Dieugrand Jacques, a former pastor of the New Alliance Haitian Church in Boynton Beach, was found guilty by a jury yesterday of molesting a 15-year-old female churchgoer during a counseling session in 2007.
Another girl testified during the trial that she went to Jacques to confide in him about a previous molestation in her life, so Jacques told her "he needed to determine the extent of the molestation" -- which apparently meant having sex with the girl in the church, according to the Palm Beach State Attorney's Office.
According to a probable-cause affidavit, Jacques -- who was married -- brought the 15-year-old victim over to his house for "counseling" about the girl's relationship problems with her boyfriend.
Instead of the "counseling," Jacques told the girl to sit on his lap and take her pants off, and when she began to get nervous, Jacques said, "Don't worry, I do this to all my girls," according to the report.
Jacques proceeded to molest and kiss the girl before getting back in the church van and driving her back home, police say.
A few months later, the girl told her boyfriend about the incident, and they both confronted Jacques.
Jacques either denied or didn't answer the boyfriend's questions, and he stopped attending the church -- which is where the cops stepped in.
Police had the girl call Jacques and ask why he denied what he did, and Jacques responded, "You are a very nice little girl. At the time, you just came to our church and I met you. I hope you stay the same way you were and God will do the rest." Jacques hung up twice after the girl attempted to ask him questions about the incident, the report says.
The cops interviewed Jacques, who denied molesting the girl but admitted to the "kissing thing" with the girl, and said he thought the girl made up the molestation story to get her boyfriend away from the church, police say.
That's when one of the girl's friends came forward to police and told them Jacques had sex with her in the church when she was 14 years old, according to the report.
Faced with that allegation, Jacques said it couldn't have happened because he was out of town at the time -- which, based on receipts from Jacques' trip, police found to be untrue.
A detective from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office wrote in the report that police were able to apply the Williams Rule in the case due to the similarities in the cases to corroborate evidence of the crime, and he was arrested in January 2010.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Jacques' sentencing is scheduled for October 21, where he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.