Former Pastor Convicted of Child Molestation

April 10, 2009 7:36:44 PM PDT
A former Fresno pastor came face to face with one of his victims. John Bonine once led a Northeast Fresno Baptist church, but he plead guilty to molesting two girls over several years.John Bonine in an orange jumpsuit struggled with his emotions. The former pastor heard from one of his victims during Friday's sentencing. Bonine once led Sierra Heights Baptist Church in Fresno. The female victim said, "I don't think he should get off easy. I forgive him, but I know in reality who would be next."

Action News is not revealing the victims identities. Investigators arrested Bonine and charged him with 107 child molestation counts. He plead guilty to 16 counts. Prosecutor Marlea Dell'Anno said the former pastor misled his congregation, "A supposed man of god, your honor he has been shown all mercy that he should be shown."

The judge sentenced Bonine to 36-years in prison. His Defense Attorney Scott Baly says Bonine knows he's misled his church, "In all stages of this, he's expressed remorse. He's accepting responsibility. He feels deeply ashamed for what happened."

Friday's sentence puts the former pastor in prison until he is 80 years old.

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