Sex offender linked to disgraced pastor
A Big Island registered sex offender has been caught in the public spotlight focused on a nationally prominent Christian pastor whose relationship with a male prostitute led to scandal last year.
Ted Haggard resigned as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and was forced out of the 10,000-member Colorado church he founded, after admitting to paying for massages and buying methamphetamine from a Denver male escort. He has since undergone spiritual counseling and has asserted that he is heterosexual.
Haggard made an appeal for financial help last week in Colorado, suggesting that donations for his family be made to Families With a Mission, a nonprofit group run by Paul Gerard Huberty.
Families With a Mission was based in Pahoa on the Big Island since its incorporation as a nonprofit organization in June 2000. It moved to Monument, Colo., in February this year, according to Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs records.
Huberty, 50, is listed on the sex offender registry of the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center, which shows that he moved this year to Monument.
Huberty was convicted of second-degree attempted sexual assault, a felony, in Kona Circuit Court on Jan. 8, 2004. He was sentenced to one year in prison, with six months suspended, and five years' probation. In January 2002, he had been found guilty of a misdemeanor harassment charge in Kona District Court. Details of the cases were not immediately available.
Huberty's background was reported Monday in the Rocky Mountain News, which credited the Seattle Stranger, an alternative publication, with uncovering his link to the nonprofit organization.
Families With a Mission was organized "to receive and administer funds and to operate exclusively for religious, charitable or educational purposes," according to its state filing.
Haggard had been identified by Time magazine as one of the 25 most powerful evangelical Christians in America. As head of the National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella organization including 45,000 churches, he was an advisor to President Bush. He was an outspoken critic of homosexuality and an opponent of government acceptance of same-gender unions.
He came to Hawaii in April 2005 as a keynote speaker at the annual Hawaiian Islands Ministries church leadership conference, which attracts more than 4,000 people.
Haggard and his wife now live in Phoenix, according to the Rocky Mountain News.