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Welty gets 26 years to life
Former pastor quotes Scripture during sentencing
by AMANDA WINTERS
Former Sequim pastor Steven G. Welty, 59, was sentenced to 26 1/2 years to life in prison Nov. 16 for child sex crimes.
Welty was arrested in August 2010 and charged with six counts of child rape, six counts of child molestation and six counts of incest.
Judge S. Brooke Taylor found Welty guilty on all charges after a two-day non-jury trial on Oct. 6. The crimes occurred at least once a year from the time the victim was 4 years old until she was 11, and two other family members testified they had been subjected to similar abuse at similar ages.
“The damage you have done to three generations of girls in your family is indescribable and I don’t think you understand that,” Taylor said.
The victim, now 14, sat in the courtroom with a parent at each side. They had traveled to Port Angeles from their home in another part of the state. Her father addressed the court then turned to Welty.
“We were partners. We were friends,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, that’s lost. You killed a part of each of us.”
The victim’s mother also addressed the court, thanking them for their compassion, and similarly addressed Welty.
“You used our love for you and our belief in God to hurt us,” she said.
Welty, who didn’t take the stand in his own defense or say anything during the trial, took advantage of his opportunity to address the court. He said he doesn’t excuse his actions and he asks for forgiveness.
He then quoted Romans 7:15 from the Bible. “The things I do are not what I want to do,” he said, adding he understands that “sin is not something that is controllable.”
Welty quoted another passage from the Bible, where Jesus says those who sin and repent are to be forgiven not just seven times but seven times 70 times.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” he said, quoting Romans 3:23.
In closing he said God ultimately will judge him for his actions.
“For five years, I’ve been praying for this,” he said. “I’ve been praying God would forgive me for this and for 30 years before that.”
Taylor said Welty’s statement that sin is uncontrollable was “baloney.”
Taylor said it was despicable for Welty to use his faith and the faith of his family to abuse them.
“Everybody lost a great deal and you have lost too,” Taylor said. “You lost your liberty, but you earned that.”
Amanda Winters can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.