- Associated Press - Monday, October 31, 2016

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - A long-haul truck driver from Coeur d’Alene who served as a church youth camp counselor will spend at least 35 years in prison for abusing underage boys.

Kevin Sloniker, 31, was sentenced Friday to life in prison with the possibility of parole after previously pleading guilty to molesting seven boys ages 8 to 14 over a period of about 10 years, The Spokesman-Review reported (https://bit.ly/2f9lExZ).

“You took advantage of kids in an environment that should have been safe,” 1st District Judge Cynthia Meyer told Sloniker during the sentencing hearing. “These boys will be affected for the rest of their lives.”

Sloniker has blamed his crimes on his isolated upbringing. At his sentencing hearing, he expressed remorse for his actions.

“I’m sorry for every one of my offenses,” he said. “I do pray daily for my victims and their families; that they will recover. . I’m ashamed of myself.”

Sloniker was arrested Sept. 14 in Menomonie, Wisconsin, after a joint investigation by the Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls police. He was later extradited to Idaho.

In an Oct. 9 interview with police, Sloniker admitted to fondling nine boys, having oral sex with some of them and raping one over the past 10 years, according to court documents. He said he wanted help for his addiction to touching young boys.

Prosecutors said Sloniker met and befriended boys in his role as a youth camp counselor at Immaculate Conception Church in Post Falls. The church is part of the Society of Saint Pius X, a traditionalist group with no canonical standing in the Roman Catholic Church.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, https://www.spokesman.com

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