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Seattle church singer Timothy Dampier

On Nov. 2, 2012, Seattle church singer Timothy Dampier pleaded guilty to 22 counts of child sexual assault and possession of child pornography. On Feb. 22, 2013, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison as part of a plea deal that avoided a trial and ensured his victims would not have to relive the abuse on the witness stand.

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dampierSEATTLE — Former Seattle church minister and singer Timothy Dampier was sentenced Friday to 22 years in prison for molesting and raping nearly a dozen boys between 1997-2011.

Standing before a courtroom full of his victims and their families, Dampier told them he was remorseful for his crimes.

Dampier met his victims working as a minister and musician at several local churches and Seattle-area youth organizations. Dampier had been employed by the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club when the allegations came to light.

“It makes me so mad he would use the church to grab and take advantage of kids, taking them into your private space; it makes me sick,” said Kia Pierce, the sister of one victim.

Pierce’s brother, Kenny McCraney, told his pastor, the Rev. R.L. Manaway, about the abuse, but Manaway didn’t report it to police.  It wasn’t until McCraney told the leader of another church that the investigation started.

“I want to make sure no one’s voice goes unheard. I don’t know how many victims there were.  Twenty-two years, I don’t feel, is enough,” said McCraney.

Dampier’s brother spoke in court, saying Timothy Dampier was a victim of abuse as a child.

“We can sit and say what a monster he is, but the brother needs some help,” said Ken Dampier.

Timothy Dampier then stood up in court and had words for his victims.

“I love each and every one of those kids to this day,” he said. “I hate that this has caused them any hardship and put them in a position to mess them up in any kind of way.”

Dampier will serve his sentence at the Monroe Correctional Complex, where they have a specific unit and treatment program for sex offenders.

When Dampier is released, the judge ruled, he cannot have any contact with children or work at any church.

In May 2011, one of Timothy Dampier’s victims came forward and told his story — it marked the end of years of abuse Dampier had exterted on children he had contact with.

Dampier has been in jail since then and in court today, as one of his victim’s looked on, he pleaded guilty to 22 counts of child sexual assault and possession of child pornography.

Once a trusted leader in two Seattle churches Dampier had been a respected role model, but now he is viewed as a convicted felon and predatory child molester.

His appearance in court today was part of a plea deal that avoids a trial and ensures his victims won’t have to relive the abuse on the witness stand.

One of those victims, Kenny M., was in court today.

He did not want to comment today, but in May 2011, outside of the courthouse when Dampier first appeared in court, he said “honestly, there was no lower point in my life,” in regard to what Dampier had done to him.

Kenny had been abused after meeting Dampier at Seattle’s Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. He said he reported the abuse to his pastor, R.L. Manaway, but Manaway never reported it to police and Dampier moved on to another church and to the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club.

When parents of children who attended the church and club learned of the abuse, they were furious.

“It seems like he should have been caught before he fell through the cracks somehow. Somebody should have been more on to it,” Mark McClure said.

Kenny said he is thankful his ordeal is over and Dampier will be behind bars for a long time and he encourages any child who was or is being sexually abused to say something to someone.

In May 2011, Kenny said “It’s nothing to be scared of. You were a child. It happened to you. He’s a grown man, so let him get all the punishment he deserves.”

Dampier is scheduled to be sentenced in October and he is expected to get 22 years, as part of the plea deal he cut with prosecutors. That’s 4-1/2 years less than he might have received had he gone to trial.

Family members said they would like to have seen him get a longer sentence, but are happy to put this behind them so that they can move forward.

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