. In the fall of 2009, the defendant raped the minor female in a medical office in Lafayette, La. Hargrave continued to sexually exploit the minor female throughout 2009 and into January 2010. After engaging in sexual activities during this time, Hargrave continued to text and e-mail the minor female, graphically discussing matters of a sexual nature.” On May 4, 2012, the Advertiser reported: “A three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected Allison Hargrave’s argument that her punishment was unreasonably harsh. Federal guidelines called for a prison sentence ranging from 135 to 168 months, but the judge who sentenced her wasn’t bound by them.” Story: Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, June 7, 2010; U.S. Attorney’s Office, June 11, 2010; U.S. Attorney’s Office, March 25, 2011; U.S. Attorney’s Office, August 3, 2011; Advertiser, May 4, 2012


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