Man gets at least 25 years in prison for child sex abuse

Kent County

An Oct. 26, 2021, photo of Joseph Cahill from the Michigan Department of Corrections.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man accused of sexually assaulting two children years ago will serve decades in a state prison.

Joseph Cahill, 39, was sentenced Oct. 14 to between 25 and 60 years in prison with credit for 742 days served, as well as a lifetime on probation. He’ll also pay fines and costs.

Online records show he was transferred into the state prison system on Oct. 26. His earliest possibl release date is Oct. 2, 2044.

Cahill was charged in November 2019 with sexually assaulting one victim more than 20 years ago in Wyoming when he was 18 and the victim 10. The second case, which happened on Grand Rapids’ West Side, dated back to about nine years ago; the victim was younger than 13.

In September, he put a stop to his trial by pleading guilty to two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of 13 as a fourth-time habitual offender. Three additional charges of first-degree CSC were dismissed under the terms of a plea agreement.

Cahill has a criminal history dating back to 2003 for things like shoplifting, bad checks, domestic violence and attempted assault.

He is a self-described minister in an organization called Word of Faith Apostolic Fellowship International that claims dozens of churches throughout the world, most in Haiti and Rwanda. The organization blends parts of Catholicism, Orthodox and Christian charismatic movement. Though it is based in Kentwood, West Michigan does have any churches from the denomination and Cahill said he never preached here.

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