Vinton Pastor Sentenced In Child Sex Abuse Case
(From The Roanoke Times)
"A former assistant pastor of a Vinton church was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.
Daniel Silverman, who had earlier pleaded no contest, maintained his innocence to the end — saying he would rather be branded a sex offender and face a prison term than subject the girl to the emotional trauma of testifying against him.
"I would rather plead no contest than put her through that," Silverman told Roanoke Circuit Court Judge James Swanson.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Leach disputed the innocence claim, noting that Silverman had confessed to a police officer and a social services worker following the offense last summer.
Silverman, 43, was the assistant pastor of Heritage Baptist Church in Vinton. In an unrelated case, a former deacon of the church was convicted recently of child molestation. Dean Harold Stone was sentenced to 48 years in prison for 12 felony sex crimes involving three young girls.
Neither of the cases occurred at Heritage Baptist or were directly connected to the church."