A minister in Queens Village was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Tuesday for raping two young members of his congregation in their church’s basement, the Queens District Attorney’s office said.
Over the course of nearly two years, Reuben Chizor, 56, used “manipulation and conniving control” to sexually abuse the sisters, who were 14 and 12 at the time, District Attorney Richard Brown said.
The abuse started in July 2011, when Chizor lured the then-14-year-old sister into the basement of Hope Restoration Ministries church, where he also lived, and raped her, according to trial testimony. Chizor then raped the girl’s younger sister in August of that same year.
The abuse continued through May 2013, Brown said, but the girls didn’t confide in each other about what happened until July 2015. Police were then notified, he said.
“The defendant took advantage of his position as a man of the cloth and the trust placed in him by his followers to satisfy his depraved desires,” Brown said in an emailed statement. “What the defendant forced his victims to endure was horrendous and as punishment he now will spend a lengthy term behind bars.”
Chizor went on trial in June 2017, and was convicted of first- and second-degree rape, sexual abuse and engendering the welfare of a child, according to the district attorney’s office. After his 15-year sentence, Chizor will spend 10 years on parole.
A request for comment from Hope Restoration Ministries was not immediately returned.