Surrey pastor found guilty of sexual assault, not guilty on 7 other charges
VANCOUVER - A former Surrey pastor and father of five has been found guilty of one count of sexual assault stemming from alleged incidents dating back to 2014.
A judge found him not guilty of seven other charges on which he was tried, including four other counts of sexual assault, two counts of touching a young person for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual interference involving a person under the age of 16.
Emerson's wife, Madelaine Louise Emerson, was found not guilty of the two charges she faced Wednesday.
The couple had pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Emerson was a pastor at Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church, but stepped down after the first allegations were made against him in 2017, according to his father, Randy Emerson, who spoke to CTV News Vancouver at the time the allegations were made public.
At that time, Randy Emerson said the number of parishioners dropped from 250 to just 60 in the wake of the investigation into his son.
"It was devastating," the elder Emerson said at the time. "You can imagine how hurt people would be for accusations of sacred trust being broken."
Speaking to reporters outside Surrey provincial court on Wednesday, Randy Emerson said the verdict was the culmination of a difficult time in his family's life.
"It's been a long two-and-a-half years for us," he said. "Lots of hurt all the way around."
Asked what sort of effect the result of the trial would have on the church, the father thanked the parishioners who had continued attending throughout the legal process.
"For the church, I think it won't change a lot," he said. "The people that have been coming are aware of everything that's going on and they've made a choice to walk with us, and we're very grateful for that."
Neither Samuel Emerson nor his wife spoke to reporters as they exited the courthouse. A sentencing hearing for the former pastor has been scheduled for Friday, Nov. 29.