A sentencing hearing for an ex-youth pastor accused of secretly recording girls showering, changing clothes and using the bathroom had been a “pressure cooker of emotions” as his young victims testified for two hours, the Mail Tribune reported.
Then it boiled over.
The father of at least one of the girls leaped over a railing and punched Donald Courtney Biggs, 40, bringing the proceedings to a close, reported KOBI.
“Full force, just like Superman, it looked like he flew through the air right into him and just punched him,” witness Jacob Elkin told the station.
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The attack left Biggs curled on the courtroom floor in a fetal position, reported the Mail Tribune.
Biggs, a former youth pastor at Mountain Christian Fellowship in Medford, Oregon, pleaded guilty in February to transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, the publication reported.
Biggs, who admitted to secretly recording the girl, also had been accused of making other recordings of girls in bathrooms at his home, on church trips and at summer camps, the Mail Tribune reported. He faces 10 to 15 years in prison.
At his sentencing hearing Wednesday, girls and their families spoke about the effect his illicit activities had on them, reported KDVR.
After two hours of testimony, an attorney for Biggs began telling the court about daily letters he had written to his four sons from jail when a 45-year-old man who had been sitting with the victims lunged over a railing, reported the Mail Tribune.
The man, identified as the father of at least one victim, punched Biggs in the nose before courtroom security officers separated them, reported KDVR.
Biggs was taken to a hospital. His attacker was arrested on suspicion of assault, disorderly conduct, and obstruction of judicial administration, the station reported. The sentencing hearing will resume Thursday.
Elkin, who said he’s a friend of the man’s family, has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay legal expenses. The page had raised $3,300 toward a $5,000 goal by Thursday morning.
“And of course you know, never really a proponent for violence but I felt like in this situation it brought a little bit of relief to all those girls who’ve been in this situation for years,” Elkin told KOBI.
“For those who have had a hard time with that, I felt like it was a little piece of justice today as harsh as that may sound,” he told the station. “It felt good.”