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Dale Giffin, former pastor, cuts deal to avoid prison time on assault charges

Published: Thu, November 5, 2009 @ 2:43 p.m.

YOUNGSTOWN — A former pastor accused of rape has cut a deal avoiding prison time, but he could not avoid a searing lecture from the woman who says he abused her.

Dale Giffin, 60, of Topaz Circle, Canfield, under an agreement with county prosecutors, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of assault. Giffin was initially indicted on six counts of rape by a Mahoning County grand jury in February.

Giffin was pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Cornersburg. He served as pastor of the 2,327-member Cornersburg church for nearly 30 years until he resigned from that post and from the ministry last November.

The charges stem from allegations of rape brought forward in August 2008 by a former member of the church. The indictment accused Giffin of raping the woman while she was a young adult parishioner between 1993 and 1996.

For the complete story, see Friday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1JeffLebowski(953 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Is Lionel Hutz now the prosecutor for the county?

All kidding aside this is disappointing.

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2Attis(1134 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

So that's all the punishment this wolf in shepherd's clothing gets: a searing lecture from his victim! The ECLA should be ashamed of itself for following the morally indefensible path of the Catholic Church and shielding sex offenders who used their pastoral position to gain access to their many victims. Something is terribly wrong with our judicial system as well when a repeated sex offender like this creepy character gets off without any punishment. That, sisters and brothers, is nothing less than an invitation to rape, along as you do it in the name of God. Have you all even forgotten how to blush?!

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3littlezade(1 comment)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Attis, in all fairness no chruch can truly be held accountable for the actions of one individual. Without being confrontational, I don't think one can equate the ELCA to the Roman Catholic Church in this case. If you were to read into this story more, you'll learn that the synod did not know this was going on. The unfortunate victim didn't even say anything for fifteen years. How can you say this is the fault of the ELCA? As soon as Bishop Eaton heard about this she asked Pr. Giffin to resign. He not only resigned from the church but also pulled himself off of the clergy roster for the North Eastern Ohio Synod of the ELCA. This was truly an unfortunate event but obviously this man was able to hide all of this very, very well considering the intensive psychological evaluations pastors must undergo to achieve ordination. Personally, I will continue to pray for the restoration of safe feelings for the victims as well as pray for God to look kindly on Pr. Giffin for his actions.

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4crazy8(19 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

Well. For all of you who argued with me back in May or June that Dale Giffin would never do such a thing: Do you feel comfortable saying that now? I told you all that the truth would come out eventually. Dale has truly admitted his guilt and has gotten away with a slap on the wrist. He chose to resign from the ECLA when he was asked to resign from Zion. He knew then that he would never preach again. Too many people were going to testify against him, i.e. Pastor Mark Williams and his wife Janine. I recall others bringing Mark up in past blogs. Now we know why he left the church.

Thus, no trial or jury because Dale knew he was done. It is over. I pray for his family and for those that have been affected by his actions. He stated that "his life is ruined". Really? He did it to himself and has no one else to blame for his actions. He is his own worst enemy.

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5truthrus(16 comments)posted 6 years, 8 months ago

I found the comments Dale made during the court hearing very telling about who he really is and what he actually was most concerned about. I did not hear an appology to the victim ( let's not forget that it was he who raped a 15 year old girl on the basement floor in the church), his family, especially his wife, to the few members of the church who stood by him, to the community ,to anyone.... just that his life and reputation was ruined! What? How Christian of him to forget so quickly who actually to hold accountable for his unraveling.. There were many, many lives affected by this man's actions... wonderful members of Zion have had to find spiritual recovery in other churches, victims of his deviant aggression are left with deep emotional scars..their families as well, those members who were left are very much divided and strapped with an enormous financial debt to deal with. We all pray for the victims on both sides of this travisty and that God will help them find peace and closure . It's time for those members who are still willing to stay and turn Zion around and make it a church for EVERYONE to let Council know that they are not speaking for the PEOPLE of Zion.. their leadership has brought us to this very day and we can no longer allow business as usual!

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