A former pastor who preyed on teenage girls in a church youth group was sentenced today in Delaware County.
In May, Gerald L. Klever, 76, pleaded no contest to rape and guilty to sexual assault involving two women now in their 40s. Klever, who lives in Tucson, Ariz., was sentenced to 10 years' probation, one year of house arrest, 1,000 hours of community service, and restitution of $25,000.
Both crimes happened in 1980, when he was a pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Delaware County.
Klever has significant health issues, including early-onset Parkinson's disease, heart disease, vascular disease and prostate cancer.
In 1977, Klever arrived at the Springfield church. Christine Kuhn, one of the victims who came forward, said that she reported her abuse by Klever to church officials when he still worked in Springfield, but that no action was taken.
In 1988, a retiring pastor told Kuhn that she was not the only person to complain about Klever. Two years ago, Kuhn approached the Rev. Byron Leasure, a new interim pastor at the church. He then sent letters to congregation members asking any with complaints against Klever to step forward.
At least a dozen women responded, but only four agreed to talk to police. Of the 15 charges brought against him, Klever pleaded to two counts.