Deacon admits sexual abuse of 3 boys in Churchville parish

March 19, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

A 53-year-old deacon pleaded guilty yesterday to sexually abusing three boys between 1975 and 1981 while serving at the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Churchville.

Harford County Circuit Judge William O. Carr ordered a presentence investigation and set sentencing of Wayne Erskine Sisk of Bel Air for April 29.

According to the plea agreement, Sisk could serve up to six months in jail, but his lawyers are free to argue for a lighter sentence, including probation before judgment.

Sisk will be placed on probation for five years and must successfully complete a group therapy program for sexual offenders.

He may not initiate contact with the victims, two of whom are now 27 years old and the other 26.

He may have no unsupervised contact with any child under 16, with the possible exception of his direct descendants.

Sisk also must reimburse one victim up to $500 for therapy.

The defendant also agreed to accept an unspecified amount of community work service, and he is to resign and not seek any church or community position that brings him regularly into contact with children under 16.

The first of three victims reported Sisk to police in fall 1992. Investigation led police to the other two victims. All lived in the Bel Air area at the time and were members at the Oak Grove Baptist Church in Churchville where Sisk was a deacon and a Sunday School teacher.

The statement of facts presented by M. Elizabeth Bowen, the assistant state's attorney who prosecuted the case, indicated that the first victim was abused over a six-year-period when he was between 8 and 14 years old.

The offenses occurred on and off the Oak Grove Baptist Church property.

The second victim was abused in the driveway of his family home and the third victim was abused at Sisk's home. Those two victims were 14 years old at the time of the incidents.

All three victims permitted police to publicly identify them, but the policy at The Sun is not to publish names of victims or alleged victims of sexual abuse.

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