KAUFMAN COUNTY, Texas — Inside a Kaufman County courtroom, sex abuse victims faced the man who hurt them. The abuse took place since they were children.
WFAA is not identifying them.
"To the defendant here today, you stole my innocence before I even knew how to write my own name," said victim one.
A jury found Stanley Gerald Champ guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child and sent him to prison for the rest of his life.
"No one is above the law and I think that was really apparent today with the jury and the sentence they sent today," said District Attorney Erleigh Wiley.
Champ was a leader at the Gray’s Prairie Mennonite Church in Kaufman, which is where prosecutors said he found his victims.
"You pulled me into a world of hurt and a world of sheer terror," said victim one.
Prosecutors said there were multiple victims and that the abuse went on for years. One of the victims testified that when she told the older people at the church, they didn’t believe her.
"When I came forward in 2019 I was called a liar and only dreamed I was assaulted," said victim two.
The victims said it wasn’t a dream, it was a nightmare.
"Gerald sought out and took pleasure in little girls being injured and violated because he liked it," said victim two.
Prosecutors said there may be victims besides those in Kaufman County because the church sent Champ to work in other states.
"Think about what they knew of him and how insulated he has remained," said prosecutor Leslie Odom.
The courtroom was packed with his family and fellow church members who support him. Defense attorneys asked the jury to take that into consideration and also his age.
They could have sentenced him to a minimum of 25 years.
"I would ask that you show his family in this courtroom that punishment is for the sake of everyone and the hopes that one day my client and his family will have the hope of his returning,” said Mark Calabria, defense attorney.
Champ was taken in handcuffs and shackles to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Victims said they have a life sentence of pain, anguish and trauma because of what happened to them.