Students won't be hearing cries of "sinners" and "whores" from Penn's most notorious preacher anytime soon.
A jury convicted campus fixture "Brother Stephen" on Wednesday to a minimum of three years in jail for the charge of soliciting sex from a teenage boy, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Also known as the Reverend Craig Stephen White, the well-known preacher often denounced homosexuality and allegedly harassed students on the University's campus with his megaphone and Bible.
A 12-person jury deliberated for 3 1/2 hours before finding White guilty of the sex solicitation charge and other related offenses, according to the Inquirer.
White must serve a minimum of three years for the most serious charge, according to sentencing guidelines, in the Chester County Prison.
The trial captivated Penn's campus and the rest of the city due to White's familiarity as a vocal critic of gays, Jews, Muslims and other minorities.
Many students at Penn were pleased that White would no longer be a presence on College Green.
"I'm glad he won't be on Locust Walk anymore because he was pretty annoying," College sophomore Jacob Stein said, adding that White was a "hypocrite" considering his attacks on gays.
The original charge stemmed from a juvenile's affidavit stating that on June 26, White approached the boy in a van asking for directions and the whereabouts of any strip clubs or adult book and video stores nearby.
Although the boy refused the offer of a ride in the van from White, after White left the scene he returned five minutes later.
The boy claimed White asked him if he "wanted to make some money" by allowing White to perform oral sex on him.
The boy declined the offer and memorized the license plate number of the vehicle, which was later traced back to White's ministry.
Though White pleaded not guilty to the charges, College senior Alice Jones said she believes White had always been "sort of out of control" even during his days preaching at Penn.
"He never yelled specifically at me," Jones said, but added that "if there is enough evidence to put him behind bars for something like that then they should."
Many students recognized the irony of the situation and White's personal intolerance for many minorities and sexually active "sinners."
"I think it's pretty ironic that [White] preached so much against homosexuality and here he is convicted," College senior Hillary Cohn said. "His inner demons caused him to be pretty nasty and intolerant against other people."
In judging the future return of White to preaching on campus, Cohn thought rehabilitation to be the best option.
"But I think no leniency should be shown towards him because he has children," she added.
White, his attorney and representatives from the Chester County district attorney's office could not be reached for comment.
Staff reporters Brooke Daley and Ted Ross contributed to this report.Comments powered by Disqus
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