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Black Collar Crime: Baptist Pastor Gary Eaches Sentenced to Prison for Sex Crimes

pastor gary eaches

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

In May 2020, Gary Eaches, pastor of United Baptist Church (an American Baptist congregation) in Scranton, Pennsylvania was accused of plying a teenager with alcohol and marijuana and then sexually assaulting her.

WNEP-16 reported at the time:

According to court paperwork, Gary Eaches of Scranton gave a 16-year-old girl alcohol and marijuana and then improperly touched her.

Police say they later responded to Eaches home after he was found depressed and suicidal.

Police say Eaches admitted to the assault and told officers he recently lost his job at United Baptist Church in Scranton.

Gary Eaches is locked up on $50,000 bail and faces assault and other charges.

Eaches last posted on Twitter on May 3, 2020. Here’s what he tweeted:

christians known for

Based on the aforementioned news report, Pastor Eaches Peaches is now known for sexually assaulting a teen girl. Too bad he wasn’t against such behavior.

Eaches’ name and bio has already been scrubbed from United Baptist’s website. Other Christian websites have also deleted Eaches’ sermon and music videos.

Eaches’ handle on YouTube is “Scandalous Christian.” Eaches mentions on social media that he suffers from addiction and mental illness. As someone who has battled depression most of his adult life, I do wonder whether Eaches should have been a pastor. Knowing the rigors of the ministry, was it really wise to put Eaches in a position where his mental health issues could be exacerbated, and, perhaps, lead to addiction problems? Or were these issues minimized, believing that Jesus was the cure for what ailed Pastor Eaches?

In February 2021, Eaches pleaded guilty to indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor. In July, Eaches was sentenced to 18 to 48 months in state prison.

The Times-Tribune reports:

A former church pastor who molested a teenage girl who passed out after he gave her alcohol was sentenced Tuesday in Lackawanna County Court to 18 to 48 months in state prison.

Gary Joe Eaches, 42, of Scranton, pleaded guilty in February to indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor for sexually assaulting the 16-year-old girl at a Scranton home on April 11, 2020.

….

According to an arrest affidavit, the girl went to a home with Eaches’s son. Eaches showed up and provided her alcohol, which caused her to pass out on a couch. She awoke to find Eaches molesting her. Eaches, who was a pastor at United Baptist Church in West Scranton, later sent her text messages apologizing for what he did.

At the sentencing hearing held via Zoom before Judge Michael Barrasse, Eaches’s attorney, Patrick Rogan, said Eaches was employed as a pastor for 10 years before the assault. Rogan sought leniency, noting Eaches suffers from physical and mental health issues and was hospitalized while the case was pending.

Eaches apologized to the victim, who did not testify at the hearing.

“I realize what I did was wrong,” he said. “I’m asking for the grace and mercy of the court. … If I had a chance to change things in the past, I would.”

Barrasse also ordered Eaches to serve six years probation upon his release. Eaches also must register as a sex offender for life.

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Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

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