Benjamin R. Boysel (left) looks down at the table as his attorney, Ed Hatcher, turns and listens to a victim talk about her emotional pain caused by Boysel’s actions. The former youth pastor was sentenced on four counts of Sexual Battery on Wednesday, July 7, in the Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas, receiving 12 years of prison time to be served consecutively, a mandatory five years of community control when released and he must register as a Tier 3 Sex Offender. (Times Bulletin/Kirk Dougal)
Benjamin R. Boysel (left) looks down at the table as his attorney, Ed Hatcher, turns and listens to a victim talk about her emotional pain caused by Boysel’s actions. The former youth pastor was sentenced on four counts of Sexual Battery on Wednesday, July 7, in the Van Wert County Court of Common Pleas, receiving 12 years of prison time to be served consecutively, a mandatory five years of community control when released and he must register as a Tier 3 Sex Offender. (Times Bulletin/Kirk Dougal)
BY KIRK DOUGAL

Times Bulletin Editor

kdougal@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - A local court case that raised both concern and anger came to a conclusion on Wednesday when Benjamin R. Boysel, 34, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on four counts of Sexual Battery.

Boysel, now living in Medina, Ohio, was formerly employed as the youth pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Van Wert. He had originally been indicted for sexual acts with four females under the age of 18 years-old from January 1, 2006 to November 18, 2009 with a trial date set for May 17 of this year. Boysel changed his plea to guilty at his final pre-trial hearing on May 10, setting up Wednesday's sentencing.

During the hearing, Boysel tried to explain how sorry he felt about the incidents.

"I have wrestled with what to say," he said. "My actions have been utterly deplorable. I have tried to put myself into the shoes of the families that I hurt. I was behaving selfishly, only thinking of myself and not those who I was hurting."

One of the victims addressed the court during the hearing, telling Van Wert County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles D. Steele that although their wounds were not physical and could not be seen, she and the other victims were still carrying the pain inside themselves.

Assistant County Prosecutor Kevin Taylor stressed to Judge Steele the horrible nature of the crimes.

"We think it is important for the court to take into account that these were four separate victims and two of these (offenses) occurred over a period of almost two years," he said. "Only one charge was filed on each one but it was a long time for these fearful victims to be manipulated by this person and tutored by this person in a classic way and manipulated by him for his sexual gratification."

Boysel could have received 20 years in prison and be fined up to $40,000 for the four counts. In exchange for his change of plea to guilty in May, the prosecutor's office agreed to a sentencing recommendation of four years, two years, four years and two years to be served consecutively on the four counts. Judge Steele agreed, also ordering that Boysel as a Tier 3 Sex Offender must register every 90 days for the rest of his life with law enforcement agencies in his county of residence and serve five years of mandatory community control when he is released from prison.