Dozens of supporters wearing purple ribbons filled a Queens Supreme Court room, where the Rev. Phillip Joubert received a five-year prison sentence last week for sexually abusing his teenage daughter in his Bayside home in the summer of 2009.
Justice Barry Krohn handed the pastor of the Community Baptist Church a five-year sentence for sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child during sentencing last Thursday. Joubert, 50, will have three years post-release supervision upon completing his sentence and will have to register as a sex offender.
Joubert admitted to inappropriate contact with the young girl at his Bayside home when he was arrested in November 2009 by NYPD Queens Special Victims Squad detectives. He was acquitted of rape and incest charges during his trial last month.
Krohn said he took into consideration Joubert’s lack of a criminal record and the 25 letters of support he received attesting to the pastor’s commendable character when making his decision.
“Over his life, Phillip Joubert has had a positive impact,” Krohn said, and asserted be believed Joubert would “try to help people in a positive way as he has done in the past” upon his release.
Joubert’s wife, who is seeking a divorce, and his daughter spoke at the sentencing. Both said they forgave the man, but asked Krohn to deliver the maximum sentence, which would have been 14 years.
“We’ve been waiting two years for a result, for an answer,” Gayla Joubert told the judge, saying she and her daughter have been ostracized from their community.
Joubert turned to his wife when she addressed him and said, “You never said sorry; you never acted like you care. I could have worked with sorry.”
The pastor’s wife said that had he been contrite, she would have considered counseling.
“I do forgive you because I can’t hold that in my heart and let it keep me from God,” she said.
Then she turned to Krohn and asked that he deliver the maximum sentence: “Only a maximum sentence will do. Anything less will solidify his belief that he’s done nothing wrong.”
Joubert chose not to speak, though his attorney, Philip Russell, did ask for mercy.
Krohn said he wished he had some words of wisdom to offer solace.
“Regardless of any number I put on a sentence, once this sentencing is over everyone needs to go on with their life,” he said. “In a very spiritual family, I can only hope everybody finds internal peace.”
Supporters wept and offered spiritual advice to each other as they emptied the court room.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@
©2011 Community News Group
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