Mark Comford – Pedophile Church Abuser gets 20 years

The woman said her son is still receiving inpatient care to deal with his past dealings with Comford, which took place over at least three years.

“I don’t feel justice was served for my child,” she said.

She has filed a $30 million lawsuit against Comford, Cox and the church. The civil case alleges Cox was informed there were concerns about his grandson’s behavior but he kept him in his youth leadership role at the church.

A La Porte area minister’s grandson received a 20-year prison sentence Friday for molesting children in the congregation.

Mark Comford, 24, also will be on probation eight years under terms of a plea accepted in La Porte Circuit Court. He was found guilty of Class B felony child molesting and Class C felony child molesting under the deal negotiated between defense attorney Kurt Earnst and prosecutors.

He was originally charged with seven counts of child molesting and two counts of criminal deviate conduct.

The mother of one of the victims said Comford’s punishment was too lenient and she opposed the plea, saying the sex acts with her now 14-year-old son were not represented in his convictions.

“For him to receive such a light sentence, it makes me sick,” she said.

La Porte County Prosecutor Rob Beckman said the sentence was appropriate under state law, which requires lack of criminal history be a serious mitigating factor in arriving at punishment. Comford has no prior convictions.

Beckman said another factor was being consistent with the outcomes of previous similar cases. “That’s how this case worked. That’s how every case works,” Beckman said.

Comford was arrested in July 2007 on allegations he had sexual contact with three children. According to court records, he was later accused of engaging in sexual activity with a person described by investigators as “so mentally disabled or deficient that consent to conduct cannot be given.”Comford was actively involved with the children at Faith Baptist Church where his grandfather, the Rev. Jack Cox, was pastor. Some of the illegal acts occurred at the church and others off the grounds during church-sponsored functions, according to court records.

La Porte County Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Evans pointed out two of the four victims were in favor of the court accepting the plea.


After the sentence was announced, one of the victims did not offer a response, she said.

The woman opposed to the outcome said her son was never contacted to express his thoughts on the guilty plea.

Evans, though, said the boy was evaluated at a hospital and based on the outcome of the medical evaluations it was decided to be more fitting not to solicit the boy for his opinion.

The woman said her son is still receiving inpatient care to deal with his past dealings with Comford, which took place over at least three years.

“I don’t feel justice was served for my child,” she said.

She has filed a $30 million lawsuit against Comford, Cox and the church. The civil case alleges Cox was informed there were concerns about his grandson’s behavior but he kept him in his youth leadership role at the church.

La Porte Circuit Court Magistrate Richard Stalbrink Jr., filling in on the bench for the Judge Tom Alevizos, accepted terms of the plea.

“These decisions are never easy for the court,” Stalbrink said.

Where Comford will serve his prison sentence will be up to the Indiana Department of Correction, which evaluates incoming offenders, said Earnst. “It’ll be up to them to determine placement.

Mark Comford – Pedophile Church Abuser gets 20 years

The woman said her son is still receiving inpatient care to deal with his past dealings with Comford, which took place over at least three years.

“I don’t feel justice was served for my child,” she said.

She has filed a $30 million lawsuit against Comford, Cox and the church. The civil case alleges Cox was informed there were concerns about his grandson’s behavior but he kept him in his youth leadership role at the church.

A La Porte area minister’s grandson received a 20-year prison sentence Friday for molesting children in the congregation.

Mark Comford, 24, also will be on probation eight years under terms of a plea accepted in La Porte Circuit Court. He was found guilty of Class B felony child molesting and Class C felony child molesting under the deal negotiated between defense attorney Kurt Earnst and prosecutors.

He was originally charged with seven counts of child molesting and two counts of criminal deviate conduct.

The mother of one of the victims said Comford’s punishment was too lenient and she opposed the plea, saying the sex acts with her now 14-year-old son were not represented in his convictions.

“For him to receive such a light sentence, it makes me sick,” she said.

La Porte County Prosecutor Rob Beckman said the sentence was appropriate under state law, which requires lack of criminal history be a serious mitigating factor in arriving at punishment. Comford has no prior convictions.

Beckman said another factor was being consistent with the outcomes of previous similar cases. “That’s how this case worked. That’s how every case works,” Beckman said.

Comford was arrested in July 2007 on allegations he had sexual contact with three children. According to court records, he was later accused of engaging in sexual activity with a person described by investigators as “so mentally disabled or deficient that consent to conduct cannot be given.”Comford was actively involved with the children at Faith Baptist Church where his grandfather, the Rev. Jack Cox, was pastor. Some of the illegal acts occurred at the church and others off the grounds during church-sponsored functions, according to court records.

La Porte County Deputy Prosecutor Jennifer Evans pointed out two of the four victims were in favor of the court accepting the plea.


After the sentence was announced, one of the victims did not offer a response, she said.

The woman opposed to the outcome said her son was never contacted to express his thoughts on the guilty plea.

Evans, though, said the boy was evaluated at a hospital and based on the outcome of the medical evaluations it was decided to be more fitting not to solicit the boy for his opinion.

The woman said her son is still receiving inpatient care to deal with his past dealings with Comford, which took place over at least three years.

“I don’t feel justice was served for my child,” she said.

She has filed a $30 million lawsuit against Comford, Cox and the church. The civil case alleges Cox was informed there were concerns about his grandson’s behavior but he kept him in his youth leadership role at the church.

La Porte Circuit Court Magistrate Richard Stalbrink Jr., filling in on the bench for the Judge Tom Alevizos, accepted terms of the plea.

“These decisions are never easy for the court,” Stalbrink said.

Where Comford will serve his prison sentence will be up to the Indiana Department of Correction, which evaluates incoming offenders, said Earnst. “It’ll be up to them to determine placement.

Steven Holmes – Violent Rapist gets 15 to 20 years

“Steven is not a bad person – he just has issues.”

–Aunt Carolyn


A 19-year-old North Philadelphia man who beat and sexually assaulted a Temple student in a campus building last year will serve 15 to 20 years in prison, followed by 27 years of probation.

Steven Holmes, who pleaded guilty in May to attacking the student last November, was sentenced yesterday for aggravated assault, aggravated indecent assault and related offenses.

Common Pleas Judge Karen Shreeves-Johns also ruled that Holmes will have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law upon his release.

“I don’t know where that system failed,” Shreeves-Johns said in court, referring to Holmes’ lengthy juvenile criminal record. “You need to be watched for the greater portion of your life.”

On Nov. 1, 2007, the victim was locking up a classroom in Anderson Hall on Temple’s campus when a masked Holmes grabbed her from behind. He dragged her to a bathroom where he savagely beat her, choked her until she passed out and sexually assaulted her.

Authorities have said that the bathroom was covered in blood.

“Although I may have physically survived a vicious attack, a part of me didn’t,” the victim said in her statement yesterday. “I lost more than my personal belongings that night. I lost part of myself.”

The defense argued that Holmes, who lived on 11th Street near Berks, about half a block from Anderson, is mentally ill, citing that he was previously on medication for schizophrenia. The defense also said that he has no recollection of the incident because he was high on PCP at the time.

“He should be so lucky [not to remember the attack],” the victim said during her statement. “Because I will always have memories.”

Public Defender Tracy Frederick asked that the judge strongly consider rehabilitation in the case, because none of Holmes’ previous charges was as serious, and said that, at 19, he is just beyond the juvenile system.

Frederick said Holmes requested to write an apology letter to the victim in July.

“He feels horrible about it,” she said. “He wants the victim to know how sorry he is.”

“Steven is not a bad person,” Carolyn Young, Holmes’ aunt, told the judge after apologizing to the victim’s family. “He’s a really loving person – he just has issues.”

The defense also requested that Holmes be placed in State Correctional Institution Waymart, a facility for mentally disabled inmates. He will be held there so he can undergo mental health treatment during his incarceration.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Davis had requested that Holmes be sentenced to at least 35 years’ incarceration, based on his rate of recidivism as a juvenile.

Just before the sentencing, Shreeves-Johns asked Holmes if he had anything to say.

“I just need help, your Honor,” he said quietly, after apologizing for the incident.

Shreeves-Johns recognized that Holmes is mentally ill, but said his claimed use of PCP during the assault had been voluntary. In addition to incarceration and probation, she ordered him to undergo psychiatric counseling, anger-management therapy, random urinalysis and drug treatment. *

Published in: on November 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Steven Holmes – Violent Rapist gets 15 to 20 years

“Steven is not a bad person – he just has issues.”

–Aunt Carolyn


A 19-year-old North Philadelphia man who beat and sexually assaulted a Temple student in a campus building last year will serve 15 to 20 years in prison, followed by 27 years of probation.

Steven Holmes, who pleaded guilty in May to attacking the student last November, was sentenced yesterday for aggravated assault, aggravated indecent assault and related offenses.

Common Pleas Judge Karen Shreeves-Johns also ruled that Holmes will have to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law upon his release.

“I don’t know where that system failed,” Shreeves-Johns said in court, referring to Holmes’ lengthy juvenile criminal record. “You need to be watched for the greater portion of your life.”

On Nov. 1, 2007, the victim was locking up a classroom in Anderson Hall on Temple’s campus when a masked Holmes grabbed her from behind. He dragged her to a bathroom where he savagely beat her, choked her until she passed out and sexually assaulted her.

Authorities have said that the bathroom was covered in blood.

“Although I may have physically survived a vicious attack, a part of me didn’t,” the victim said in her statement yesterday. “I lost more than my personal belongings that night. I lost part of myself.”

The defense argued that Holmes, who lived on 11th Street near Berks, about half a block from Anderson, is mentally ill, citing that he was previously on medication for schizophrenia. The defense also said that he has no recollection of the incident because he was high on PCP at the time.

“He should be so lucky [not to remember the attack],” the victim said during her statement. “Because I will always have memories.”

Public Defender Tracy Frederick asked that the judge strongly consider rehabilitation in the case, because none of Holmes’ previous charges was as serious, and said that, at 19, he is just beyond the juvenile system.

Frederick said Holmes requested to write an apology letter to the victim in July.

“He feels horrible about it,” she said. “He wants the victim to know how sorry he is.”

“Steven is not a bad person,” Carolyn Young, Holmes’ aunt, told the judge after apologizing to the victim’s family. “He’s a really loving person – he just has issues.”

The defense also requested that Holmes be placed in State Correctional Institution Waymart, a facility for mentally disabled inmates. He will be held there so he can undergo mental health treatment during his incarceration.

Assistant District Attorney Bill Davis had requested that Holmes be sentenced to at least 35 years’ incarceration, based on his rate of recidivism as a juvenile.

Just before the sentencing, Shreeves-Johns asked Holmes if he had anything to say.

“I just need help, your Honor,” he said quietly, after apologizing for the incident.

Shreeves-Johns recognized that Holmes is mentally ill, but said his claimed use of PCP during the assault had been voluntary. In addition to incarceration and probation, she ordered him to undergo psychiatric counseling, anger-management therapy, random urinalysis and drug treatment. *

Published in: on November 15, 2008 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Roshard Cole – Repeat Sex Offender – Busted by DNA

State Police say an unexpected DNA hit solved a six-year-old cold case in Petersburg. Samuel Roshard Cole, 31, is charged him with rape, sodomy, abduction by force and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Cole will be arraigned today in General District Court.

A series of events and cooperative information sharing among multiple police agencies, an alert Petersburg Sheriff’s Office magistrate, the Sex Offender Registry, Department of Forensic Science and the DNA match led to Cole’s arrest, according to State Police.

Back in April, Cole, a resident Hopewell, had to appear before a Petersburg magistrate for a bond hearing on a contempt of court charge.

Looking at Cole’s criminal record, the magistrate suspected that he might be required to register on Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. Cole didn’t only have a history of convictions for possession of marijuana, obstruction of justice and driving while drinking with an open container. In 1996, he was convicted on two accounts of sexual battery, but had never registered as a sex offender.

Recent legislation in Virginia requires all registered sex offenders to provide a DNA sample, which is analyzed and maintained by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.

Cole provided his sample in May.

State Police then forwarded the sample to DFS for analysis. Last month, Petersburg police were notified of a match between evidence from the 2002 crime scene and Cole’s DNA. Petersburg investigators had investigated the crime for more than a year after it happened, but had exhausted all possible leads.

When officers received the positive match, authorities were already looking for Cole because of forgery charges. Cole was finally arrested last week during a traffic stop. He is currently being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte
Published in: on November 15, 2008 at 12:42 am  Leave a Comment  

Roshard Cole – Repeat Sex Offender – Busted by DNA

State Police say an unexpected DNA hit solved a six-year-old cold case in Petersburg. Samuel Roshard Cole, 31, is charged him with rape, sodomy, abduction by force and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Cole will be arraigned today in General District Court.

A series of events and cooperative information sharing among multiple police agencies, an alert Petersburg Sheriff’s Office magistrate, the Sex Offender Registry, Department of Forensic Science and the DNA match led to Cole’s arrest, according to State Police.

Back in April, Cole, a resident Hopewell, had to appear before a Petersburg magistrate for a bond hearing on a contempt of court charge.

Looking at Cole’s criminal record, the magistrate suspected that he might be required to register on Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. Cole didn’t only have a history of convictions for possession of marijuana, obstruction of justice and driving while drinking with an open container. In 1996, he was convicted on two accounts of sexual battery, but had never registered as a sex offender.

Recent legislation in Virginia requires all registered sex offenders to provide a DNA sample, which is analyzed and maintained by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.

Cole provided his sample in May.

State Police then forwarded the sample to DFS for analysis. Last month, Petersburg police were notified of a match between evidence from the 2002 crime scene and Cole’s DNA. Petersburg investigators had investigated the crime for more than a year after it happened, but had exhausted all possible leads.

When officers received the positive match, authorities were already looking for Cole because of forgery charges. Cole was finally arrested last week during a traffic stop. He is currently being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Roshard Cole – Repeat Sex Offender – Busted by DNA

State Police say an unexpected DNA hit solved a six-year-old cold case in Petersburg. Samuel Roshard Cole, 31, is charged him with rape, sodomy, abduction by force and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Cole will be arraigned today in General District Court.

A series of events and cooperative information sharing among multiple police agencies, an alert Petersburg Sheriff’s Office magistrate, the Sex Offender Registry, Department of Forensic Science and the DNA match led to Cole’s arrest, according to State Police.

Back in April, Cole, a resident Hopewell, had to appear before a Petersburg magistrate for a bond hearing on a contempt of court charge.

Looking at Cole’s criminal record, the magistrate suspected that he might be required to register on Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. Cole didn’t only have a history of convictions for possession of marijuana, obstruction of justice and driving while drinking with an open container. In 1996, he was convicted on two accounts of sexual battery, but had never registered as a sex offender.

Recent legislation in Virginia requires all registered sex offenders to provide a DNA sample, which is analyzed and maintained by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.

Cole provided his sample in May.

State Police then forwarded the sample to DFS for analysis. Last month, Petersburg police were notified of a match between evidence from the 2002 crime scene and Cole’s DNA. Petersburg investigators had investigated the crime for more than a year after it happened, but had exhausted all possible leads.

When officers received the positive match, authorities were already looking for Cole because of forgery charges. Cole was finally arrested last week during a traffic stop. He is currently being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Roshard Cole – Repeat Sex Offender – Busted by DNA

State Police say an unexpected DNA hit solved a six-year-old cold case in Petersburg. Samuel Roshard Cole, 31, is charged him with rape, sodomy, abduction by force and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Cole will be arraigned today in General District Court.

A series of events and cooperative information sharing among multiple police agencies, an alert Petersburg Sheriff’s Office magistrate, the Sex Offender Registry, Department of Forensic Science and the DNA match led to Cole’s arrest, according to State Police.

Back in April, Cole, a resident Hopewell, had to appear before a Petersburg magistrate for a bond hearing on a contempt of court charge.

Looking at Cole’s criminal record, the magistrate suspected that he might be required to register on Virginia’s Sex Offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry. Cole didn’t only have a history of convictions for possession of marijuana, obstruction of justice and driving while drinking with an open container. In 1996, he was convicted on two accounts of sexual battery, but had never registered as a sex offender.

Recent legislation in Virginia requires all registered sex offenders to provide a DNA sample, which is analyzed and maintained by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.

Cole provided his sample in May.

State Police then forwarded the sample to DFS for analysis. Last month, Petersburg police were notified of a match between evidence from the 2002 crime scene and Cole’s DNA. Petersburg investigators had investigated the crime for more than a year after it happened, but had exhausted all possible leads.

When officers received the positive match, authorities were already looking for Cole because of forgery charges. Cole was finally arrested last week during a traffic stop. He is currently being held without bond at Riverside Regional Jail.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Alexander Henry Joyner – Repeat Sex Offender – Left in care of child

A 47-year-old registered sex offender has been charged with statutory rape/sex offense of a 13-year-old girl.

Lt. Bobby Martin of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said Alexander Henry Joyner was a relative of the victim who lived in the same house and was entrusted to take care of the child.

The offense allegedly occurred Wednesday night and investigators were called to the residence at Five Points Mobile Home Park, just outside Roanoke Rapids, Thursday morning.

The investigation by Detective Jonathan Merritt and Deputy Mark Rigsby led to the charge filed against Joyner. More charges are pending.

Martin said investigators are also trying to determine how Joyner was in a position to be a caretaker of the child, when he was a registered sex offender.

According to State Department of Correction records, Joyner was convicted in June of 1999 for three counts of indecent liberties with a child. He was released from prison on Dec. 1, 2006.

Joyner is behind bars on $75,000 bond and has a Dec. 3 court date.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte

Alexander Henry Joyner – Repeat Sex Offender – Left in care of child

A 47-year-old registered sex offender has been charged with statutory rape/sex offense of a 13-year-old girl.

Lt. Bobby Martin of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office said Alexander Henry Joyner was a relative of the victim who lived in the same house and was entrusted to take care of the child.

The offense allegedly occurred Wednesday night and investigators were called to the residence at Five Points Mobile Home Park, just outside Roanoke Rapids, Thursday morning.

The investigation by Detective Jonathan Merritt and Deputy Mark Rigsby led to the charge filed against Joyner. More charges are pending.

Martin said investigators are also trying to determine how Joyner was in a position to be a caretaker of the child, when he was a registered sex offender.

According to State Department of Correction records, Joyner was convicted in June of 1999 for three counts of indecent liberties with a child. He was released from prison on Dec. 1, 2006.

Joyner is behind bars on $75,000 bond and has a Dec. 3 court date.

“25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years”
………Sarah Tofte