Exeter church volunteer gets 25 years in prison for molestation

May 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A volunteer at a church in Exeter was sentenced for molesting a young teenager. 63-year-old Alton Dorrough will spend 25 years in prison.

Nearly one year after the accusations were brought to light, Alton Dorrough's wife, Linda, and the victim arrived at the Tulare County courthouse, ready to speak to Dorrough in court for his sentencing. Cameras were not allowed inside.

In court, the now 17-year-old victim said the molestation she endured made her depressed and suffer hallucinations.

Dorrough's wife says the victim has tried to be strong, but has gone through emotional and physical pain from the sexual abuse by Dorrough.

Linda said, "She has been through a tremendous amount because of the abuses that have been inflicted on her."

Known as Pastor Gene before his arrest, Dorrough was a church volunteer, even leading recovery groups and acting as a volunteer chaplain.

In a statement submitted to the victim and judge in court, Alton Dorrough writes:

"What I do know from 10 plus years of actively helping individuals, couples, adults and youth groups through recovery programs and ministry is that the only thing we have control over is our choice. I of course cannot change the past, though I sincerely want to make things right, I realize that to be impossible."

Linda says while she has forgiven her husband, she still think he deserves prison time for his actions. "He has to serve the consequences of his actions that just means he no longer has any control or effect on my life."

Dorrough initially faced 23 charges of child molestation and sexual assault. Instead, he struck a plea deal with prosecutors to serve 25 years in prison in exchange for pleading no contest to four charges.

Linda says Thursday's sentencing has brought closure for both her and the victim. "For both the victim and I, it's a matter of this is a final chapter in this section of our life and the beginning of a new chapter for us now we can really begin to heal."

The victim did leave public school but says she does plan to complete her studies online, hoping to start a new phase of her life.


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