North Pole man sentenced for child molestation

Posted: Friday, August 02, 2002

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A former church-school worker was sentenced to 32 years in prison for molesting several children in North Pole.

Kenneth Rarick, 50, is a repeat sexual offender with a cunning ability to win the trust of both adults and young children, Superior Court Judge Niesje Steinkruger said Thursday.

''Mr. Rarick is manipulative in the extreme in cultivating opportunities to gain access to young children,'' Steinkruger said. ''He is extremely dangerous.''

Rarick pleaded no contest in February to three counts of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of solicitation of a minor. A grand jury had indicted him on five additional counts of sexual abuse of a minor, but those were dropped as part of a plea deal.

Rarick was arrested in December and charged with molesting a 10-year-old boy. More alleged victims surfaced during further investigation by Alaska State Troopers, and Rarick was eventually charged with molesting four children and soliciting a fifth.

Three of the children had lived with Rarick, a live-in homeschool teacher from 1997 to 1998. One of the alleged victims met Rarick in 1996, when the former Boy Scout leader was teaching at Jubilee Christian School, a private school in North Pole.

The school, run from the premises of a charismatic church called Freedom in Christ Ministries, closed three years ago.

In 1982, Rarick was convicted of sexually abusing a young boy during a Boy Scout outing.

In Thursday's sentencing hearing, Fairbanks District Attorney Teresa Foster called for a lengthy prison sentence rather than probation time or treatment.

''The only time in the past 20 years that Mr. Rarick has not been abusing children is when he was in jail, behind bars, without access to children,'' Foster said.

Rarick's attorney, Jim Cannon, said Rarick would have been less prone to commit the latest abuses had he received treatment during his imprisonment for the 1982 conviction.

''Mr. Rarick has an illness, he needs treatment for an illness,'' Cannon said. ''He's not a violent man.''

Speaking briefly, Rarick asked for a sentence of mostly treatment and said he wanted a chance to express remorse to the children and their families.

''From my newfound religious convictions I recently had, I realize the gravity of what I've done,'' he said.

Rarick's sentence also includes 10 years of probation. He also must register for life on the state's sex offender database.

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