COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho --- A long-haul truck driver from Coeur d'Alene who served as a church youth camp counselor was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to abusing underage boys in Spokane, Washington, and Kootenai counties.
Kevin Sloniker pleaded guilty in March to molesting seven boys between the ages of 8 and 14.
He was arrested Sept. 14, 2015 in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and extradited to Idaho.
Prosecutors say Sloniker met and befriended boys in his role as a youth camp counselor at Immaculate Conception Church in Post Falls. The church is part of the Society of Saint Pius X, a traditionalist group with no canonical standing in the Roman Catholic Church.
“This is the worst case I have ever covered,” said Jed Whitaker, the prosecutor in the case at the sentencing hearing. “Society expects a life sentence.”
Prosecutors asked the judge for several concurrent life sentences for Sloniker. They argued he told a victim to “stop being a girl” to pressure one of the young male victims into sex.
Sloniker addressed the court at the hearing. He said he molested boys because he never had friends and wanted a sense of companionship. He said he was a “man of the Bible” and only expected to get seven years in prison.
“Each one of these boys will live with this the rest of his life,” said Whitaker.
Sloniker was sentenced to life in prison. He will not be eligible for parole for 35 years.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
(© 2017 KREM)