• Former pastor convicted of abusing young girl facing civil penalty


    PITTSBURGH - A former pastor convicted of sexually abusing a 9-year-old girl is also facing a major civil penalty.

    After a non-jury trial, Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Donald Walko ordered Stephan Ramsier to pay the victim $2.5 million in damages.

    Ramsier is still serving a prison sentence for the abuse, which took place between 2008 and 2011 when the victim was 9 years old.

    His parole hearing is scheduled for October.


    "This is going to haunt him for the rest of his life. Just like he's haunting her," said Mark Smith, the victim's attorney.

    Ramsier worked as a pastor at what is now known as New Creation Community Church in Lawrenceville.

    He met the victim years earlier while working at Light of Life in the North Side.

    Lawsuits filed against the two churches were resolved out of court.

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    While it's unlikely Ramsier will be able to pay the multimillon dollar judgment, Smith told Channel 11 the family has other motivations for seeing this through.

    "If a company wants to hire him or he tries to get a job somewhere, even if they don't do a criminal background check, this verdict and this judgement is going to be on his record," Smith said.

    He told Channel 11 the next step is sharing his client's story with the Parole Board, who will decide if Ramsier should be let out of prison early, even as  the victim in this case moves forward.

    "Very, very bright with a very bright future. But there's not a day that goes by that she doesn't think about and feel the things that have happened to her," Smith said.

    Ramsier also spent nearly a year in jail in 1995 for assaulting a woman in Washington County.


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