CATHLAMET, WA -- A former minister who served as a Wahkiakum County sheriff's chaplain has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree rape.

David Wayne Geriach, 58, was accused of using religious, emotional and physical threats to intimidate a 13-year-old girl into a sexual relationship that lasted 14 years.

Now 27, the woman told investigators she objected to Gerlach's sexual advances from the beginning, but he threatened her physically and emotionally.

On March 3, Gerlach attempted suicide by slashing his wrist in Hermiston, Ore. Police officers who found him lying in a pool of blood in a hotel room said he told them he had "screwed up." A note addressed to the victim read, "I'm sorry."

Gerlach has been pastor of the Puget Island First Free Church for 10 years. As chaplain for the jail and sheriff's office, he sometimes led Bible studies for prisoners.

Source: The Oregonian, September 21, 1998


A couple of things come to mind: he doesn't really believe in a hereafter, or he wouldn't have attempted suicide, but would have simply written the note and been truly sorry. And, he doesn't really believe in redemption, or he would have asked forgiveness and mad the most of his time in stir.

Another preacher who doesn't really believe what he is preaching, but sees it as a way to make a living. Wadda surprise!

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