Waukesha pastor sentenced for inappropriately touching 10-year-old girl

Posted at 7:26 PM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-03 20:35:30-05

A Waukesha pastor will spend four months in jail after he admitted to inappropriately touching a child.

72-year-old Peter Knebel, a pastor at Fox River Christian Church, was charged with first-degree sexual assault of a 10-year-old girl.

He apologized in court Tuesday before the judge handed Knebel his sentence. Knebel has a year total in jail: Four consecutive months, followed by four months where he will be able to leave for counseling or work. The final four months can be used by his probation officer if Knebel breaks the terms of his probation.

That probation will last 10 years, and may be completed in Winnebago County as he has been living in Oshkosh with his brother. The terms of probation include no unsupervised contact with minor girls and no contact with the girl he sexually assaulted, unless she reaches out for therapeutic purposes.

"They lost part of her childhood. They're having to deal with issues you normally would not deal with," the judge said in court.

The criminal complaint describes how Pastor Knebel invited the girl into his office July 19, then inappropriately touched her.

The church's executive pastor says it is hard to share with worshippers what is alleged to have happened.

"I am sickened by this situation completely. As a church we're gonna ask God to work in and through all of us and still be a light for his community," said Executive Pastor Mark Roberts, Fox River Christian Church of Waukesha.