UPDATE: Former Cloverdale youth pastor Samuel Emerson and his wife Madelaine have been found not guilty of a majority of allegations of sexual assault.
The verdict was rendered this afternoon (Nov. 13) in Surrey Provincial Court.
In finding Samuel Emerson guilty of one count, Judge Mark Jetté concluded that the complainant’s apparent consent to have sex with him was induced.
More than a dozen former church members attended the proceedings.
Following the verdict, one told Peace Arch News she and others had hoped for more guilty verdicts.
“I’m grateful and glad that this girl’s experience has been acknowledged and validated,” said Carmen Block.
“I think, as a community, there’s a great amount of hurt and distrust. A judge’s decision can only offer some support, but there’s a sense of vindication.”
More to come…
Original story continues below
A verdict is expected today in the case of a former Cloverdale youth pastor and his wife who were charged following allegations of sexual assault.
RCMP announced charges against the South Surrey couple – Samuel Emerson and Madelaine Emerson – in October 2017. The following March, both accused entered pleas of not guilty. A trial, set for 12 days, got underway this past April in Surrey Provincial Court. It concluded Sept. 4.
Samuel Emerson was tried on five counts of sexual assault, two counts of touching a young person for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual interference of a person under 16.
Madelaine Emerson was tried on two counts of sexual assault, one count of touching a young person for a sexual purpose and one count of threatening to kill someone.
Madelaine was alleged to have been party to some assaults and to have facilitated others, including driving victims to the pharmacy to purchase Plan B and birth control.
The assaults are alleged to have happened between 2013 and 2017, at the Emerson family home and at the Cowichan River Bible Camp.
Any information that could reveal the identity of alleged victims or witnesses is protected by a publication ban.