Former church youth leader pleads guilty to molestation

He sexually abused two teenage boys during devotions

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

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A former volunteer youth leader at a Vancouver church pleaded guilty Thursday to sexually abusing two teenage boys during private devotions last year.

Jason L. Wolk, 26, of Vancouver pleaded guilty to indecent liberties and two counts of third-degree child molestation.

He will be sentenced Jan. 6, once a corrections officer completes a presentence investigation report.

Under the state’s sentencing guidelines, Wolk faces a sentence of between four years and nine months and six years and four months in prison. However, Wolk’s defense attorney, Jon McMullen, is free to ask for the Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative, which allows offenders to undergo therapy on their own dime and receive a lesser sentence.

Wolk, who was not in custody at his hearing, was ordered to be held without bail after he entered his plea.

Wolk was arrested last spring after the teens disclosed that the volunteer at Vancouver Wesleyan Church molested them during private devotions designed to help with their “Christian life walk.” At least one instance occurred on a camping trip in Klickitat County; Wolk’s indecent liberties charge relates to that event. Other incidents took place in Wolk’s home, police said.

The 15-year-old told detectives he and Wolk read while lying on his bed with Wolk’s arm around the boy’s shoulders, according to court documents. On at least one occasion, the teen said that Wolk made him strip down to his boxers and lie in bed with him. The molestation took place at that time.

McMullen said the guilty plea resolves all the allegations, including the Klickitat County instance. In addition to the sentence, Wolk will have to be a registered sex offender for 15 years.