Former pastor gets 18 years in child sex abuse case

Published 10:45 am Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A former Austin pastor was sentenced to 18 years in prison Tuesday for sexually assaulting a child 20 years ago.



Gordon Larson, 62, was convicted of first degree sexual assault of a child in Waukesha County District Court in Wisconsin last November.

He allegedly had inappropriate contact with the victim when he lived in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, from 1989 to 1994.

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According to a court complaint, the victim told police last December that Larson abused her multiple times from the time she was 4 or 5 years old until she was 9 whenever they were alone in his office at the church or when she was sleeping. She allegedly stepped forward because she believes Larson is a pedophile and worried for other children’s safety around him.

In 2011, Larson allegedly admitted to sexually abusing the victim but told her he never raped her, according to the complaint. In addition, Larson’s wife allegedly knew about Larson’s assaults but was praying they would stop and the victim would forget about them when she got older, according to the complaint.

Larson later admitted to police he had sexually assaulted the victim in 1990 but believed it only took place during a two- to three-month period and only recalled about six assaults.

He described similar assaults the victim told detectives about and further stated he was “prepared to accept his punishment for these actions,” according to the complaint.

Larson was the pastor at Austin’s Grace Baptist Church from 1995 to 2011.

He also occasionally wrote columns for the Herald and volunteered for several community organizations, among other things.