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.

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