COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Retired Air Force chaplain David Grosse, 79, will spend 10 years to life in prison for sex assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.
Grosse was originally facing four counts of child sex assault and took a plea deal in May.
During his sentencing hearing on Monday, Grosse made a tearful apology. "I cannot rationalize, excuse or justify what I've done ... It's outrageous," said Grosse.
The judge responded and said, "your claims of sorrow are not as legitimate as they may seem."
Court documents indicate Grosse targeted young girls who were relatives or close family friends, and asked him not to talk about what was happening so he wouldn't get in trouble.
Four people recounted multiple incidents with Grosse in which he reportedly touched them inappropriately, laid with them in bed or visited them in the bathroom. In some of those cases, the victims said Grosse was naked.
One of his victims took the stand during his sentencing hearing and talked about defining moments in life and that one of hers would be confronting him about his abuse. She went on to ask the court to give him the full extent of what his crimes warrant.
A mother of a victim also took the stand on Monday. She testified Grosse victimized her daughter for eight years, beginning when she was just four years old. She described his actions as horrifying. She went on to say he manipulated her daughter into believing she had a very special relationship with Grosse.
Two people also took the stand in Grosse' defense. A friend of five years said, "David was a kind, smart man ... if ever a case for mercy and leniency this would be one."
His Pastor said, "(Grouse) has stated his sorrow and repentance and has turned his life around 180 percent."
Families of victims expressed relief over his sentencing and tell KRDO News Channel 13 that they feared he could be set free.
The judge, when handing down his sentence, said, "You are a serial child molester ... you used those closest to you and manipulated them ... these victims will never be the same."