Confessed Child Molester Apologizes to Families : Crime: Ex-Sunday school teacher weeps, says: ‘I’m so thankful to you for turning me in. I was without hope.’


Shaking and weeping uncontrollably, confessed child molester John Allen Midgett apologized Friday in San Diego Superior Court to the parents of some of the eight girls he victimized while he was their Sunday school teacher.

Midgett, who pleaded guilty in July to 43 counts of sexually assaulting young girls between the ages of 5 and 10, was sentenced Friday to 30 years in state prison. Judge Allan J. Preckel also ordered Midgett to pay $10,000 in restitution to the victims. Midgett was facing a sentence of anywhere between six and 102 years.

“I’m really sorry,” Midgett said at the onset of an unusually long and emotional confession to the parents of the girls.


“I know those words don’t mean anything to you. They won’t change anything. They won’t make what I’ve done any less. They won’t heal your children. But they’re the only words I have.”

The eight girls all attended Mormon Sunday school classes taught by Midgett, who was a personal friend of many of victims’ families.

The attacks occurred either in Mormon churches in Mira Mesa and Rancho Penasquitos or in the girls’ homes. Midgett’s lawyer, Juliana Humphrey, said Midgett entered the guilty plea in an effort to spare the children from having to testify in a trial.

Charges were filed against Midgett after he confessed to church leaders to some of his crimes. The church leaders, in turn, went to police.

“I’m so thankful to you for turning me in,” he said to members of his church attending Friday’s sentencing. “I was without hope.”

Humphrey said her client “wants desperately, very desperately to be healed,” and she asked the judge to see that Midgett gets psychiatric help as soon as possible. Preckel lamented that counseling will probably not be available to Midgett until he nears the end of his sentence.


Both Humphrey and Deputy Dist. Atty. Oscar Garcia each at separate times had to take a moment during the emotional hearing to gain composure.

Garcia, while acknowledging Midgett’s desire to spare the victims further pain, reminded the judge that the former Navy petty officer was aware of his problem and could have stayed away from children. Garcia said the girls involved were scarred emotionally.

One mother told of her daughter’s fear of men and a lack of trust in adults since she was molested.

“My little daughter was 6 years old when this all started happening to her. She now is afraid of everything,” the mother said. “We have been through hell. If you can’t trust your Sunday school teacher, how can you trust anyone else?”