Christian Youth Worker Sentenced to Prison for Preying on Children Online
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2016 Sep 14
A man who worked with Christian youth and was involved in the church has been given a jail sentence for attempting to prey on children online.
ChristianToday.com reports that 23-year-old Sam Rourke is part of St. John’s Church in Leyland, Lancashire, in the U.K. He is also involved in the global Elevation Church movement.
Rourke was working with children who have learning disabilities and was an active member of his church.
However, it was recently revealed that he was leading a double life when he was caught attempting to sexually groom children online.
Rourke had begun an online conversation with an alleged 12-year-old girl called “Kayla.” What Rourke didn’t know was that “Kayla” was actually a police officer posing as the girl in order to catch predators like Rourke.
"The defendant had been engaging in chat online, clearly in the belief he was dealing with either a 12 or 13-year-old, when in fact he was engaged in sexualised talk with an undercover police officer,” stated prosecutor Francis McEntee.
Rourke has expressed remorse for his actions and has been given a 16-month prison sentence.
The judge in his case said, "You were not the scheming, manipulative person one might come across. Nonethless what you have done is unlawful and reprehensible."
Rourke’s lawyer alleged that Rourke had been sexually pressured online when he was younger as well.
Publication date: September 14, 2016