Updated 8/13/17


Sexual Abuse of Minors by Pentecostal and Assemblies of God Pastors



Davie, Florida – United Pentecostal Church pastor Gary James Harris convicted of 5 counts of indecent assault on a child. The victims were teenage boys ages 12 to 15. Church leaders knew about Harris’s pedophilia for 15 years before he was finally convicted.




Eastland, Texas – Jonathan Mark Hart, assistant pastor and youth minister at Eastland United Pentecostal Church, convicted of 3 counts of sexual assault of minors. The victims were female, ages 15 and 16. The assaults occurred on church property and church related trips. The pastor of the church, who was also Jonathan’s biological father, was aware of the sex abuse but allowed Jonathan to continue working as the youth minister.



El Monte, California – Johnny Beserra III, a volunteer at El Monte Christian Academy associated with the United Pentecostal Church of El Monte, convicted of sodomy, forced oral sex, child molestation, and lewd acts on 5 children over a 4 year period. Victims were ages 10 to 18. Beserra was finally charged with the crimes in 2014.



Las Cruces, New Mexico - Marty A. Hynes, 33, is charged with eight counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor, three counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and one count of attempted criminal sexual contact of a minor. Hynes was a youth pastor at the First Assembly of God church when the alleged incidents occurred, between July and December 2001. (Las Cruces Sun-News, March 24, 2003) 



SPRINGFIELD, TN. A former youth minister was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday after he pleaded no contest to charges that he raped one of his congregation's 13-year-old boys. Before his arrest, Spain had worked two years as a youth pastor at the First Assembly of God Church. (Tennessean.com, March 2, 2002) 

Former youth minister sentenced in boy's rape



RAYMOND, NH. — A 20-year-old man who alleges a Raymond youth pastor molested him when he was 14 has told authorities that the church member often came to his house to punish him with a wooden cutting board and paddle, a police affidavit said. Cranford was hired as a full-time youth pastor in February 2001. Despite being a registered sex offender, Cranford was hired as an associate youth pastor and the music minister at the New Life Assembly of God church. According to the affidavit, Cranford allegedly got on top of the boy, pinned him down, and performed a sexual act. Cranford was convicted of sexually assaulting a child while serving as an associate pastor at a church in Groton, Mass., police said. (Jan. 26, 2002; The New Hampshiore Union Leader)

Raymond man alleges he was molested as a teen


Victim’s emotional scars often last a lifetime




TAMPA, FL. - The search of an unpaid storage locker turned up pictures of young naked boys and led police to a church youth counselor who now faces child sex charges. Marvin C. Thompson, 52, was being held without bond on 8 counts of sexual battery and lewd and lascivious conduct with children after his arrest in connection with sexual acts on two boys, ages 5 and 8. Thompson had worked as a volunteer counselor for the Royal Rangers, a youth group affiliated with Temple Terrace Faith Assembly and had worked with at least one other Tampa church youth group, according to investigators. The alleged victims, however, were not members of the church groups, they said. Police said Thompson had not paid his rental fee on a storage locker and when the owner opened it, he found hundreds of pictures of naked boys. The owner called police. Detectives said they are searching for other possible victims and that after his arrest, Thompson told officers of sex acts with children dating back to the 1960s. AP 6/7/2000

 Church counselor arrested on child sex charges(http://www.polkonline.com/stories/062200/sta_sex-charges.shtml)



SOUTH KITSAP, WA. A youth pastor at a South Kitsap church has been charged with third-degree child molestation, alleging he had sexual relations with a 15-year-old member of his youth group. Cecil Gregory Foust, 40, a youth pastor at South Park Assembly of God, was arrested Feb. 1. He pleaded innocent at his arraignment Friday. The alleged relationship began during a youth group trip in December, Kitsap County Sheriff's Office Lt. Jim Harris said. They allegedly had sexual contact on several occasions. Those contacts occurred in the church van when he drove her home, Harris said. (2/5/2000, The Sun, Bremerton, WA.) 

Youth pastor charged with molestation 




TACOMA, WA. - Elders from the Bethel Christian Assembly have defended their handling of a complaint against a youth pastor now charged with eight counts of child molestation and rape, saying the allegations against Herman Glenn Jr., 34, amounted to "hearsay." The elders also said in a statement that Glenn was returned to his job only after they were assured he would not be a threat to children. Prosecutors charged Glenn with 8 counts stemming from alleged assaults on two teen-age boys beginning last year. Possible cases involving as many as 16 other boys remained under investigation. After his arrest, Glenn told authorities he'd had sexual contact with 3 youths in the Chicago area and 14 others in Tacoma. Another boy came forward recently to say he was sexually molested by the pastor, according to a police spokesman. Glenn resigned his post at the 2,000-member Bethel Christian Assembly,citing "gross moral failures by engaging in sexual contact with minors." He was being held on $75,000 bail in the county jail on 6 counts of third-degree rape, one count of second-degree rape and one count of child molestation. He has pleaded innocent. The boys described a grooming process that involved passwords and progressive levels of contact between them and Glenn, prosecutors said. Glenn told authorities he would pretend to be sleepwalking or talking in his sleep to get the boys to engage in sex acts. "A lot of mind-control was involved in it," the spokesman said. Detectives say Glenn would approach boys and tell them he needed help curing his alter personality. None of the sexual contact involving the two boys occurred at the church but at Glenn's home, charging papers said. Glenn said church officials had no knowledge of what he'd done prior to his admission. In their statement, the church council of elders said Glenn came to the Tacoma church in 1991 with "glowing recommendations" from Homewood Full Gospel Church in Homewood, Ill., a Chicago suburb. Rumors reached them that something had happened there. Although the elders did not describe the nature of the information they received, investigators said a pastor at Homewood had contacted Tacoma church officials after two boys in the Chicago area accused Glenn of touching them inappropriately when he was pastor there. The elders asked a counselor to evaluate Glenn "We were given complete assurance that Herman was within normal sexual limits and posed no threat to children or society," they said. The counselor told The Seattle Times that he was shocked by Glenn's arrest. AP 6/5, Chicago Sun-Times, 6/4/99

Another teen says pastor molested him



WEST PALM BEACH, FL - A former pastor who claimed he was testing a girl's virginity was convicted of sexually molesting the teen-ager. Rev. Joseph Millien, 51, was found guilty of felony sexual activity with the 17-year-old member of the Full Gospel Assembly Church, but acquitted of a sexual battery charge. He denied having any other sexual contact with the girl. The judge revoked Millien's bond and ordered him to jail until sentencing scheduled a few weeks later. Under sentencing guidelines, he could get 6 to 12 years in prison as a first-time offender. AP, 10/28/98



Antioch, CA. Police arrested Duanne Dee Shoemake, 55, in September 1998 on five felony counts of molestation. He was accused of sexually abusing two girls to whom he is related. He was a deacon at Harvest Time Assembly of God in Brentwood. "This has split up the family, and split up the church," said the mother about the molestation allegations. (Sept. 1998) 

Norrell Informant to be Tried for Child Molestation



DALLAS, TX - An 18-year-old man and his parents sued the Assemblies of God and the church's ranch for troubled youths, claiming the youth was molested by a counselor at the center two years ago. The alleged victim was 16when he went to Dallas Teen Challenge Boys Ranch in January 1996. According to his lawsuit, a counselor and convicted drug trafficker sexually molested him on at least six different occasions. The lawsuit further alleges that the church ranch Executive Director Paul Ecker and the ranch's board knowingly employed men with criminal histories as counselors despite being informed by state regulators that the practice was illegal. According to the lawsuit, most of the residents were there as a condition of probation, and had psychological or substance abuse problems. During the day, they performed chores, including caring for livestock, and took part in religious education. At night, they were "locked down" and monitored by alarm systems to prevent unauthorized departures. Among the employees and volunteers working at the ranch were men in a program called "Life Challenge," designed for adults. Many of them had substance abuse problems and were improperly admitted to the program as part of their probation, the lawsuit states. (5/18/98)



TACOMA, WA. Another teen came forward yesterday to allege he was sexually molested by a Bethel Christian Assembly youth pastor, according to Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer. Meanwhile, elders from the church defended their handling of a 1995 complaint against the youth pastor now charged with eight counts of child molestation and rape, saying the 4-year-old allegations against Herman Glenn Jr. amounted to "hearsay." The elders also said in a statement that Glenn was returned to his job only after they were assured he would not be a threat to children. (Seattle Times, 1998) 

Another teen says pastor molested him



JAMIESON Keith, 47 Newcastle Pentecostal born again Christian, youth group worker and Assemblies of God charismatic church member. Convicted in Newcastle District Court on 16 sex charges against young men, aged 10 to 17, between 1981 and 1996 while helping with Newcastle Assemblies of God youth group. Court hears Jamieson, of Newcastle, befriended young men and abused them after building up trust. Judge says Jamieson acted out desires in predatory way. (New South Wales, Australia, 1998). Christian School Officials Face Hearing on Failing to Report Suspicions. The pair face charges in a case involving sex abuse of male students by a teacher. Prineville, Oregon -- A pretrial bearing will be October 20 for two Christian school officials cited for failing to report their suspicions that a teacher was molesting male students. Sue Uptain, principal of the 180-student Crook County Christian School, and James Donohue, the school's superintendent, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Donohue is also pastor of the First Assembly of God Church in Prineville, which opened the preschool through 12th grade school three years ago. Both claimed they didn't know state law requires school employees to immediately report suspected sex abuse cases. School officials learned May 9 that Phillip Marland, French and physical education teacher, might have molested a boy. But it wasn't reported to law enforcement officials until May 27, and that report was from the pastor of another church. One of Marland's victims was reportedly molested after Crook County Christian School officials learned of the abuse but before it was reported to authorities. Feared Attendance Would Drop: Marland had been indicted on 54 counts of sex abuse involving four boys. Last month, Marland, 42, pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual abuse and was sentenced to 7½ years in prison. As a French citizen, he likely will be deported when released from prison. Crook County undersheriff Clyde McLain said there is evidence Donohue and Uptain knew they were legally required to immediately report suspected cases of sex abuse. He said Donahue was informed about the reporting requirements at a meeting last February. The meeting with area clergy was arranged by the district attorney's office to discuss the sex abuse reporting law. McLain said one pastor reported that Uptain admitted she understood the law but delayed action out of fear attendance at the school would drop. (The Oregonian, October 2, 1997)



O'CALLAGHAN Kevin James, 39 Rockhampton Pentecostal born again Christian, Assemblies of God charismatic church member and secondary school teacher. Appears in Rockhampton Magistrates Court charged with 8 child sex offences, including indecent dealing, indecent assault and aggravated sexual assault, against 2 girls, aged 15, between late 1996 and early 1997 at Rockhampton and Yeppoon, north of QLD. Court hears O'Callaghan, of Rockhampton, allegedly committed offences while teacher at Assemblies of God Cathedral of Praise Christian College, Rockhampton. (Queensland, Australia, 1997).



West Sacramento, CA. The Word of Life Assembly of God church of West Sacramento, 2 ministers and the Assemblies of God Northern California and Nevada District Council Inc. are being sued by the parents of a teenage girl who was involved in a sexual relationship with a minister. Donald Wisdom pleaded no contest to 11 counts of sex with a minor and was sentenced to 1 year in jail. Wisdom reportedly induced the girl, then 15, into a sexual relationship from October '94 until July '95. The civil suit claims that church officials knew about the relationship, refused to remove the minister, and attempted to silence the family. The suit seeks $10 million in punitive damages plus general and specific damages for battery, sexual battery, sexual harassment, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation, slander and invasion of privacy. (The Sacramento Bee 12/27/95)



Birminghan, AL. The pastor of Bon Secour Assembly of God, Marshall David Cumbie, 37, has been accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy and was arrested on similar charges with another boy. Cumbie has been charged with 2 counts of 2nd degree sodomy and 1 count of 2nd degree sexual assault. Cumbie was also arrested earlier the same month on charges of 2nd degree sodomy and 2nd degree sexual abuse and was freed on bond. (Birmingham News 5/28/95)



Linwood,NJ. A Linwood minister who had been in charge of children's activities at the 250-member Mainland Assembly of God Church for 9 years pleaded guilty to molesting a girl parishioner. Richard L. Kim, 29, admitted he molested the girl, 16. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/9/94)



ASSEMBLIES OF GOD CHURCH CAMP IMPLICATED. An Assembly of God church camp boys counselor, Matt Thrasher, 17, of Belton, pleaded not guilty to felony indecency with a child. He was released on $10,000 bond. The North Texas District Council for the Assemblies of God is a defendant in a civil lawsuit filed in Rusk, which claims church officials ignored the physical and sexual abuses occurring at the Mountain View Camp near Jacksonville. Source: _Lufkin Daily News_ 5/29/94.



GOOD SHEPHERD MOLESTS FLOCK The former pastor of Good Shepherd Assemblies of God Worship Center in Carlsbad has been accused of sexually molesting 5 males on hundreds of occasions between 1976 and 1984. Rev. Dalton Webber, Sr., now 65 and living in Arkansas, declined comment, but the 5 men say Webber performed sex acts against them in their homes, his home, his car, and at overnight church youth activities and church conventions. One of the boys was abused from 3rd grade until he left for college. An out-of-court settlement was reached for $1.75 million, and Webber Sr. finally admitted guilt and stated he had been forgiven, but it is not known by whom. These five men witnessed Webber Sr. molesting many other children, who have not come forward yet. Source: _Blade-Citizen_ 4/29/93; _Los Angeles Times_ 5/14/94; _News On The March_ (Edward Lozzi & Associates, Beverly Hills, CA) 5/20/94.



ST. LOUIS, MO. A judge's decision to sentence Thomas Jolly to five years' probation has outraged the victims and their parents, who argue that the 83-year-old defrocked minister should have gone to jail for molesting three girls. Jolly was accused of molesting three girls, ages 9, 13 and 16, between September 1987 and August 1988 at the Gospel Assembly Church, a nondenominational church at 13169 Tesson Ferry Road in southwest St. Louis County. Jolly was minister for the congregation of 600. . (St. Louis Post Dispatch, August 11, 1993 By William C. Lhotka ) 

Probation For Abuser Stirs Anger Minister Molested Girls Who Sought Counseling



CHURCH VOLUNTEER CHARGED WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY. Church volunteer Seven Jon Long, 41, was arrested for sodomy and taking pornographic pictures of young girls under 12 from Assembly of God Church in Rogue River, where he was a youth volunteer. He told detectives his pictures were art. Source: _Daily Courier_, Grants Pass, 4/17/92.



REV. L.G. GILSTRAP, 54, an Assemblies of God minister, was convicted by a jury on 3 counts of child molestation and sentenced to 33 years in prison for a string of fondling incidents in 1988 involving brothers aged 10 and 13. The older boy said Gilstrap once tried to have sex with him in the shower. Eight men testified during the trial that they too were molested by the minister when they were boys. Three said they were also abused by the Sunday school teacher, who was not tried. Gilstrap denied the charges but corroborated their accusations against the teacher. The prosecutor called Gilstrap the " Pied Piper of pedophilia." Gilstrap, defrocked, started a new church, New Hope Ministries. Married, he was a former clerk for the Georgia House of Representatives. (Atlanta Constitution, 9/22/89) 

Ex-Minister Gets 33-Year Sentence In Child Sex Case: Gilstrap Guilty of 3 Molestation Counts



Todd S. Clark, 26, youth leader of the Royal Rangers boys' program at First Assembly of God church, Albany Oregan, was INDICTED for sexual abuse and sodomy of young boys. (Hamiltin Spectator (Canada) 7/9/88)



Melbourne, Australia – Kenneth Sandilands, a teacher at Northside Christian College, a Pentecostal school, convicted of molesting children as young as 6 years of age.




Kingston, Jamaica – On January 24, 2017, Pentecostal pastor Paul Hanniford was convicted of having sex with a 13 year old.




Aldine, TX – Rev. Curtis Bass a long-time church pastor at a small International Pentecostal Church in Aldine, TX, was accused of sexual abuse over ten years by four girls and women who have filed complaints against him with the Harris County Sheriff's office, TX, arrested 13 October 2004. A woman, now 26, testified that he touched her breasts and vagina on two occasions when she was 16 years old in 1994. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison on two charges of indecency with a child, 21 July 2005. “God is still in control,” Bass said.



Church could have prevented molestations, lawsuit claims

A year after a convicted child molester was sentenced to prison again for molesting two girls that he met through a church, the victims have filed a lawsuit, claiming the crime could have been prevented by the church, its pastor and members of its board of directors.

In a case that could turn the legal focus on the responsibilities churches have to protect members, Apostolic Faith Church in Caledonia is accused of failing to warn congregants that former Sunday school teacher assistant Timothy P. Gregory was a convicted child molester. The lawsuit says Gregory helped his wife, Kimberley A. Gregory, teach Sunday school at the church, where the plaintiff were members.




'My pastor was my rapist': Alabama preacher accused of sexual torture, abuse of multiple children

Updated on September 22, 2015 at 2:49 PM Posted on September 21, 2015 at 10:41 AM

Jane said she lost her virginity to her pastor on her father's grave when she was just 9 years old.

It was, she said, the culmination of two years of "grooming" at the hands of Mack Charles Andrews, pastor of the strictly conservative United Pentecostal Church in Thomasville. Jane is a pseudonym to protect the identity of the victim. 

"He told me if I didn't say anything, he would come back and put flowers on the grave," Jane said. "If I did, he said demons would come and get me from my bed."

Jane hopes 55-year-old Andrews, jailed for nearly two years on multiple sex offenses involving multiple minors, will spend the rest of his life in prison.




A Kane County woman charges that an Elgin minister abused her, he and his wife defamed her, and that two church organizations knew or should have known about the alleged crimes and prevented or stopped them, according to a newly-filed civil lawsuit.

Starting in March, Jane Doe says that Rev. Manfred Malagon sent her texts with “offensive images (including monkey and dog genitalia and a woman with her breasts and buttocks exposed,” “asked her to send him a (nude) photo and video of her,” “offered to send her a picture of himself nude,” repeatedly “kissed, hugged and fondled her breasts,” said he “could not stop thinking about her (and) wanted to ‘make love’ to her ‘again and again,’ and “instructed (her) to leave her husband.”

She also says that “Malagon’s son and his son’s girlfriend witnessed Malagon sexually assaulting her.”

In May, Malagon reportedly excommunicated Doe and her family from the church but continued to send her “lewd and lascivious” texts, later urging her to delete them.

Weeks later, to church staff, “Malagon claimed that Doe “had been trying to engage in sexual relations with him.” In that meeting and a later sermon to the congregation, Malagon claimed she “was a ‘prostitute’ and a ‘witch.’”




Ted Haggard
In November 2006, Ted Haggard resigned as senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs and as head of the National Association of Evangelicals on revelation of his exploits with a homosexual prostitute named Mike Jones. (“Disgraced Pastor Faces More Gay Sex Allegations,” Associated Press, Jan. 24, 2009).



Benny Hinn
In February 2010, “healing evangelist” Benny Hinn’s wife filed for divorce. On August 2, the National Inquirer published a photo of Hinn and Pentecostal preacher Paula White (who was divorced the previous year) walking hand-in-hand leaving a hotel in Rome. The accompanying story said that the two spent three nights in a five-star hotel which Hinn booked under a false name. Hinn admitted to being with White in Rome and having a “friendship” and an “inappropriate relationship” with her, but both parties claimed there was no affair.



Alabama Pastor Made Daughter Watch While He Sexually Abused Minors

October 29, 2015 by Michael Stone

Court filings in a disturbing case of sexual abuse indicate an Alabama pastor made his underage daughter watch as he raped and tortured multiple young girls.

Al.com reports Mack Charles Andrews was pastor of the First United Pentecostal Church in Thomasville and principal of Faith Christian Academy when the alleged crimes took place.




Wythe minister facing sexual abuse allegations

Accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl in August, a then Wythe County minister is facing two felonies. Nathan Phillips, 59, of Austinville was indicted Monday on charges of aggravated sexual battery and object sexual penetration following an investigation by the Wythe County Sheriff’s Office. Both allegations, which have an Aug. 13 offense date, involve the same teenage girl, according to the indictments. Police said that Phillips was pastor at the Austinville Pentecostal Holiness Church when the allegations came to light but that he has since resigned.

Originally from Floyd County, Phillips has been in the ministry for more than 30 years, according to his bio on the church’s website.




Woman files sexual abuse suit against pastor

By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer

Published: Friday, November 18th, 2016 at 11:39pm

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Texas woman has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that she had been sexually abused since she was minor by an Albuquerque pastor who serves as a bishop in a large Pentecostal denomination, according to court records.

The woman, 37, of Lubbock also alleges that Bishop James L’Keith Jones, who leads the New Mexico jurisdiction of the Church of God in Christ, sent her 6-year-old daughter a video intended to groom the girl for sexual purposes, according to the civil lawsuit filed Oct. 31 in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas in Amarillo.




Spiritual warfare at Sterling’s Calvary Temple church

Chassadi Thompson was 14 when she found herself standing outside a Loudoun County gas station one night with nothing but the clothes on her back. Thompson was dumped there in 2003, she said, by members of Calvary Temple, a Sterling-based Pentecostal church off Tripleseven Road, after spending at least six hours being questioned by some of the church's leadership – including the man whom she had just accused of sexual assault.
Now 26, the Maryland woman, along with one other victim, have come forward, alleging rampant sexual assault within the church among members of its leadership, teachers and teacher's aides.




Pentecostal Church ran daycare scheme after charges

November 19, 2016 10:00pm


A QUEENSLAND church that police believe covered up child sexual abuse allegations was still running a family daycare scheme more than two years after charges were laid against one of its officials.

The Goodna-based Free Pentecostal Church of Australia was operating a family daycare business with more than 120 childcare workers when police charged a former church official with child abuse in late 2013.





CHARLESTON, WV – An apparent settlement has been reached in the sexual abuse civil case brought by a Hernshaw couple against a Chesapeake Pentecostal church, and one of its alleged youth pastors. On April 29, a mediation hearing was held in the case of James and Debbie Green v. Chesapeake Apostolic Church, the Upper Kanawha Valley Christian School and Timothy C. Edmonds. The session occurred at the law offices of Jackson Kelly, which is representing the church and the school, with Charleston attorney Robert Allen serving as mediator.




Woman Calls Pentecostal Pastor a Predator
CHICAGO (CN) - A Pentecostal church knew its pastor sexually abused minors but kept him on even after his wife divorced him for it, an alleged victim claims in court. The plaintiff claims Pentecostal Tabernacle Bible Church Pastor Christopher L. Johnson pastor sexually abused her as a minor, after the church knew or should have known that he had fathered a child with another woman with whom he first had sexual relations when she was a minor.




Lawsuit filed against Lancaster church

LANCASTER – A childhood sexual abuse civil lawsuit against an Assembly of God church in Lancaster claims a female was repeatedly sexually abused by a youth group leader, and church officials became aware of the abuse but failed to report it to law enforcement.

The lawsuit was filed this week in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Leonor Vasquez, who was a minor at the time of the sexual abuse alleged in the complaint, according to attorneys for the Zalkin Law Firm who held a news conference Tuesday.



Assembly of God pastor arrested for rape, rape by instrument and forcible sodomy of three children

KOCO 5 News - Oklahoma City April 4, 2011
Okla. Pastor Arrested, Accused Of 70 Sex Assault Charges
Tommy Pitts Arrested On April 1

FAIRVIEW, Okla. -- A pastor at a church in Fairview is accused of rape, police said. Tommy Pitts, the pastor at the Midway Assembly of God Church, was arrested on April 1 on a slew of rape and sex abuse charges against three children. KOCO does not identify victims of rape and therefore is not offering any further information that could lead to the identity of the victims. Police said Pitts was arrested on 15 counts of first-degree rape, 15 counts of rape by instrumentation, 20 counts of lewd or indecent acts with children under 16 and 20 counts of forcible sodomy.



Evangelical Pastor Kevin Grimes Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Sex Crimes

Kevin Grimes, pastor of DaySpring Assembly of God in Spencer, Iowa and director of the Spencer Dream Center — an unregulated ministry,  was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for having “sex with people he was counseling.”



Former pastor accepts deal in sex-abuse case

Sacramento Bee

REDDING, CA -- A former pastor of a Happy Valley church pleaded no contest Friday in Shasta Superior Court to 14 sexual abuse charges involving five children who had belonged to his congregation. David L. Shelton, 62, of Redding agreed to a stipulated term of 26 years and four months as part of the plea agreement, the Shasta County District Attorney's Office said.

Shelton was pastor of the New Life Fellowship Assembly of God when allegations surfaced earlier this year. He was arrested June 27 after Shasta County sheriff's detectives taped a telephone conversation between the minister and a 13-year-old boy, Deputy District Attorney Erin Dervin said. Three other boys and one girl came forward with allegations, resulting in other charges stemming from abuse that occurred between 1996 and March of this year, Dervin said. Most of the incidents took place at the church office or in Shelton's residence, she said.




Oakland Athletics chaplain under fire as molestation accusations emerge against some former summer camp staff members

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) --

Some Assemblies of God church members are coming forward Friday to raise concerns about some former staff members at a Northern California summer camp -- a camp funded and run by the Chaplain for the Oakland A's. More than 30,000 kids have attended the camps over the years, and these church members say parents should know about complaints of sexual abuse from some of the former staff members, both at the camp facility and away from it.




Former youth pastor gets 18 months in sex abuse case

By Danielle E. Gaines News-Post Staff Danielle E. Gaines




Jan 30, 2014

A former youth pastor pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 months in jail Wednesday for sexual assault of a minor. Shaun Michael Ross, 33, of Grantsville, was facing two charges of sexual abuse of a minor following an indictment in July. Ross worked as youth minister at Calvary Assembly church in Walkersville until he was confronted by the church about the long-term inappropriate relationship with a teenage girl. According to the indictment, Ross had a relationship with the girl between April 2008 and April 2010, when he was trusted in a position of authority. “This was a manipulation that went on and occurred at a time when he was her counselor,” Assistant State's Attorney Lindell K. Angel said. “This is a very serious offense.” Angel said Ross built up his relationship with the victim over time through texting and video phone calls. He would mail her gifts or bring them to church for her, she said. Ross told the teenager that it was OK for her to talk to him about sex because he was her youth pastor and the safest person to learn from, Angel said. Angel said some of the physical relationship took place at the church.



Hillsong Church: Abuse unreported, perpetrator rewarded

Disturbing news surfaced last week that the founder and senior pastor of one of the largest churches in Australia, and a church well known in this country for its worship music, failed to report his father for sexually abusing children. Brian Houston of Hillsong Church, told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse that in October of 1999, he learned that an adult had reported being sexually abused as a child by leading Pentecostal pastor, Frank Houston.  The elder Houston was permanently suspended from preaching and given what The Australian newspaper and World magazine called a “retirement package”. The victim was sent $10,000. Eight more cases of child sexual abuse by Frank Houston were uncovered before he passed away in 2004.  None of these cases were ever reported to law enforcement.





A youth pastor admitted Thursday to sexually abusing two boys in the Hillsboro congregation of the Bethel United Pentecostal Church. Dylan Ritterman, 28, pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to two counts each of attempted first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree sexual abuse.

Circuit Judge Kirsten Thompson imposed the sentence outlined in his plea agreement, which sends him to prison for six years and eight months. Before the hearing began, Ritterman, who was out of custody, sat in the back of the courtroom with his wife. Later, he joined his attorney, Anne Tracey, at the defense table. Prosecutor Kevin Barton told the court that the abuse began several years ago, when the boys were in their early teens.




Wallace, NC

Deputies say a pastor has been charged with multiple sex counts, including statutory rape of teen girls. Duplin County deputies say Edgar Damian-Nicholas of Teachey was arrested Friday after they received a complaint of a sexual assault on a teen. Sheriff Blake Wallace says the man is a pastor of a Pentecostal Holiness church in Wallace. He said the victims are 14 and 15 year old girls. One was a victim for several years, while the other for the past year, according to the sheriff. Wallace says when questioned, Damian-Nicholas admitted to the sexual misconduct. The 37-year-old has been charged with two counts of indecent liberties with a child, first degree statutory rape, and statutory rape or sex offense where the defendant is greater than or equal to six years older than the victim. The sheriff says they are still investigating if there are other victims, and they do anticipate more charges in the case. Damian-Nicholas is jailed on a $500,000 bond.