Dieugrand Jacques, a former pastor of the New Alliance Haitian Church in Boynton Beach, was sentenced yesterday to ten years in prison, nearly three months after a jury found him guilty of molesting a 15-year-old female churchgoer during a counseling session in 2007.
Over objections from the state, a judge granted Jacques a bond of $75,000 so he can remain on house arrest while he appeals his sentence. He's also allowed to conduct church services on Sundays.
During Jacques' trial, another girl had testified that she went to him to confide about a previous molestation in her life, so Jacques told her that "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 when 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.
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Jacques was found guilty on September 20.