The ex-wife of a former youth pastor accused of using his position to form sexual relationshipswith at least six church members testified Tuesday that she partook in sex acts with her formerhusband and one of his alleged victims.
John Picard faces 42 counts of sexual battery for allegedly engaging in sexual activity with sixgirls who attended Grace Brethren Church.
Four of the girls, prosecutors say, were minors.
During the course of his trial, alleged victims have testified that Picard was a controlling manwho used his position as pastor, as well as Bible passages, to get them to engage in sexualactivity.
At least one alleged victim claimed that Picard's ex-wife, Sherri, was also involved. Thealleged victim testified that she had sexual relationships with both Picard and his wife, 10TV'sAndy Hirsch reported.
"He would have Sherri on one knee and me sitting on another and he would be kissing her and thentaking her hand and placing her hand on my breasts," the woman said.
Sherri Picard took the stand Tuesday and backed up those allegations, admitting she had sexualcontact with the woman on her own while she was still under 18, Hirsch reported.
In exchange for her testimony, prosecutors have agreed not to pursue criminal charges.
Sherri Picard was asked Tuesday how the activity came to take place.
"John convinced me," she said.
Like the alleged victims who have testified, Sherri Picard claims her husband used the Bible tojustify their behavior.
"There's a passage that talks about Jonathan and David embracing and kissing because they had toseparate from one another," Sherri Picard said. "And that was the specific passage thatwas referenced."
Sherri Picard said some of her ex-husband's alleged victims were like family, sometimes going onvacations with the Picards and their three children, Hirsch reported.
But Sherri Picard maintained she did not know of the allegations against her ex-husband untilhis arrest.
"It rocked my world, completely," she said.
John Picard's attorney countered by trying to call Sherri Picard's testimony into question,making it clear she was only talking because she has immunity from prosecution.
The trial is expected to resume on Thursday.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.
August 24, 2009: Testimony Continues In Ex-Pastor's Trial
August 21, 2009: More Alleged Victims Testify In Ex-Pastor's Trial
August 20, 2009: Trial Begins For Ex-Youth Pastor Facing Sex Charges
August 19, 2008: New Sex Charges Filed Against Ex-Youth Pastor
July 18, 2008: Ex-Youth Pastor Charged With Sex Crimes Involving Girl, 13