ST. CHARLES – A pastor who spanked a young girl after he thought she was lying about sexual abuse allegations against her stepfather will not serve any jail time.
Daryl P. Bujak, was found guilty of two counts of battery but not guilty Wednesday on the charge of failure to report a suspected sexual assault.
"The choice not to report was supported by the mother who said this is a girl who lies," judge Allen Anderson said.
Anderson sentenced Bujak to one year of court supervision, which means he will not have a criminal record if he fulfills the conditions set forth by the judge.
He must perform 80 hours of community service, pay a $350 fine plus court costs, and may not have any contact with the victim. He also is not allowed to have any abusive contact with other children, the judge said.
Bujak, who said he is married with five children, told the judge that he acknowledges that the situation was over his head.
"I do regret some of the things that have taken place," he said.
The girl, now 16, was brought to Bujak for counseling by her mother and stepfather, Matthew Resh, after they said she was lying about the sexual abuse allegations. They both consented to the spanking, but the judge said Bujak still did not have the right to administer corporal punishment in this case.
"I find his actions were unreasonable," Anderson said. "It is contact ... without justification."
The victim testified that once a week for about two months in 2005, Bujak would hit her with a piece of wood molding between 15 and 25 times. She said the spanking left raised red marks and bruising to the point that when she attended church services after the sessions, she had to sit on her hands.
"My feelings go out to this 12-year-old, now 16-year-old ... who seems better able to handle things than some members of her family," the judge said.
Bujak has not been pastor at the First Missionary Church in Elgin since August 2008, although his resignation had nothing to do with the battery charges, said Robert Steele, the church's treasurer.
"My understanding is he felt the Lord felt he was done with him here," Steele said.
Four counts of predatory criminal sexual assault are pending against Resh, 36, of Richmond. He was arrested in May 2006 in connection with incidents from September 2003 to November 2005. His case is next due in court April 14, and a trial is scheduled to begin July 20.