As I said in an earlier post I attended Jack Hyles’ Pastors’ School once in the early 70’s. It was pretty obvious (at least to me) what was going on there was cultish. Therefore, there was not a real surprise to read Hyles’ son in-law was involved in a sexual relationship with a 16 year old girl and eventually sent to prison.
Well, now Jack Schaap ‘…is seeking a compassionate release because of the COVID-19 pandemic and his record as a “model prisoner,” according to court records.
Jack Schaap, 62, pleaded guilty to taking a 16-year-old girl he was counseling at First Baptist across state lines for sex, and in March 2013 he was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison. He is serving his sentence in Ashland, Kentucky.
In a recent court document, Schaap wrote he asked for a pre-indictment plea “to show (he) accepted full responsibility and to avoid a lengthy trial period which (he) felt would be detrimental” to the church “and to prevent any other staff personnel from being indicted.”
“Although there were extenuating circumstances and I did not know I was violating the law, the fact is I did violate the letter of the law and I did plead guilty. I realize the seriousness of the crime and accepted responsibility for it,” Schaap wrote.
Schaap was First Baptist Church of Hammond founder Jack Hyles’ son-in-law, and Schaap became pastor at First Baptist after Jack Hyles died in 2001.
Various news articles, including Chicago Magazine and the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas, have documented the patterns of alleged abuse and sexual assault – most cases involving teenage girls – by church leadership, including David Hyles, Jack Hyles’ son.
Most recently, Joy Ryder, of Highland, filed a lawsuit against the estate of Jack Hyles, his son David Hyles, Hyles-Anderson College and First Baptist alleging that David Hyles raped, sexually assaulted and sexually abused her and that church leadership covered it up in the late 1970s.
Currently, Schaap’s release date is Feb. 2, 2023, after which he will serve time at a halfway house, according to court records.
Schaap filed for compassionate release April 23, but he was denied May 6, according to a letter from warden Allen Beard.
On June 1, he filed court records for a compassionate release because his parents are in poor health, which considers him amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schaap’s father, who is 86 years old, and his mother, who is 84 years old, live in Michigan “the third most severely-struck state with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he wrote.
His parents both have health issues Schaap said in the filing.
Schaap has an older sister, but that “she is in very poor health herself,” he said.
“I fear greatly for their health, knowing that there is no one to care for them and knowing that they are both in need of help in their care,” Schaap wrote. “I am the only son and I know the responsibility for my parents’ care ultimately falls upon me. For their sake I am requesting compassionate release.”
Ryder, who started the non-profit organization Out of the Shadows to provide resources for victims of sexual abuse, expressed sympathy for Schaap’s parents, but “this is about him.”
“I’m sure the others in this story – his victims and church people – would love to be granted an early compassionate release from their pain and suffering because of his actions,” Ryder said. “His incarceration is a consequence of his actions and he should serve his full sentence.”
Schaap wrote that by September he will have served 67% of his sentence, and that he has been declared eligible for the First Step Act, signed by President Donald Trump in 2018 to “reduce the size of the federal prison population while also creating mechanisms to maintain public safety,” according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
Under the First Step Act, Schaap wrote, he has been categorized “minimum” for the likelihood of him committing another offense.
Schaap has worked toward being “a model prisoner,” with an “excellent work record with my prison bosses,” he wrote. Schaap also said he is in a vocational apprenticeship sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
For several months last year, Schaap wrote he was able to serve as chaplain “preaching in chapel and conducting the communion service for the Protestant inmates” when the prison didn’t have a chaplain.
He also teaches a business plan workshop class and Bible classes in the chapel, Schaap wrote.
“Throughout my time here I have counseled men who had no place to go upon release and have helped get them connected to church-sponsored missions and other alternate care places throughout the country,” Schaap wrote.
Ryder said Schaap seems to be arguing “look at my good I’ve done while incarcerated for doing bad.”
“We’re just supposed to sweep away all of the bad just because you’ve been a good boy – or you think you have been – in prison,” Ryder said.
If released, Schaap said his main concern would be the well-being of his parents. “As time allows,” Schaap said he’d like to help his friends with a nonprofit they established to help people struggling with alcohol and drug recovery.
In the future, Schaap wrote, the nonprofit hopes “to work to empower missionaries around the world, establish independent missionary schools to train the nationals, and help to establish churches.”
Seeming to want to reassure the judge he won’t return to Indiana, Schaap wrote: “I have no immediate family remaining in Indiana, nor do I have any interests that would make me want to return to Indiana.”
Ryder said she hopes the judge does not grant the compassionate release because the victims deserve justice.
“This is a way of showing them that you actually care about them and that their lives matter, is by having him serve his time,” Ryder said. “I hope the judge would see that through, for their sake.”’ https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/post-tribune/ct-ptb-schaap-compassionate-release-st-0607-20200605-xdtlesygo5fv3b3di4tk5e266y-story.html
Whether Schaap gets an early release or not it is probably a guarantee he when he is released he will have some type of ‘ministry’ waiting for him!