Former church deacon, kids’ choir guitarist, sexually abused young relative for years

Following his conviction in September, an Illinois man learned this week that he would spend five years behind bars for the years-long sexual abuse of an underage family member.

According to the Northwest Herald, 54-year-old David Tapley had been a deacon at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Cary, where he also served as the guitarist for the children’s choir, when authorities learned of allegations against him.

The victim shared details of her claims against Tapley online in 2015, sparking an investigation that resulted in his arrest.

He faced trial last year and was convicted of three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child.

During a sentencing hearing on Thursday, 22nd Judicial Circuit Chief Judge James Cowlin handed down the five-year sentence. Tapley will be required to serve at least half of that time before his release, which will be followed by a two-year parole period and sex-offender probation.

In addition to the sentence, Tapley was ordered to pay $27,000 that will go toward a state victim’s compensation fund as well as restitution to the victim’s family in the amount of $15,022. He will also be financially responsible for all counseling his victim will require.

During trial, the girl testified alongside a service dog her father says she needs to cope after being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The victim’s mother used the opportunity to call on other parents to use their best judgment in determining whether something seems off with their kids.

“We cannot undo what’s already even done, but maybe I can help another family so they don’t have to go through it,” she said.

Tapley’s wife was also in the courtroom, but what removed by security after she allegedly flipped the bird to the victim’s mother. She reportedly works at the church’s school as a teacher.

Rev. Jeremy Trowbridge issued a statement claiming that Tapley’s “involvement with the children’s choir as a guitarist was a limited volunteer position wherein he was only called upon as a substitute when that specific choir was in need,” adding that “he neither held a leadership position nor did he serve in a consistent manner.”

Following his arrest, the church banned him from the property.

[Featured image: David Tapley, Crystal Lake Police Department]