A jury found former Lubbock pastor James Cornell Clark guilty of federal charges Wednesday morning. Clark has been on trial since Monday, on charges that he imported a Kenyan woman into the United States for to use her as a prostitute. The jury deliberated for about an hour before they found Clark guilty.
The Kenyan woman and Clark had met in Kenya in 2005. Clark offered her a scholarship to attend college, paid through a church charity. When she arrived in the Unites States a few months later, the Kenyan woman accused Clark of demanding sex in exchange for her tuition at South Plains College.
Throughout the week, the jury heard testimony from South Plains College officials, immigration officials, church members, and even the victim herself.
During closing arguments on Wednesday, the defense asked the jury to leave all of the stories of how bad Clark was behind. They pushed that Clark may be a bad person, but the woman was a prostitute in her native Kenya, and was scheming to come to the United States. They also said the woman knew what she was getting into.
The prosecution replied that the intent to bring this woman to the U.S. for immoral purposes was there all along. They said Clark sought out a prostitute. They also said, if anything, the first time the two met, he took a sexually explicit picture of her; and that clearly was not an academic interest.
Clark could face up to ten years in prison and a 250,000 dollar fine for being convicted of importing this woman for immoral purposes. His sentencing hearing is still to come.
Clark will also be up for another trial at the beginning of the year. That trial involves money laundering and his many questionable charities. Some of those charities may have funded the Kenyan woman's education.