Former Jehovah's Witness Preacher Convicted of Playing Strip Poker With 14-Year-Old Boy Only Gets Six Months in Jail

A former Jehovah's Witness preacher who pleaded guilty to charges that he repeatedly played strip poker and felated a 14-year-old member of his congregation more than 30 years ago got a tap on the wrist this morning when he was sentenced by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen O'Connor -- the guy only got six months in jail.

Seems pretty light when you look at similar cases, namely Susan Brock's. She's serving a 13-year prison sentence for sexually abusing a Chandler teen.

It seems even more absurd when you consider the grotesque details of David Clark Nelson's crimes.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, in September 1980, when he was 33-years-old, Nelson had the 14-year-old victim -- described as "a close family friend" -- over to his house on at least two occasions to play cards. Nelson's rules are different than, say, Vegas' -- the loser in his game is required to pull out his penis and show it to the winner.

As the games progressed, the stakes got higher, and the loser was required to touch the winner's penis with his hand.

According to the police report, both Nelson and the victim touched each other's penises.

As the game progressed, the stakes got even higher. By the end of the games, the loser had to suck the winner's penis, which happened, the report claims, on at least two occasions.

According to the report, the first time Nelson sucked the victim's penis, he hummed as he went to the bathroom to wash the victim's semen out of his mouth. On the second occasion, he just spit it into a towel.

Nelson was only caught because, during a recent phone call with the victim, he admitted to the blowjobs and to playing strip poker with the boy. The conversation was recorded and given to police.

Nelson told police he wanted to apologize to the victim and that everything that happened was his fault.

Per our request, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office is looking into why the sentence was so light. It could be because the date of the offense was at a time when sentencing guidelines for these types of crimes were not yet in place, or it could have been included in his plea deal when he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual conduct with a minor. We'll let you know when they get back to us.

Click here for MCAO's explanation of Nelson's sentence.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King