UPDATED AS OF AUGUST 2003
WORCESTER, MA. A former pastor Andrew J. Bierkan, 54, at the First Congregational Church of Sutton who now heads a church in Ohio has been indicted here on charges of unnatural rape of a child and posing a child in a state of nudity. He is now pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Cincinnati, according to Worcester District Attorney John J. Conte. (Worcester Telegram & Gazette, August 13, 2003)
Ex-Sutton pastor charged with rape of girl from church
PORTLAND, OR. Church volunteer pleaded innocent to 26 counts of rape, sodomy and sex abuse. Derrick Mayberry was indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday and entered the plea on Wednesday. Mayberry, 23, was arrested May 15 on accusations of raping two teenage girls he met while volunteering at the New Beginnings Christian Center in northeast Portland. The victims were 13 and 15 years old. (KOIN TV, May 29, 2003)
Church Worker, Coach Enters Plea In Sex Abuse Case
Church volunteer, coach faces sex abuse charges
Milpitas, CA. A secretary to a LDS Bishop has admitted to sexually molesting four children, and will be sentenced to 14 years in prison. Craig Allen Harward, 54, pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on children under the age of 14, and no contest to a fourth count of the same charge, Four of the case with the most convincing evidence involved four boys -- two of whom were 10, one 11 and another 13 years old at the time they were molested. (SAan Fransisco Chronicle, March 12, 2003)
Child molester pleads guilty
Visalia, CA -- A 38-year-old Visalia man who was a leader in a local Jehovah's Witness congregation may face up to 16 years in prison on charges of sexually molesting a 12-year-old congregation member. Louis Anguiano served until last year as an elder at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 5310 Caldwell Ave. He is accused of continuous sexual abuse, over a two-year period, of a girl who attended the same congregation. (The Fresno Bee, January 30, 2003)
Visalian who was a Jehovah's Witness leader accused by girl, 12.
A Tulare County minister admitted to molestation charges on Monday. Sabala worked as a minister at the Four-Square Church in Dinuba. (ABC30.com, Jan 27, 2003)
New Bedford, MA. An Attleboro Jehovah's Witnesses minister, Ralph Heroux, 74, yesterday pleaded not guilty to charges of two counts of rape of a child and two counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. (The Standard Times, Jan. 2, 2003)
Minister charged with child rape
Long Island, NY. James Taylor, also known as Bishop J. Andre Taylor among his Provision of Promise Pentecostal Church congregation, was charged with second-degree sodomy and second-degree sexual abuse. (Newsday, December 24, 2002)
2 Pastors Charged With Abuse
SUMTER, S.C. - A former youth pastor here has been charged with forcing a 12-year-old girl to perform oral sex in a hospital bathroom, police say. Troy Glenn Clark, 34, of Lexington, N.C., has been charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor. (The State, Dec. 12, 2002)
Youth pastor charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor
Teenager Terry Eads, a church youth pastor of Evergreen Alliance Church, was sentenced to prison for raping a 4-year-old boy; and another church pastor, Eads, 18, hung his head through the sentencing hearing before District Judge Stewart Stadler as his 6-year-old victim's parents testified about the damage Eads wreaked. Said the boy's father, Eads "raped my son with me in the house. He raped my son in our church" probably 40 times, the tearful father said. "He should go to prison for a minimum of 15 years." The abuse lasted for two years, from 2000-02 when Eads was 15-17 years old and the boy was 4-6. (Nov. 22, 2002, Daily Interlake)
pastor in court on sex crimes
Garry Toavs, 58, pleaded guilty to molesting a girl, in separate court hearings Thursday. Toavs, pastor of Evergreen Alliance Church, was originally charged with sexual offenses with two girls, ages 12 and 5. In exchange for his guilty plea, one of the charges was dropped. (Nov. 22, 2002, Daily Interlake)
pastor in court on sex crimes
His church asks for prayers for Toavs in prison
A Clermont County youth minister has been sentenced to jail for sexually abusing teenage boys who were under his supervision during the year 2000. Anthony Waters, 35, of Williamsburg will spend six months in the Clermont County jail and will spend three more years under probation, supervised by Judge William Walker. (WCPO TC, Nov. 19, 2002)
Youth Minister Sentenced To Jail For Abusing Young Boys
Tagbilaran, Philipines. A HIGH school sophomore has formally accused a pastor of sexually molesting him repeatedly since July 6 this year. The 16-year-old boy, a native of Jagoliao island,Getafe town identified the suspect only as one Pastor Jun de Jesus of the New Tribes Mission in Tagbilaran City. (The Bohol Times, November 11 - 17, 2002)
Teener accuses pastor of sexual molestation
Incriminating statements by a Bible instructor charged this spring with molesting two boys raise the prospect that he had other victims, a Salinas police sergeant said Friday. Rev. Wesley Craig Parnell, 41, was arrested June 14 at his townhouse on the 1800 block of Cherokee Drive on suspicion of molesting an 8-year-old boy. Parnell was charged a month later with molesting a 15-year-old boy three years ago. The victim is now 18. (The Californian, October 26, 2002)
Philadelphia, PA. In the late 80s, Harbaugh attended St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Fleetwood, Berks County. Harbaugh was 15 years old when she attracted the attention of the youth minister, Valerie Stoop, who was 27 at the time. Harbaugh says Stoops' alleged abuse began with holding hands, progressed to kissing and then fondling. (WPVI Philadelphia, Oct 4, 2002)
Accused Minister hired by another Church
Sacramento, CA. A 48-year-old man was convicted Wednesday in Sacramento Superior Court of bigamy, spousal abuse and molesting a daughter of one of three women he was living with.The prosecution said that Gonzalez told people he was a bishop with the Mormon Church and was later excommunicated when the church learned of his multiple wives, but that was never substantiated. He later formed his own church, calling it Jesus Christ of the United World Order, Cochrane said. (Sacramento Bee, July 11, 2002)
Man guilty of bigamy, molestation, spouse abuse
Salt Lake City, UT. A child sexual abuse victim filed suit against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Monday, accusing Mormon leaders of providing a safe harbor for the pedophile who abused him. The plaintiff, identified only as A. Doe, claims defendant Mitchell Blake Young abused him between 1987 and 1992, when he was 6 to 12 years old. Young was convicted in 1993 of sexually abusing the boy and is serving a term of up to 15 years in Utah State Prison for the crime. Filed late Monday in 3rd District Court, the suit names Young and his father, Gordon Young. (THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, July 2, 2002)
Victim Sues LDS Church, Sex Abuser
ST. PAUL, Minn. Two Minnesota women who say they were sexually abused by a Jehovah's Witness filed a lawsuit Tuesday against him, their congregation and the church's parent organization in New York. (July 2, 2002, St. Paul Pioneer Press)
Women say church silenced child sexual abuse
LDS Bishop Luis Gonzales has been charged with 20 counts of child molestation, battery, rape, bigamy, stalking, and fraud. The victim, alias Tammy Doe alleges, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has been fully aware of this man 's illegal activities since 1998 and failed to do anything until the child molestation became public." The trial is being held in the Sacramento County Court House, Department 26 located on H Street. Nancy Cachrane is the Deputy District Attorney for Sacramento County, and is prosecuting this case against Luis Gonzales. (Tapestry Against Polygamy, July 2002)
Baton Rouge, LA. A Baker minister accused of molesting four children is being sought after failing to surrender to East Baton Rouge sheriff's officials Thursday. Benny McFarland, 41, 9240 Pettit Road, Baker, may be "holed up," Sheriff's Col. Mike Barnett said. "He's very aware of the indictment," Barnett said. "We'd like to get him in custody." The indictment accuses McFarland of performing sex acts with four children from 1990 through 1998. The children ranged in age from 8 to 16. Prosecutor Kim Brooks said McFarland initially met the children while working as a minister at Hightime Evangelistic Center in Baker. He was arrested in 2000 after he was accused of improperly touching a boy in his church office between 1993 and 1999. (The Baton Rouge Advocate News, 06/14/02)
Minister sought on child-sex counts
Waco, TX. A central Texas pastor faces jail time, after admitting to molesting a ten year old boy. John William Hayden was pastor of a church near Waco. Yesterday, he struck a deal, pleading guilty to two counts of indecency with a child. (KFDX, June 4, 2002)
PASTOR ADMITS TO MOLESTATION
COURT OF APPEALS MORROW COUNTY, OHIO upheld district court conviction of youth minister Timothy L. Cook of Mt. Gilead Church of Christ as a "sexual predator." (Court opinion, May 16, 2002)
Eatonton, GA. The child molestation case against Nuwaubian leader escalated Monday in state and federal court. In Eatonton, a Putnam County grand jury issued a 116-count indictment of the 56-year-old leader of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution 05-14-2002)
Cult Leader Ignored His Own Rules
FBI: Kids from 4 to 18 abused in sect
LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (AP) -- A woman said she and her husband have been excommunicated from the Jehovah's Witnesses after speaking out against the church's handling of their daughter's allegations of sex abuse by another member. (May 11, 2002, AP)
Jehovah's Witnesses expel parents of alleged abuse victim
Portland, OR. Alfredo Hinojosa Soto, a 77-year old practicing minister at New Jeruselum Pentacostal Church in Cornelius, is charged with sodomizing and sexually abusing young members of his congregation in 2001 in the Gaston area. (KGW TV, May 9, 2002)
Local Minister Arrested for Sex Abuse
RAPID CITY, SD. The Rev. James A. Forsythe, a Protestant minister in South Dakota, has not registered as a sex offender as required by law. Forsythe, 47, pleaded guilty in 1989 to attempted indecent liberties with a child. A Johnson County district judge said Forsythe was a pedophile and ordered him to have no contact with teen-age boys - a restriction the judge later lifted. SForsythe, who told The Kansas City Star on Friday that he did not know he needed to register in South Dakota, pleaded guilty Dec. 8, 1989, to attempting indecent liberties with a child. Since January 2000, Forsythe has been minister of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Black Hills in Rapid City, S.D. The church is part of a growing denomination that serves predominantly gay and lesbian worshippers. Forsythe said he had remorse for what happened in Kansas, but that he did not pose a threat to teen-agers today. Church officials said that they were aware of Forsythe's past and that there had been no allegations of sexual misconuct against him since he joined the denomination. When he was appointed here, we were told by the district liaison," said Charles White, a lay delegate at the Rapid City church. "We've talked about it, but it's behind him now. He's a wonderful pastor. He made a mistake. It's all done and over." Even so, Forsythe said he had never told the whole congregation, which numbers about 12, of his past. (5/5/2002, AP)
Protestant Minister unregistered as sex offender in South Dakota
Protestant Minister unregistered as sex offender in South Dakota
Robert Leroy Tolle, 65, minister, was indicted by an Orange County grand jury on charges of raping his daughter and stepdaughter between 1965 and 1970. A trial date is pending. Police ignored repeated admonitions over a period of 10 years by sisters to bring charges. Tolle has been convicted of lewd-behavior charges involving adult women in Utah. (NewsChief, February 19, 2002)
OTHELLO, WA. -- A lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the Othello Spanish Jehovah's Witnesses congregation and its New York governing body, alleging they covered up the sexual abuse of a child. (1/23/2002, Tri-City Herald)
lawsuit allege converup by Jehovah's Witnesses
RUSSELLVILLE, AL. A minister already charged in two rapes of young girls has been accused in another sexual abuse case involving one of the rape victims at age 4. Russellville Police Lt. William Nale said the additional first-degree sexual abuse warrant was issued Thursday against John L. "Bill" Anderson, 61, of Carbon Hill. Anderson already faces first-degree sexual abuse charges in Russellville as well as first-degree rape charges in Texarkana, Ark. He's being held in the Franklin County Jail on $150,000 bail. The rape victims were ages 9 and 7. (Montgomery Advertiser, Jan. 19, 2002)
ALEXANDER Trevor John, 40 Melbourne Wesley College singing teacher. Receives 4 year and 6 month jail sentence in Melbourne County Court after being convicted on 10 charges of indecent assault, including sexual penetration, against schoolgirl, aged 14, between 1996 and 1997 while teacher at Wesley College Glen Waverley campus, in Melbourne's southeast. Court hears Alexander, of Ashwood, seduced victim at his East Brighton home after suggesting it was better for victim to lose virginity with experienced older man. Court told Alexander abused victim during threesome involving wife Elspeth McKENZIE who also taught at Wesley. Both Alexander and McKenzie classified by judge as serious sexual offenders. (Victoria, Australia, 2002).
DOBBS Geoffrey Robert, 48 QLD Sunday school teacher, church youth leader and "highly regarded" church member. Pleads guilty in QLD District Court to 116 charges, including indecent dealing and recording indecent visual images, involving 62 girls, aged 1 to 15, between 1972 and 1999. QLD Attorney-General labels Dobbs state's worst pedophile. Left QLD in 1998 for VIC where he was arrested in Melbourne in 1999 after leaving video camera containing pornographic footage for repairs at video shop. In 2000, Dobbs receives 2 year and 6 month jail sentence in Melbourne County Court after pleading guilty to 8 sex charges, including 5 counts of performing indecent act, 1 of committing unlawful sexual intercourse, 1 of making child pornography and 1 of possessing child pornography, involving children as young as 6 months. Police allege Dobbs committed more than 300 sex offences against 100s of children over 30 year period. Court hears during 1999 raid of offender's home, police found 177 video tapes containi ng 500 hours of recordings of Dobbs' abuse of juvenile girls. Court told Dobbs "true predator" who preyed on children he met at Sunday schools or youth camps. (Queensland, Australia, 2002).
DUNNE James Paul, 46 Melbourne Seventh Day Adventist primary school teacher. Receives maximum 7 year and 2 month jail sentence in Melbourne County Court after pleading guilty to 30 counts of indecent assault and 1 of sexual penetration against boy, aged 11 to 14, over 3 year period between 1984 and 1987 while teacher at Nunawading Seventh Day Adventist primary school, in Melbourne's east, where abuse occurred. Court hears Dunne, of Lilydale, used his religion to control boy and often prayed with him after abusing him "probably hundreds of times". Report reveals church tried to buy victim's silence with bribe of $125,000.(Victoria, Australia, 2002).
FLORIS Adrian Cornelius, 56 Melbourne Harvest Christian Church property manager and pastor's husband. Receives 2 year and 11 month jail sentence in VIC County Court after pleading guilty to 8 child sex charges, including sexual penetration and indecent assault, against male foster child, aged 13, in 1998 while property manager of Harvest Christian Church, Dingley, in Melbourne's south. Court hears Floris, of Mornington, assaulted boy in spa on Christmas Day and later told him abuse was "our little secret". In 1994, Floris received $2000 fine after pleading guilty to assaulting teenage girl. 2002 report describes Floris as "God-fearing". (Victoria, Australia, 2002).
JACKSON George Arthur, 65 Ipswich Uniting Church elder and Sunday school teacher. Receives 4 year suspended jail sentence in Ipswich District Court after pleading guilty to 14 charges of indecent dealing against girl, aged 8, over 8 year period between 1979 and 1987. Court hears defendant had been victim's Sunday school teacher and molestation had progressed from touching to showing child pornographic movies and sexual contact. (Queensland, Australia, 2002).
SMITH Raymond Colin, 40 Newcastle Mercy Ships Christian charity voluntary youth worker. Pleads guilty in Newcastle District Court to molesting 2 girls, aged 6, in 1999 while working with Mercy Ships Ministry Of Youth With A Mission Christian charity in Manila, Philippines. Court hears Smith lured girls into room where he photographed their genitals and sexually assaulted them. In 1997, Smith received 18 month suspended jail sentence and 3 year probation in Brisbane court on pornography and indecent dealing charges involving girls as young as four. Court told Smith committed latest offences while on probation for earlier convictions. In 2002, Smith also ordered to appear in Newcastle District Court to face charges of possessing more than 2700 images of child pornography found during raid by Australian Federal Police at his parents' home at Newcastle, north of Sydney. (New South Wales, Australia, 2002).
Tulsa County, OK. An award-winning Christian musician was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl. Ja'Marc Davis pleaded guilty last month to three felony sex offenses, including rape by instrumentation, lewd molestation and sodomy. Prosecutors dismissed seven charges as part of a plea deal.(Tulsa World, 12/19/2001)
Christian musician was sentenced to five years in prison
Dallas, TX. A 38-year-old Dallas man was sentenced to nearly four years in prison Monday for having a sexual relationship with his teen-age stepdaughter, including while he was co-pastor of a Florida church. Phillip Carpenter was sentenced to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty in August to a charge of enticing a minor to travel in interstate commerce to engage in illegal sexual activity. Prosecutors said Carpenter and his wife were co-pastors of a church in Pinellas County, Florida, when he started having sex with his step-daughter beginning when she was 15. She will be 17 next month. The church was not identified the church. (KTRK, 11/27/01)
Former pastor sentenced for sex with stepdaughter
MANHATTAN, KS. -- A judge ruled Thursday that a man who was allegedly molested years ago by a Manhattan minister will be allowed to testify at the minister's trial, where he will face charges that he molested a teen-age boy.
Brian N. Savage, of Manhattan, was bound over for trial in July. He faces two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, two counts of criminal sodomy, two counts of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child and one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.
According to court records, Savage, 44, met the then-13-year-old victim at the Seventh Day Adventist church in Manhattan where Savage was a pastor and the victim attended. Savage took on a fatherly role, according to court documents. After a relationship developed, Savage began engaging in sexual acts with the boy, the records say. In at least one instance, Savage gave the boy $100 for oral sex. Some of the molestation took place at the church. (The Topeka Capital journal, Oct. 12, 2001
Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in Othello sued in sex abuse case
RICHMOND - A Detroit minister found guilty of having sex with a 15-year-old girl could face up to 50 years in prison, but police have to find him first. Rev. Larry A. Flake, 55, was found guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor. The court also ruled him a habitual offender. Flake has two previous felony convictions. Flake did not show up for his jury trial on two counts of sexual misconduct and one count of rape. AP, 8/30/01
Minister convicted of abusing boys charged again. A suburban minister serving a probation sentence for sexually abusing three teenage boys has been accused of molesting another youth, this time at his summer home in Michigan. James Errant, 68, formerly of Hinsdale, has been on probation since October after he pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual assault in DuPage County. Errant, who lives in LaGrange, was a prominent member and volunteer of Union Church of Hinsdale last year when a young man told police Errant had molested him years ago while the victim was a teenager. The ensuing police probe uncovered nine people who also accused the one-time ordained minister of sexual abuse that, in some cases, stretched over many years. Years ago, Errant also served as a minister at St. Paul United Church of Christ in Palatine, Lyonsville Congregational Church in Indian Head Park and Seminary Avenue Federated Church in Chicago. Errant is being sued by parents of the victims. The suit, which also names Union church and one of its ministers, accuses the church of failing to act on complaints lodged against Errant. Charges: Parents sue church for failing to act. (July 20, 2001)
Jayess, MS. Valley of the Kings Church patriarch David Earl King, 66, and Nathan Paul King, 32, believed to be King's adopted son, were indicted in April on charges of sexual battery, conspiracy to commit sexual battery and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. (AP, 8 Jun 2001)
Molestation charges shock Miss. town
Westlake Village, CA. Timothy Bayne Bernstein, youth minister at Calvary Community Church, 40, was charged Tuesday with 10 counts of engaging in lewd conduct with two minors between 1987 and 1991, said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Gina Satriano. One boy was between 14 and 15 at the time and the other was younger, she said. (Ventura County Star, April 5, 2001)
Youth minister charged with lewd conduct
SAN DIEGO, CA. A former music pastor at a Scripps Ranch-area church who admitted to molesting a 14-year-old boy last year was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea Thursday, after a judge told him he would face prison time instead of probation. When Richard Abram Elliott, 31, pleaded guilty in December to child molestation charges, Superior Court Judge Roger Krauel told him a six-year prison sentence would remain suspended as long as he remained in a counseling program. Elliott resigned as an associate music pastor at Community Bible Church after allegations arose that he molested the boy three times between May 1 and July 14 last year. Elliott had just completed a one-year, church-imposed probation following complaints by female parishioners about inappropriate sexual remarks he made. (The Californian, 3/16/01)
Ex-music pastor withdraws molestation guilty plea
Van Nuys, CA. On Saturday, March 10, 2001, detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department's Juvenile Division, Sexually Exploited Child Unit, booked 35-year-old Ray Darius Love for Child Molestation. Mr. Love was taken into custody as he drove away from his residence in the area of Victory Boulevard and Coldwater Canyon in Van Nuys. Following his arrest, a search was conducted of his car and residence. As a result, evidence was discovered that corroborated the victim’s statements. Also discovered was information that lead to additional victims of child molestation. Love was booked at Van Nuys Jail on felony child molestation charges. On Tuesday, March 13, 2001, detectives presented the initial case, consisting of three victims ranging in ages from 12 to 16 when the crimes occurred, to the Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney for filing consideration. The District Attorney filed 10 felony counts of child molestation and possession of child pornography. Bail was set at $490,000. For several years, Mr. Love has been involved with young people in the capacity of a bandleader, church youth choir assistant, and youth hockey coach throughout the Los Angeles area. (LOS ANGELES POLICE DEPARTMENT PRESS RELEASE, Tuesday, March 13, 2001)
Sex Offender Arrested for Child Molestation
NZHELELE, Zaifre. Siloam Hospital nurse, Mr Nngwedzeni Joseph Ramavu (37) who also serve as a Pastor for the Nzumbululo Church in Siloam near Makhado Township has appeared in the Dzanani Magistrate Court on Monday on the charge of statutory rape. (zoutnet.co.za, March 2, 2001)
Pastor charged with statutory rape
Multnomah County, OR. A Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints high priest, Franklin Richard Curtis was convicted of sexually abusing a boy repeatedly in 1990 and 1991, in Portland, when he was 11. Curtis became a member of the Rocky Butte Ward in Portland, where he sexually abused at least five children, according to a lawsuit. He was confronted by the Rocky Butte bishop and admitted the molestations. The bishop kept it quiet until parents began to complain, and then he only reported to Salt Lake City superiors of the church, not police, the complaint states. Then Curtis joined the Brentwood Ward, where he told then-Bishop Gregory Lee Foster that he had abused in the past, and Foster kept it quiet because Curtis said he'd repented, according to the complaint. Foster had long known that Curtis also had abused his own stepchildren but still invited Curtis to teach Sunday school, the lawsuit states. (The Oregonian, February 9, 2001)
Judge orders Mormons to provide sex-abuse records
Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Matthew Tyler, formerly a teen basketball coach for a local church, was sentenced to seven years in prison for molesting boys in four states over a 20 year period. In 1979 Tyler had been accused of performing strip searches and "hernia checks" on boys at the Louisiana residential facility where he worked. Tyler molested several boys at church functions. (02.07.01, TheMilwaukeeChannel.com)
Mira Mesa, CA. Richard A. Elliott, a music pastor at an unnamed church, pleaded guilty on five counts of "committing a lewd act on a child under 14." Elliott had just completed a one-year probation imposed by his church for making lewd comments to female parishoners. Elliott faces six years in prison, though counseling is being considered as an alternative. He had been convicted in 1991 in a murder-for-hire plot. (02.01.01, AP)
Ex-music pastor withdraws molestation guilty plea
Ocala, FL. The 62-year-old pastor's name has been withheld in consideration of the two adopted daughters he molested. The man was convicted of nine sex-related charges and faces up to 23 years in prison. The younger daughter was forced to have sex with her adoptive father when she was eleven in the study where he wrote his sermons. The man is father to his older daughter's son. (01.18.01, AP)
A Florida pastor faces 23 years in prison after he was convicted of having sex with his two adopted daughters when they were children. A Florida Circuit Court jury convicted the 62-year-old former Ocala minister, whose name was suppressed by the newspaper, on nine sex-related charges. Both daughters testified at the trial, with the younger one, 18, telling the jury that her father first forced her to have sex with him when she was 11. One of the incidents took place in the study where he wrote his sermons. The older daughter, 23, told the panel the man was her son's father. During the trial, jurors heard a telephone conversation taped by Ocala police in which one of the daughter's asked, "Daddy, do you think God will forgive us for having sex?" The former pastor then told the girl, "Bring your Bible over on Saturday and we will talk about it." "That really was the evidence that did us in," defence Charles Holloman said of the tape-recorded conversations. "The jury just rocked back in their chairs when they heard that ..." (Sun Sentinel, January 11, 2001)
MILLS Ronald Albert, 69 Orange Mormon and senior Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints member. Receives 3 year jail sentence in NSW District Court after being convicted on 3 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse against girl, aged 12, in 1982 at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints chapel in Orange, central NSW. Court hears Mills, of Orange, molested girl during maintenance work at church. (New South Wales, Australia, 2001).
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 34 Brisbane Sunday school teacher and church youth group leader. Ordered to appear in Brisbane court on 335 sex charges amid allegations he abused 324 girls, aged 6 months to 13 years, over 15 year period in QLD, NSW and VIC. Police allege accused, who lived in Brisbane's south, took children on interstate church camps and videotaped himself defiling "100s" of girls. In 2000, accused received 2 year and 6 month jail suspended sentence after VIC police arrest him on 40 child sex offences following tip-off from video repairer. Name SUPPRESSED BY COURT ORDER to protect daughter, whom accused also abused. (SM TS HS 010624). (Queensland, Australia, 2001).
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 45 Ipswich practising Mormon. Receives 7 year jail sentence in Ipswich District Court after being found guilty on 2 counts of raping his stepdaughter, aged 14 to 16, between 1986 and 1989. Court hears defendant, who quoted Bible passage concerning lust to support his case, forced victim to have sexual intercourse so he could show her "how it was done". Name SUPPRESSED BY COURT ORDER to protect stepdaughter. (CM 020817) (Queensland, Australia, 2001).
LAISHKOCHAV Alistah Elijah, 71 Bells Beach Judeo-Christian cult leader, aka Ian Francis Lowe and Ariel Abraham Enki. Receives 7 year and 6 month jail sentence in VIC County Court after being convicted on 21 child sex offences, including 17 counts of indecent assault and 4 of committing unlawful sexual intercourse, against 4 girls, aged 7 to 11, between 1987 and 1991 while leader of Judeo-Christian cult at Bells Beach, near Geelong, VIC. Court hears Laishkochav, of Fitzroy, had 9 wives and 63 children living in "harem" arrangement. Prosecutor says gratification of sexual appetite seemingly cult leader's only interest. Judge describes acts as "abhorrent". (Victoria, Australia, 2001)
NOBBS Stephen Enoch, 69 Norfolk Island Seventh Day Adventist senior deacon, fund-raiser and "pillar of community". Receives suspended 12 month jail sentence in Norfolk Island Supreme Court after being convicted on 6 child sex offences, including 2 counts of indecent assault and 4 of performing indecent act, against 2 girls, aged 7 and 13, in 1981 and again in 1996-8 at Norfolk Island. Report says up to 90 members of island's 1800-strong community affected by case and that conviction may be "tip of iceberg" of "long-repressed tradition of sexual abuse". (NORFOLK ISLAND, 2001).
REID Ronald Edward, 70 Brisbane preacher, charity worker and Blue Nurses state director. Receives 6 month jail sentence in Brisbane District Court after pleading guilty to 4 charges, including 2 counts of unlawful stalking, 1 of indecent dealing and 1 of improper use of carriage service, against girl, aged 12, between 1998 and 2000 in Brisbane. Court hears Reid, of Brisbane's northside, made obscene and threatening phonecalls to victim, describing graphic sexual situations and claiming he had sex with her friend. Court told Reid had been preacher at northside church since 1947 and Blue Nurses state director for 30 years. (Queensland, Australia, 2001).
Pastor Solicits Sex With Fed Agent Posing as 14-Yr-Old: STATE COLLEGE - The 12-member council of Faith United Church of Christ voted Sunday to accept the resignation of a pastor accused of soliciting sex over the Internet and to approve the appointment of a new pastor to take his place. The 53-year-old Rev. William Cabell, Faith United's pastor since 1990, was arrested June 28 at a Piscataway, N.J., strip mall and charged with using the church's America Online account to solicit sex with a federal agent posing as a 14-year-old boy. (Centre Daily Times, July 17, 2000)
SOUTER Robert Leslie, 46 Wollongong Jehovah's Witness church member. Receives maximum 5 year jail sentence in Wollongong District Court after pleading guilty to 5 sex charges, including 1 count of buggery and 4 of indecent assault, against 2 teenage boys between 1978 and 1980. Court hears Souter, who attended Jehovah's Witness Corrimal congregation at Balgownie, assaulted victims while on beach and Blue Mountains church outings. Court told church elders told of offences in 1990 but failed to contact police. Judge criticises church for failing to report criminal activity, saying church may have spiritual responsibility but it does not exceed state authority. (New South Wales, Australia, 2000).
Gwinnett, GA. Gwinnett police say a man who claims to be a street preacher is also the bus stop rapist. Cyril Ramsley 33, is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl and sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman. He allegedly abducted them from bus stops during attacks a month apart. On Tuesday, the victims picked Ramsley out of a lineup, said Gwinnett police Detective Curtis Clemons. (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 11-24-1999)
Street preacher held in 2 bus stop assaults
LAWTON, OK. James Lamont Newton, the 25-year-old pastor of Another Chance Outreach Ministries Inc. faces one count of lewd molestation following an investigation into whether he sexually abused members of his congregation. Lawton police Detective John Whittington said the department's investigation began in April but stalled because people were afraid to come forward because of Newton's position in the church. (Tulsa World, 02/06/1999)
Lawton pastor faces sexual abuse charge
BRISCOE Phillip Martin Lawrence, 53 Adelaide Salvation Army member. Fined $1200 in Adelaide District Court after pleading guilty to possessing, in late 1997, 2 sets of pornographic photographs of 2 foster girls, aged under 12, entrusted to his care. Court hears Briscoe, of Valley View, Adelaide, photographed victims in shower and in adult clothes. Judge says images showed "little sensitivity" to girls. (SA, Australia, 1999).
BLENNERHASSET Earl Ross, 27 Melbourne Seventh Day Adventist. Pleads guilty in Melbourne County Court to 7 charges, including 3 counts of physical assault and 1 of child stealing, against girl, aged 12, in 1999 at Seventh Day Adventist church in Melbourne. Court hears Blennerhasset, of Croydon, grabbed girl after asking her to go to toilet with him during church service. (Victoria, Australia, 1999).
CURNUCK Lawrence Joseph, 74 Busselton Seventh Day Adventist youth leader. Receives 12 year jail sentence in Bunbury Supreme Court after pleading guilty to 20 child sex offences, including 14 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, 5 of indecent assault and 1 of indecent dealing, against at least 2 girls, aged around 14, during 1970s at Busselton, south of Perth. Court hears Curnuck, of Busselton, took young girls on camping trips and other activities where he raped and molested them. Judge says Curnuck abused his authority by sexually abusing girls in church group settings. Court told Curnuck earlier received 18 month jail sentence for indecently assaulting child, aged 14, in 1951. (Western Australia, Australia, 1999).
Grass Valley/Nevada City, Cal.: A former youth pastor and Bear River High School soccer coach pleaded innocent Thursday to charges stemming from an alleged intimate relationship with a 16-year-old female student-athlete. Appearing for the first time with an attorney - Greg Hodges of the Public Defender's Office - Dan Jimerfield, 42, entered a formal plea to the 28 criminal counts against him. He is accused of engaging in an affair with a girl he coached on a school soccer team then recruited into a church youth group he headed. (The Union, May 22, 1998)
Former soccer coach-youth pastor pleads innocent to molestation charge
CATHLAMET, WA -- A former minister who served as a Wahkiakum County sheriff's chaplain has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to third-degree rape. David Wayne Gerlach, 58, was accused of using religious, emotional and physical threats to intimidate a 13-year-old girl into a sexual relationship that lasted 14 years. (The Oregonian, September 21, 1998)
FORMER MINISTER SENTENCED AFTER PLEADING GUILTY TO RAPE
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
Timothy A. Rasey, a Lombard, IL, minister was charged with possession of child pornography and attempted aggravated criminal sexual abuse when he allegedly tried to meet a 14-yr.-old girl for sex, who was really an undercover officer. (Daily Herald, 7-24-98.)
Registered Sex Offenders
DALLAS, Tex. - A youth minister at a Texas church has been arrested and charged with distribution of harmful material to a minor. Police allege that Matthew Washington sent nude pictures of himself from a computer at the Hillcrest Church of Christ, Gainesville Texas over the Internet to a teen age girl whom he had contacted in a chat room. (Jan. 8, 1998)
MIKKLESEN Raymond, 71 Sydney Seventh Day Adventist church member. Receives 3 year $5000 good behaviour bond in Sydney District Court after pleading guilty to 2 counts of indecently assaulting girl, aged 12, between 1982 and 1987. Court hears Mikklesen, of Clovelly, Sydney, assaulted girl on 2 occasions resulting in victim suffering from severe depression, inability to work, low self esteem and weight problems. Report in 1998 says Mikklesen attended Seventh Day Adventist Church at Woollahra, Sydney. (New South Wales, Australia, 1998).
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).
SARGENT Haydn Gerald, 62 Sydney Pentecostal born again Christian, Church of Christ charismatic church minister and Brisbane talkback radio host. Charged with 12 child sex offences, including 2 counts of committing unlawful sexual intercourse and 10 of indecent assault, against boy, aged under 16, between 1959 and 1960 in Sydney. Charges dropped in 1999 on grounds victim allegedly disturbed. (New South Wales, Australia, 1998).
SCHMITT Raymond George, 67 WA Christian missionary. Receives 3 year and 6 month jail sentence in WA court after being convicted on charge of indecent dealing with boy, aged 14, under his care in WA. (Western Australia, Australia, 1998).
SMEDLEY Derek Neil, 44 Perth Jehovah's Witness church member. Receives 9 year jail sentence in WA District Court after being convicted on 5 counts of indecent assault against stepdaughter, aged 12 to 14, between 1984 and 1987 at Gnangara, Heathridge, Kingsley, Northam and Wanneroo, WA. Court hears Smedley, of Heathridge, sexually assaulted stepdaughter at Northam during construction of Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall. (Western Australia, Australia, 1998).
Buford, GA. A Buford couple who coordinated youth activities at a local church were arrested Tuesday and charged with numerous counts of child molestation for allegedly engaging in illicit sex acts with a 14-year-old girl whom they had met through the church, authorities said. Warrants for the arrests of Marcus Ray Bellew and Janice Bellew, both 21, allege the couple had engaged in a kind of menage a trois with the teenager on several occasions dating back to July. (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 11-26-1997)
Buford couple charged with child molestation
Kennewick, WA. A former Pasco pastor pleaded guilty Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to second-degree molestation of a girl who was a member of his congregation. With his wife, children and other supporters seated in the courtroom, a stony-faced Michael V. Miranda apologized for fondling a 14-year-old girl who was a member of his tiny Protestant church, Templo Bethel Apostolico. (Tri-City Herald, Nov. 19, 1997)
Ex-Pasco pastor pleads guilty to child molestation
Fort Wayne, IN. MOLESTING PASTOR GETS 28 YEARS HE DRUGGED AND FONDLED YOUNG BOYS. A Huntington youth pastor who admitted molesting 10 juvenile boys ages 11 to 17 between 1993 and February 1997 was sentenced to 28 years in prison Monday.Mark Kline, 33, admitted eight felony counts of child molesting, seven felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and seven misdemeanor battery counts. Some of the incidents, which involved fondling the boys, took place in Kline's apartment at Good Shepherd United Brethren Church, where he worked as a youth minister. The youth pastor told police he ``drugged'' many of his victims with a sleeping aid, a Huntington police report states. Mark A. Kline told police he bought the sleeping aid in a gel cap, which he punctured, squeezing its contents into a nighttime beverage for his young victims.``The sleeping aid would cause the person to be drowsy and most of the time unaware of the sexual contact that Kline was having with them,'' (July 29, 1997, The Fort Wayne, IN. Journal Gazette)
Richard Peter Gilliland is accused of sexually molesting a 17-year-old male in West Allis, Wisconsin, on March 14, 1997 while working as a minister of a church.
Minister Gilliland Wanted
Lexington, KY. Donald E. Mikesell, a church deacon and auxiliary deputy jailer -- gave up the fight to prove his innocence yesterday, pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to interstate cigarette smuggling and two other felonies. Mikesell, 50, already is serving a 20-year prison sentence after his May conviction in Fayette Circuit Court for using a minor in a sexual performance. "I'd say it probably will be quite a while" before Mikesell is a free man again, said one of his attorneys, Thomas W. Miller. Fayette Circuit Judge Lewis G. Paisley sentenced Mikesell to 20 years in state prison for using a child in a sexual performance. Prosecutors said Mikesell fondled young, teen-age girls and asked them to pose for him in suggestive photographs. (Lexington Herald-Leader, 1997)
LANE John Henry, 68 Brisbane Sunday school teacher and Salvation Army officer. Receives 12 month jail sentence in QLD District Court after being convicted on 1 charge of indecent dealing with girl, aged 7, in 1970s during Sunday school class in Brisbane. Court hears Lane, of Brisbane, worked as hospital chaplain at time offence occurred. (Queensland, Australia, 1997).
COTTON Pastor Victor Clifford, 56 Adelaide pastor. Appears in Adelaide District Court charged with 3 child sex offences, including 2 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse and 1 of indecent assault, against teenage boy in 1995 while pastor of Adelaide northern suburbs church. Court hears victim former member of Cotton's congregation. (SA, Australia, 1997).
NAME SUPPRESSED, Reedy Creek Pentecostal born again Christian and Reach Out For Christ International youth pastor. Appears in Southport District Court charged with committing unlawful sexual intercourse with girl, aged 16, while independent church youth pastor at Reedy Creek on Gold Coast, QLD. (ER 00) (Queensland, Australia, 1997).
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 41 QLD church elder. Receives 4 year jail sentence in Brisbane District Court after pleading guilty to adultery-related charges, including unlawful carnal knowledge and maintaining sexual relationship, against sister-in-law, aged 15, in QLD. Court hears defendant, who had been married 18 years, was excommunicated after committing adultery with wife's sister but readmitted by church hour later. Court told victim ostracised by community instead of perpetrator. Name SUPPRESSED BY COURT ORDER to protect sister-in-law. (W Howell 971127; DT 971128; HS 971128; ER 00) (Queensland, Australia, 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).
SMITH Major Charles Alan, 65 WA Salvation Army officer. Receives 15 year jail sentence in Perth District Court after pleading guilty to 39 child sex charges, including gross indecency, carnal knowledge and indecent assault, against 9 boys, aged under 17, during 1960s and 1970s in WA. Judge describes Major Smith as "true pedophile who preyed on young boys and used them as sexual playthings". (Western Australia, Australia, 1997).
A youth minister who fled the state with a 14-year-old girl is expected to arrive in Ohio by Tuesday to face charges of child stealing and corruption of a minor. A private security firm on Saturday picked up Keith Luecke, 35, in South Carolina to bring him to Clermont County for prosecution. Luecke and Alecia Campbell disappeared April 10. They were found June 28 in a motel in Hanahan, S.C. A diary - written by both the girl and Luecke - was left at the motel when Luecke was arrested. (July 7, 1996, The Fort Wayne, IN. Journal Gazette)
KAY Stephen, 56 (Queensland, Australia, 1996). Brisbane Mormon school teacher, scoutmaster and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints member. Receives 15 month jail sentence in Brisbane District Court after pleading guilty to 5 child sex charges, including 3 counts of indecent treatment and 2 of indecent dealing, against 3 school students, aged under 12, in 1993 while teacher at southside Brisbane school. Court hears Kay assaulted boys on school premises. Also receives additional 6 month sentence in 1996 for indecent assault of boy, aged under 16, in 1993 at boy scout camp, QLD.
DEBOO Vivian Frederick, 51 SA Pentecostal born again Christian, Uniting Church member, caterer and Christian Camping Association president. Receives 6 year jail sentence in Adelaide Supreme Court after pleading guilty to 10 child sex charges, including 9 counts of indecent assault and 1 of committing unlawful sexual intercourse, against 3 boys, aged 14 to 16, between 1989 and 1990 while caterer at Aldgate, Carrickalinga, Normanville and Victor Harbour, SA. Court hears Deboo, of Victor Harbour, committed many offences while active member of Christian Gospel church group and caterer at St Joseph's Convent, Aldgate. Victim's mother tells court she thought she did "right thing" allowing "good Christian man" to become involved with son. (SA, Australia, 1996).
BURTON Pastor Keith John, 55 Brisbane Protestant church associate pastor and children's ministry leader. Receives 7 year jail sentence in Brisbane District Court after pleading guilty to 7 child sex charges, including 5 counts of indecent treatment, 1 of maintaining sexual relationship with minor and 1 of permitting himself to be sodomised, against 2 brothers, aged 12 and 14, between 1985 and 1993 while associate pastor at North Brisbane Protestant church. Court hears Burton, of North Brisbane, committed offences after offering boys "sports" massages during church outings, fishing trips and Bible classes. Judge accuses pastor of "stunning hypocrisy" and says he could not recall more gross breach of trust. (Queensland, Australia, 1996).
MOWDAY Darryl Lindsay, 43 QLD Christian youth group leader. Receives 7 year jail sentence in Brisbane District Court after pleading guilty to 8 child sex offences, including indecent dealing and carnal knowledge, against girl, aged 13, between 1992 and 1994 at locations in QLD. Court hears Mowday, from Sydney, had sex with girl in parks, car and in his home while wife away. Report describes youth leader's affair with girl as "torrid". (Queensland, Australia, 1996).
HORNE Raymond Kenneth, 49 Brisbane City Mission volunteer worker. Receives 12 year jail sentence in Brisbane District Court after being convicted on 14 child sex charges, including 9 counts of indecent dealing, 3 of committing unlawful sexual intercourse, 1 of maintaining sexual relationship with minor and 1 of taking indecent photographs, against 2 boys, aged 13 and 15, between February and April, 1995. Court hears Horne, of New Farm, preyed on street kids and molested them in his flat. (Queensland, Australia, 1996).
SMITH Edwin James, 69 Brisbane Plymouth Brethren children's home boarding master and handyman. Receives maximum 7 year jail sentence in Brisbane District Court after pleading guilty to 21 child sex charges, including 12 counts of indecent dealing and 9 of gross indecency, against orphan boy, aged 10, over 5 year period between 1959 and 1964 at Plymouth Brethren Silky Oaks Children's Haven, Manly, Brisbane. Court hears victim suffered 5 years of torture including being sexually assaulted while waiting for ambulance after breaking arm. Home described in court as "pedophile's paradise for sick religious zealots". (Queensland, Australia, 1996).
COLUMBIA, S.C. Former youth minister Donald Baston pleaded guilty in January 1996 to 17 counts of criminal sexual conduct against young boys. (AP via NewsEdge, 1996)
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)
Miami, FL. Unitarian Universalist church vice president David Reed Whitehead, 32, was charged with lewd and lascivious assault. According to allegations made to police, the youth counselor engaged in sexual activity at least 3 times with a boy, 15. The last incident was said to have occurred Dec. 3 when the teen stayed overnight at Whitehead's home. Whitehead taught a sexuality course for teenagers. (The Miami Herald; Chicago Sun-Times 12/13/95)
Florida. Harold Ragin was charged with sexual battery on a child in familial or custodial authority. According to reports, a teacher contacted authorities after a girl told her of a Nov. 24 incident in which Ragin, 47, assaulted her. Ragin told police he was an associate pastor of Life Tabernacle Ministries and that he and his wife were watching the girl, 13, while her mother was at work. He blamed the girl for the incident, but admitted penetrating her with his finger. (The Daily Commercial 12/1/95; 11/30/95)
Lock Haven, PA. Pastor of the First Church of Christ in Lock Haven attempted suicide at a city park last June and 5 admitted in a written confession to repeatedly raping a girl, 8, between Nov. '94-May '95. Darran Andrew Chick, 32, pleaded guilty to 3 counts of rape, 1 count each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault. He was sentenced to 14-62 years in prison. Chick was originally charged with 56 counts each of rape and statutory rape, and 20 counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and indecent assault. (The Patriot-News 11/28/95)
Lancaster County, PA. A volunteer for the Lancaster Brethen in Christ Church was charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and endangering the welfare of a child. Andrew Lee Tonsager, 18, was arrested in November when allegations surfaced that he performed oral sex on a boy, 4, in the church. Tonsager defaulted on $10,000 cash bail and has been committed to Lancaster County Prison until a district court hearing is scheduled. (New Era 11/21/95)
ON, Canada. Rev. Joanne Thompson-Millar, 37, a youth pastor for the Victory Christian Centre, was charged with sexual exploitation, sexual assault and sexual interference. A girl, 15, said she was assaulted by Millar at the pastor's home and at a trailer park in north-central Ontario. (The Ottawa Citizen 10/7/95)
Montgomery County, PA. Minister Sneaks Into Girl's Bedroom. Montgomery County YouthQuest executive director Rev. Stephen E. Aiken, 37, was charged with corruption of a minor after forcing himself on a girl, 17, about 15 times in the course of 4 months, beginning in April 1994. The teenager and her infant daughter moved in with Aiken, his wife and their 3 girls after she was referred to Aiken by an educational program for teenage mothers. The girl reported that Aiken had come into her room while she was asleep, undressed her and began to rub her breasts. "Sometimes I would say, 'no,' and sometimes I would just let it go because I didn't know what to do," the woman, now 19, said. (The Philadelphia Inquirer 10/6/95, 9/24/95)
McIntosh, AL. A McIntosh pastor has been indicted by a grand jury of having sexual relations with a female minor. Rev. Floyd Wilson Reynolds, 67, was released on a $5,000 bond after his July arrest. Records state that Reynolds, pastor of Magnolia Holiness Church, stopped on the roadside when taking the girl home, saying he had to use the restroom. He then told the girl to remove her underwear and attempted to have sexual intercourse with her, she reports. (Birmingham Post-Herald 9/11/95)
Barry William Katzer, 32, is charged with a 2nd degree sex offense involving an underage victim, possession of child pornography and unnatural and perverted sex acts. He was held in lieu of $50,000 bond. Katzer was arrested after an anonymous caller asked police to check on the welfare of a boy who was with Katzer at a motel. Police found pornographic magazines and tapes in the room. Katzer gave officers a business card that identified him as the pastor of the Butler-Richland Seventh-Day Adventist Church pastor. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 8/28/95)
Minister Willie Crawford (a.k.a Willie Brown) who is serving time in prison for raping a learning-disabled woman in '93, has recently been convicted of sexually abusing his daughter. Crawford was acquitted on charges of rape, but was convicted of incest and endangering the welfare of a child and using his daughter in a sexual performance. The conviction stems from photographs of Crawford sexually abusing his daughter, which police found in his home. The photos were discovered while police were carrying out a search warrant issued as part of the investigation into the rape of the learning-disabled woman, who was the daughter of a friend. Crawford was convicted last year of raping and sodomizing the woman, 21, and was sentenced to 8-16 years in prison. During his court appearance on that charge, he was arrested on the charges involving his daughter. The girl said that she had been abused from age 9 until 14. Crawford, former minister of Bethesda Temple Church, pleaded guilty to attempting to sexually abuse 2 of his other daughters, then 13 and 14. He was sentenced to 5 years probation. He faces 7 1/2 to 15 years for the count of using his daughter in a sexual performance. (Newsday, 8/19/95)
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)
Upland, CA. Upland Church of Christ Pastor Alan Wilson, 35, pleaded no-contest to 1 count of misdemeanor child annoying after a Superior Court Judge dismissed a felony charge of child molestation against Wilson. Commissioner J. Michael Welch granted the motion to dismiss by the defense because the incident did not involve sexual contact. A boy, 15, reported that Wilson gave him a massage on a bed in the pastor's home after a private singing lesson. Wilson was arrested when he suggested performing a sexual act on the boy during a phone conversation which was monitored by police. (Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA) 4/26/95)
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 29 Ballarat youth leader. Receives 12 month good behaviour bond in Ballarat Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to 2 counts of indecent assault against boy, aged 12, between August and September 1984. Court hears defendant drove boy to secluded bushland where he engaged in mutual masturbation with boy. Court told defendant's offences largely "extension of perversion" perpetrated by notorious pedophile priest Father Gerald RIDSDALE, who sexually abused defendant as youth. (R McIndoe 951005; AG 951006) (Victoria, Australia, 1995).
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 55 Brisbane Mormon school teacher, scout master and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints minister. Receives 15 month jail sentence in Brisbane District Court after being convicted on 3 child sex charges, including 3 counts of indecent assault and 2 of indecent dealing, against boy, aged 12, at Mt Cotton scout camp, south of Brisbane. Court hears defendant, of Manly West, Brisbane, assaulted boy at scout camp. (CM 951209) (Queensland, Australia, 1995).
THORNE George Frederick, 67 Melbourne Christian school music teacher. Convicted in VIC court on 14 child sex charges, including 11 counts of indecent assault, 2 of gross indecency and 1 of carnal knowledge, against girl, aged from 7 over 13 year period between 1969 and 1982 while teacher at Scotch Uniting Church College. (Victoria, Australia, 1995).
PA. Rev. Joel Williams, 39, pleaded guilty to repeatedly raping the teenage daughter he called his "pride and joy" from March 1990 until she ran away 4 years later at age 17. Prosecutors said the abuse began a week after the death of his wife, the girl's mother. (Tribune-Democrat, 11/18/94)
Jackson, MI. A Mormon bishop's clerk, Bruce A. McAskill, 66, with a past rape conviction, faces a minimum sentence of 5 years in prison after a judge found him guilty of kissing and fondling a boy, 8, whom he was babysitting. The boy's mother attended McAskill's church. A police officer who was called to the scene said McAskill told him "he didn't see any problem" with an adult sleeping naked with a child. (Jackson Citizen Patriot, 10/25/94)
Utah. The first Native American named as a Mormon general authority, George P. Lee, 51, pleaded guilty to attempted sexual abuse of a girl, now 17. He entered his plea as he was on the verge of being tried on a felony charge of aggravated sexual abuse of the girl, who lived across the street from him. Lee was sentenced to 18 months' probation, fined $1,850, and ordered to undergo counseling and pay for his victim's counseling. Brother Lee told her he had fallen in love with her, and that it was OK with God, the girl reported. (Arizona Republic, 10/12/94; Salt Lake Tribune, 10/11/94)
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)
Cocoa, FL. A teacher, athletic director, counselor and coach at Bethel Christian Academy in Cocoa was sentenced to 5.5 years in prison, followed by 10 years probation for the kidnapping and sexual battery of a student, 13. Daniel Perdue was arrested outside a motel in Vero Beach. Perdue must pay for his victim's counseling and is forbidden to ever hold a position of authority over minors. (Florida Today, 8/9/94)
Missouri. The leader of a religious commune in Clay County has been convicted of kidnapping, raping, sodomizing and restraining the daughter of one of his followers. The recommended sentence for Nelson DeCloud, 53, is 220 years in prison. (Centre Daily Times, 8/5/94; AP, 8/4/94)
Aurora, IL. An Aurora mail-order minister who also owned Hal's Lock & Key locksmith business will be under prison lock & key after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a girl, 10. Harvey Lee "Hal" Sechler, 53, who operated Universal Life Church out of his home, admitted to molesting the girl whom he babysat in 1993. Sechler had previously admitted having repeated sexual relations with his daughter when she was 4-12 years old. Although no charges were ever brought in that case, his daughter was placed in a Kane County orphan home. Records also show that Sechler once sold child pornography at Hal's Food Store in Montgomery before child pornography was illegal in Illinois. (Chicago Tribune, 8/3/94)
Scottsdale, AZ. A Mormon bishop, Arlo Kay Atkin, 38, who was excommunicated from the church for sexual misconduct, is being sued by a Mesa woman who says their sexual relationship beginning when she was 15 resulted in a pregnancy and a child, now 4. The suit alleges negligence by the church in trusting him with minors. Atkin, now of Ventura, CA, pleaded guilty in February 1991 to sexual contact with the woman and was sentenced to 4 months in jail. Source: Arizona Republic, 7/8/94
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. An Anglican minister and Boy Scout leader was sentenced to 6 years in prison for sexually abusing 16 boys between 1976-81. More boys are expected to come forward. Ralph Rowe, 54, of Thompson, Manitoba, pleaded guilty to 28 charges. Rowe received police protection due to death threats. (Star Phoenix [Saskatoon, Saskatchewan], 7/2/94; Chronicle Herald, 7/94)
Auckland, NZ. A widowed former leader of an Aukland religious sect was sentenced to 9 months in jail for raping and assaulting 7 girls, including 1 of his daughters. (New Zealand Herald, 6/18/94)
SALVATION ARMY VERDICT CONTROVERSIAL. For being sexually abused by Salvation Army _Bible_ teacher Gary Hallock, 4 boys and their parents were awarded over $500,000 in compensatory damages for the years of therapy needed, but only $1 each for punitive damages. Although an officer of the Army knew of Hallock's pedophilia years ago, the Army was not held responsible for the abuse. Hallock is serving a 36-72 year jail term, and has admitted to abusing 30 children. The plaintiffs' lawyer was seeking $4 million in the case, and accused jurors of wanting child abuse to continue because they did not award high punitive damages. Source: _Tribune_ 2/18,22/94; _Tribune-Democrat_ 2/94.
For the crime of "LEWD ACT UPON A CHILD" Anton William Hein pleaded no contest in Jul 1994 in San Bernardino County Municipal Court and spent about 6 months in jail filed in July 1994. After his release from Prison, Mr. Hein moved to Holland.
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 66 QLD Jehovah's Witness church member. Appears in Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with 24 sex offences, including incest and indecent assault, involving adolescents, dating back to 1960s. Court hears defendant had allegations made against him at church meetings in 1972, 1993 and 1994. Judge told 6 elders, who attended these meetings, refused to give evidence in court on grounds they were "religiously bound" not to divulge "privileged" information. Judge rejects claims. In 1994, defendant's wife, 62, also appears in Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with carnal knowledge against nature and deprivation of liberty. (R Quinlan CM 941103) (Queensland, Australia, 1994).
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 62 WA Brethren church elder and secondary school deputy principal. Appears in Bunbury Supreme Court charged with 42 incest-related offences, including committing unlawful sexual intercourse, indecent assault and deprivation of liberty, against 2 daughters, aged from 3, between 1964 and 1989. Described as one of AUS most unusual trials. Court hears father sadistically abused daughters with knives, screwdrivers and hammers and tortured them with snakes, cockroaches and dead rabbit. Bizarre rituals involved sexual assault with crucifixes, daughters being hung upside down, crosses being drawn on their chests in blood and one where knife held over daughter, aged 3, while family chanted about "lamb that was slain". Prosecutor describes family as "normal, church-going family" but with "terrible secret". Name SUPPRESSED BY COURT ORDER to protect daughters. (HS 941113) (Western Australia, Australia, 1994).
Park Hills, Missouri. Reverend Richard Jones of Family Life Church: molested boys and told them the Bible sanctioned the abuse (source unknown, 1994)
RICHARDSON Robert John, 44 Melbourne YMCA youth leader and scoutmaster. Receives 10 year jail sentence in VIC County Court after being convicted on 41 child sex charges, including 32 counts of indecent assault, 7 of performing indecent act and 2 of committing unlawful sexual intercourse, against 12 boys, aged 11 to 16, between 1973 and 1993 in VIC. Court hears Richardson, of Brunswick, used position to win trust of children and parents. Judge says Richardson's crimes numbered "about 100" and at least 3 victims suffered psychological damage. Originally faced 41 child sex charges. (Victoria, Australia, 1994).
Navajo Mormon Tried For Molesting Girl. In August 1989 George P. Lee was charged with the sexual abuse of a girl, 12, his daughter's friend. He surrendered to police but was released with orders not to have contact with anyone under 18. He appeared in court in September and asked for more time before his preliminary hearing. He is accused of fondling the girl, now 16, in her home and on trips. Lee contends he is innocent and the charges are part of a big plot by the church to excommunicate him, which they did in 1989 for polygamy and immorality and later apostasy, before the current charges were brought forward. Lee was also dismissed as high school principal in Tuba City for insubordination. If convicted, Lee could be sentenced to life in prison. Source: Sunstone, 12/93
PASTOR ADMITS ABUSE OF GIRLS. Admitting having intercourse with a female teenager and indecently touching another, Rev. Larry G. Johnson pleaded guilty to 2 counts against him dating from 1977-79 while pastor of Buffalo Wesleyan Church. He recently resigned his position as superintendent of the Dakota District of the Wesleyan Church Source: _Rapid City Journal_ 2/28/93.
MENNONITE REV. RAPED DAUGHTER? The Rev. Eugenio Matos, 61, was charged with 18 counts of repeatedly raping his daughter over an 11- year period. The pastor of the Spanish Mennonite Church in Trenton has 12 children. He is accused of sexually assaulting the girl when she was 5 in 1981, continuing the abuse until his arrest in March, 1992. Source: _Trenton Times_ 2/4/93.
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 49 Adelaide church member. Appears in Adelaide Magistrates Court charged with 15 sex-related offences, including unlawful sexual intercourse, indecent assault and possession of pornographic material, involving children, aged under 15, between 1990 and 1993. Court hears defendant, who headed pornographic ring, chose up to 30 victims from church and disabled groups before subjecting them to masochistic behaviour involving leather. Court told police monitored defendant over 4 month period before seizing photographs and videos during raids on Enfield home, Sydney, and SA properties in Adelaide's northern and southern suburbs. (S O'Connor 930910; AG 930911) (SA, Australia, 1993).
HOLMES Garry William, 48 Perth Pentecostal born again Christian, New Day Ministries elder, Rhema Family Church missionary and former Jesus People mission director. Receives 4 year and 6 month jail sentence in WA District Court after pleading guilty to 30 child sex charges, including 29 counts of indecent assault and 1 of indecent dealing, against boy, aged 13, over 3 year period between 1983 and 1986 while elder of New Day Ministries. Court hears Holmes, of Rivervale, Perth, masturbated boy after inviting him to spend nights at tery. Also worked as Jesus People mission director in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and with Aboriginal communities in WA, QLD and NSW. (Western Australia, Australia, 1993).
PITTS Kevin, 42 Sydney Pentecostal born again Christian, independent church member and Sunday school teacher. Receives 3 year jail sentence in Penrith District Court after pleading guilty to 12 charges of indecently assaulting boy, aged 9, and girl, aged 10, over 10 year period while Sunday school teacher at Werrington Community Church, Sydney. (New South Wales, Australia, 1993).
MORMON TEACHER GETS 30 YEARS. Sobbing Mormon Sunday School teacher John Allen Midgett asked for God's forgiveness before being sentenced to 30 years in state prison for molesting & terrorizing 8 girls, ages 5-10. A parent testified Midgett turned her cheerful, trusting daughter into a frightened, scarred recluse. He was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution Source: _San Diego Times Union_ 1992, _Los Angeles Times_ 9/12/92.
In Ventura, David L. Campos, a convicted child molester was arrested At the King's Chapel for failing to register as a sex offender, and on suspicion of molesting 2 girls in bible study class. His Pastor, Gary Rice was also arrested, charged with felony obstruction for trying to prevent the girls from testifying. San Luis Telegram-Tribune 7/16/92
CLERIC FACES INCEST, RAPE CHARGES. Rev. Eugenio Matos of Spanish Mennonite Church, Trenton, father of 12, was charged in March with raping his daughter from the time she was 5 to 15 years. In April he was charged with endangering welfare of a child and 2 counts of aggravated sexual assault when a 23-year-old woman told investigators he repeatedly raped her while she was between the ages of 8 and 10. Source: _Trenton Times_ 4/28/92.
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.
MINISTER GUILTY. Murrayville minister L.G. Gilsrap pleaded guilty to 2 counts of child molestation after the state high court in 1991 overturned a 1989 conviction for molesting young boys at church. Source: _USA Today_ 3/6/92.
BOSSE Pastor Harry, 37 Adelaide pastor, former scoutmaster and former police constable. Receives suspended 12 month jail sentence and 250 hour community-based order in VIC County Court after pleading guilty to 16 child sex charges, including 12 counts of indecent assault and 4 of gross indecency, against 2 boys and 1 girl, aged 8 to 14, between 1973 and 1978 while scoutmaster at Apollo Bay, Brunswick, Ivanhoe, Northcote, Preston and Watsonia, VIC. Court hears Bosse, of Parafield Gardens, Adelaide, joined Church of Nazarene in 1978 before being transferred to Adelaide where he served as pastor until police interviewed him in 1990. (Victoria, Australia, 1992).
NAME SUPPRESSED, age 43 VIC Pentecostal born again Christian and charismatic church member. Receives 3 year and 9 month jail sentence in VIC County Court after pleading guilty to 14 counts of incest and 1 of indecent assault involving stepdaughter, aged 13, between 1984 and 1989. Court hears defendant visited victim's bedroom despite becoming heavily involved in Pentecostal church and being "born again" during period of offending. Name suppressed to protect stepdaughter. (920115; HS 920116) (Victoria, Australia, 1992).
REID Malcolm "Happy Harry", 24 Orange church youth group leader. Receives 18 month jail sentence in Wollongong Local Court after being convicted on charges of committing acts of indecency against 2 boys, both aged 14, at his Orange home, central NSW. Reid known as "Happy Harry" to readers of Illawarra Mercury. (New South Wales, Australia, 1992).
SEDDON Phillip Andrew, 25 Melbourne Christian church member and technical officer. Receives suspended 12 month jail sentence and 3 year good behaviour bond in VIC County Court after pleading guilty to 7 child sex charges, including 4 counts of indecent assault and 3 of committing unlawful sexual intercourse, against girl, aged 2, over 4 year period in Melbourne. (Victoria, Australia, 1992).
Church Choir tenor and dole fraud investigator Ian MacKenzie, 35, was jailed for four years for sexually assaulting boys aged between 12 and 14. MacKenzie forced them into felatio after making them shackle him with chains and rope and then thrashing him with a horsewhip. (1991, England)
Church Organist Vincent Smith jailed at Leeds Crown Court for repetitive sexual abuse of a 9 year old boy which extended over a six year period. (1991, England)
Slough Christian Social Worker sentenced to jail at Old Bailey for taking indecent photographs of a mentally retarded 8 year old boy. His job was to look after handicaped children to give parents a break. (1990, England)
Jehovah's Witness Thomas Rosserr, 38, pleaded guilty to two sexual intercourse with a 13 year old girl at Bible Classes and was sentenced to 21 months at Teeside Crown Court. (1990, England)
Rev. Stephen Horkin pays rent-boy to sadistically abuse him whilst dressing up as the devil. (1990, England)
An undisclosed out-of-court settlement was made by the Mormon Church to Cynthia Brown of Mesa, Az., who accused the church of failing to report to law enforcement authorities that a man had molested her daughter, age 2. A July 1988 ruling by the Arizona Court of Appeals had compelled two Mormon bishops and another church official to testify about conversations they had with RICHARD KENNETH RAY about molesting children. Ray, 47, was sentenced in Sept. 1984 to 61 years in prison for molesting 5 girls, including Brown's daughter. (Arizona Republic, 1/11/90)
1990, Solihull, England. Pentecostal Minister D. Stenhouse jailed on 5 charges of indecent assault on boys aged 12 to 15.
Salvation Army Captain William Douglas is convicted of molesting, sodomizing and sexually terrorizing young Indian boys in a village in British Columbia. Douglas was acquitted of similar charges in 1985; the judge said he could not accept that a minister would lie. (1990)
The Salvation Army would not remove its minister, Gary Hallock of Pennsylvania, from his duties teaching children bible stories, even after he had been arrested for sexually abusing children at his church! The "captain," an equivalent of minister, had victimized seven children, ages four to 15, and even a profoundly retarded 15 year old boy. He was sentenced in 1990 to up to 72 years in prison. Meanwhile, a civil suit was launched against the Salvation Army for their negligence by parents of victims. (1990)
Salvation Army protects guilty minister
Former Salvation Army Capt. JACK HOLCOMB, 50, pleaded guilty to having intercourse with a girl under the age of 14 while heading the chapter. During his tenure, he received a community service award for trying to house and feed refugees in the Plattsburgh, NY area. (Syracuse Herald- Journal, 3/1/89)
JAMES KENNEDY, a Salvation Army pastor from LaCrosse, WI, was sentenced to 6 years in prison plus 10 years' probation for 1st degree sexual assault of a girl, 10. He was ordered to pay for counseling. She was sexually abused at his home 4 times in 1985. Supporters have rallied to his cause. The day after his sentencing, he was released on $15,000 bond posted by a relative, pending appeal. (AP/Wisconsin State Journal, 12/22/89)
REV. THOMAS WELSCH, 39, and his wife Jean, 40, were sentenced to 30 years in prison with all but 6 years suspended, after pleading guilty to 5 counts each of child sexual abuse. Originally they were charged with 571 counts involving 3 victims. Welsch and his wife abused twin sisters, 13, and a 17 year old girl. He was pastor at Immanuel United Church of Christ in Cambridge, MD for 10 years. The state's attorney praised all 3 victims for showing " a lot of courage " in testifying against their popular pastor. (Washington Post, 12/10/89; The Sun)
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Robert D. Campbell, 20, a Mormon missionary from Idaho, was CHARGED with sexually assaulting two Tennessee sisters, ages 7 and 9, at a prayer meeting. David Campbell, of Nashville, president of the missionary program, told the press "That's not true." The thirty two year old woman said "I'll probably be excommunicated over this." She said David Campbell advised her not to call the police, although he denies that too. She also said church officials called her an hour after the missionary's release from jail asking permission for her daughters to "take a lie detector test." Said the mother: "He can deny it all he wants to. He told me not to tell anybody, and not to report it... He said the church's attorneys would look into it. (Idaho Statesman July 21, 1988)
Gilbert Crowell, 27, commander of the Salvation Army in Burbank and an ordained minister with a wife and 3 children, was CONVICTED on July 1 of molesting 3 girls inside the Army's office. He was CONVICTED of 4 misdemeanor counts of child molestation and two counts of battery but was acquitted by a jury of 7 related charges. (Scrantonian Tribune 6/29/88 and Los Angles Times 7/2/88)
Former Mormon missionary Arthur Gary Bishop, 36, was executed on June 10th in Utah for killing 5 boys (ages 4-13) for sexual gratification, saying he was "misled by Satan." (New York Times 6/10/88)
1988, Lancashire, England. Congregational Church Minister Garvock convicted of raping 4 yr. old girl.
Rev. Donald VanLiew, pastor of the First Christian Church, Kentland, Indiana, was sentenced to 300 hours of community service and five years informal probation for one count of child molestation. He was given such a light sentence because he had no prior record. Originally, his sentence was proposed as a $1 fine and court costs! That his friends and family did not regard the offense as a serious reflection on the minister was indicated by his mother's comment to the press: "This isn't easy for us to take. We have a reputation to maintain, and it's not true anyway." (Source: Journal and Courier, Lafayette-West Lafayette, Indiana, 12/23/87)
Rev. Bill Peckham, of Springfield, Illinois, known nationally for his work with the poor and homeless through Contact Ministries, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and a reduced misdemeanor charge of sexually abusing a 14 year old boy. The victim, a ward of the state, reported the abuse on January 1, 1986. He was then "wired" to secretly tape-record conversations with the minister, which led to Peckham's arrest on January 5. Peckham also founded the Holy Fools Clown Ministry, which has chapters all over the nation. Although Peckham could have received three to seven years imprisonment for the felony charges, he was given only four years' probation, and was sentenced to a year in jail for the misdemeanor charge. (Sources: [Alton, Illinois] Telegraph, 12/3/87; Peoria Journal Star, 1/7/88)
Ron J. Steckbauer, an Ocean Beach, California video arcade owner who ran a bible study group for boys and chaperoned them on weekend trips to Arizona, was arrested on molestation charges. Police believe there may have been more than a hundred individual molestations committed against 15 boys between the ages of 10 and 14 years. Steckbauer was also charged with failure to register with local police as a convicted sex offender. The bible study was reported to be his modus operandi and cover for finding victims. (Source: Los Angeles Times, 12/10/87)
Rev. Billy Walker of Sheepfold Ministries shelter home for transient and displaced workers in Lamar, Colorado abused his position of trust in order to molest a seven year old girl. He received eight years in prison. He had fled the state upon discovery, but was arrested later in Lake City, Florida. The judge recommended that Walker receive counseling and treatment in prison for pedophilia. Walker had three prior felony convictions for child sexual abuse. (Source: Rocky Mountain News, 10/25/87)
Rev. Robert Henry, of San Luis Obispo, California, a married man with two grown children, was accused of seven felony counts of child molestation, resigning from his position as Ventura church rector and dean of a school. Described as a "well-known and respected community figure," he was charged with molesting two boys in 1984 and 1985 during private counseling sessions at the school and church office. (Source: Los Angeles Times, 10/23/87)
Rev. William Bosley of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was sentenced to 55 years in prison for sexually abusing a six year old girl in his church while her blind mother was cleaning the building. Bosley founded the Sunrise Church of God in Christ, Waukegan, Illinois, in 1969. He also pleaded guilty to sexually abusing the child's 12 year old sister in the home of their grandmother. The sentencing took into account Bosley's recent conviction for firing a gun into a car. He had served a 28-month sentence for sexual abuse of an 11 year old girl in Washington state 20 years before. Sentencing Judge Walter Block stated: "He took his position, duty and responsibility and used it to facilitate his criminal behavior." Assistant state attorney Victoria Rossetti, of Lake County, stated: "These people trusted him. He helped them, but he continuously violated these young girls." (Source: Chicago Tribune, 10/22/87)
Rev. William Henwood, pastor of the Jericho Independent Church in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, pleaded no contest to charges of sexual contact with a 10 year old girl. He had molested her in his own home, as well as on the school bus he drove for the church. The little girl explained to investigators, "He'd drive with one hand." (Source: Scranton Times, 10/9/87)
Rev. David Ray Miller was indicted for sexually molesting a little girl from his congregation for two years. "We can't weigh the damage," said Police Chief Larry Barmore. Yet her parents were so intimidated by the prestige of their daughter's assailant that they had to be talked into pressing charges. The exposure came none too soon. Miller had been in the process of opening a church elementary school. (Source: [Smithville, Texas] County Times, 9/24/87)
Church elder Edward Scott Hartley of Community Chapel and Bible Training Center in Burien, Washington, had been told that a 12 year old girl had been sexually molested by her stepfather since she was four, but did not report this information to the proper authorities. The stepfather was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison, no thanks to Hartley. Hartley was found guilty of violating Washington state law requiring that suspected child abuse cases be reported. King County Superior Court Judge Faith Enyeart ordered him to enroll in a 16-hour program on how to deal with family violence and sexual assault, and to report to her what he learned. (Sources: Peninsula Daily News, 9/18/87; Seattle Post-Intelligencer 12/2/87)
Rev. Simon Douglas Jr., a minister at an East Spencer, North Carolina church, was charged with murdering a 13 year old girl. Her body was found gagged and bound with wires in a church parking lot. Douglas's record involved a sexual offense in Alabama in 1976. At that time, a babysitter wrote a testimonial that he was a "warm, gentle and courteous Christian-hearted young man who loves his wife and family." (Source: Charlotte Observer, 8/8/87)
A minister in Santa Barbara, California was accused of sexually preying upon women molested as children, by offering them "special services" ostensibly to overcome painful childhood memories. (Source: Santa Barbara News-Press, 8/1/87)
A lawsuit against a clergyman who failed to report sexual child abuse was dismissed by a Denver judge. A young girl who was being assaulted by her adoptive father went to Rev. Lou Montecalvo for counseling. He told her to "get on your knees and pray for forgiveness" for violating the sanctity of her parents' marriage. The father eventually was sent to prison. The girl's attorney called the minister's behavior "an outrageous, intentional infliction of emotional distress on the girl." (Source: Denver Post, 6/3/87)
Rev. John S. Lower received three years unsupervised probation for molesting a girl, under age nine, during bible studies at her "home school." (Source: Tulsa World, 4/15/87)
Vicar Cecil Rothery, 63, sentenced to probation at Retford for indecently assaulting a teenage boy. 1987.
Jehovah's Witness given 8 years at Chelmsford for raping two girls. Yeates chanted "Satan. Satan" whilst raping them and claimed the devil made him do it. 1987.
Christian psychologist Charles Markham Berry, a married man with children, esteemed in his community as a war veteran and upstanding Christian, was convicted of child molestation and child pornography in Atlanta. He had founded his own Christian-oriented counseling clinic, where he preyed on troubled boys and orphans from the Christian City Home. He assured them that their parents or guardians were aware of his "treatment" methods. He took boys to a warehouse where he kept a camera, tripod and a mattress on the floor. When "treating" a convicted molester, Markham forced him to use his own name to order child pornography from Europe for Markham's use. He kept detailed accounts of his molestations on a computer. As US Attorney Stephen Cowen said: "He wrapped himself in religious piety, used his position in the church and the community to shield himself . . . to find children . . . to seduce them." (Source: Atlanta Constitution & Journal, 7/18/86)
Rev. Gilbert Hewlett was convicted of the rape, assault and sexual abuse of his 16 year old daughter. The mentally retarded girl had scars covering her face and body. (Source: Dothan Eagle, [Alabama], 6/28/86)
A mother in Tampa, Florida walked in on Rev. Fonville Gandy when he was placing his hands on her son's genitals. She accepted his (unacceptable) explanation that he was "discussing anatomy" with the youth. This mother realized the truth when Rev. Gandy was later arrested for other molestations, and she testified against him at his trial. Gandy was sentenced to five years in prison for molesting another 11 year old at the Ecumenical Counseling Center. (Source: Tampa Tribune, 6/26/86)
Army chaplain Lt. Col. Anthony Longval was convicted of sexually abusing young women whom he hypnotized before abusing. "He's a hypocrite who prayed on Sunday, and preyed on young women during the week," said the Army prosecutor. (Source: Yakima [Washington] Herald Republic, 6/8/86)
Rev. Gordon Taylor of Keizer, Oregon was indicted for sodomy, sexual abuse and furnishing obscene material to minors. His reported victims were teenagers at a home for "wayward kids" which he directed. Charges were dismissed but prosecutors said they would reopen the case pending the location of a teenaged boy considered a key witness. (Source: Oregonian, 5/3/86; 6/17/86)
Mormon Sunday school teacher Thomas Eugene Dawkins was accused of "the worst case of sexual abuse I've ever seen during my 30 years in law enforcement," according to Richard County Sheriff Frank Powell of Elgin, South Carolina. "I'm not sure how a child can cope with something like this." Dawkins was accused of brutally torturing and raping a girl over a two-year period starting when she was 13, terrifying her into submission by cutting her, showing her body parts he kept in jars, and threatening to dissect her. Much of the abuse occurred during church outings, or during privately arranged meetings. Dawkins denied guilt, instead, according to reports, "praying and reading from the Book of Mormon." South Carolina Circuit County Judge John Hamilton Smith termed the abuse of a "sadistic and macabre nature." Dawkins was found guilty and sentenced to 60 years in prison in November 1986. (Source: [Columbia, South Carolina] The State, 4/25/86; 11/8/86)
Rev. James Britton Myers, a Kenosha, Wisconsin minister, was convicted of the heinous crime of raping a little girl at his Christian school over a five-year period, starting when she was age five. Yet his Christian supporters from three states filled the courtroom, and one member of his congregation called the crime "one drop of ink in crystal clear water." (Source: Milwaukee Journal, 4/23/86)
Roswell, GA. The Rev. Rance Wellborn, the Roswell Minister accused of a murder prosecutors suspect is homosexually related, had been arrested twice in the past for sex crimes, but charges were dropped in both cases, witnesses testified Thursday. In one of the previous cases, the alleged sexual molestation of a teenage girl, authorities dropped the charge after pressure from influential members of Wellborn's church, witnesses said. (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution 05-23-1986)
Pastor previously charged with molestation
According to Bauer of the Crossroads Church of Christ, Charles Lucas, the 46 year old founder of the church was "abruptly terminated from the Crossroads Church of Christ for 'recurring sins in his life'. I was serving on the ministry staff that assisted in covering up the real reason for his termination--sexual perversion and homosexual activity with younger men in his ministry. Irrefutable evidence was presented to the elders of the Crossroads Church clearly depicting a pattern of sexual liberties taken by Lucas over an extended period of time."' (1986)
The Rise and Fall of Kip McKean & Chuck Lucas
Rev. Wilbert Thomas, pastor of the Christian Alliance Holiness Church in Trenton, New Jersey, was indicted on charges of conspiring to control his congregation through criminal acts, including sexual assault, lewdness, involuntary servitude and beatings of women and children. He was convicted in 1985. (Source: Trenton Times, 2/83; 1985)
Pastor Herbert W. Armstrong of the Worldwide Church of God begun fondling and heavy petting his daughter Dororthy in 1933 when she was thirteen years old - around the same time that Pastor Armstrong now claims God was using him to found the modern era of the only true church. But he did not begin to "go all the way" with her until three years later. One day Dorothy returned home from a date with a young bank teller to inform her father that she had just been "half-raped". To her surprise, Pastor Armstrong was actually "elated" over the news. Pastor Armstrong decided it was time to show her how it was really done. From then on Herbert went "all the way". The year was 1936; Dorothy was 16 years old. Strangely, Dorothy has claimed her father later went on to become a good friend of the bank teller. (1985)
The Corrupt Leaders of the Worldwide Church of God
Rev. John Gargano 67 convicted of 14 counts of rape, sodomy, sexual abuse and child endangerment. His four victims, who were repetitively abused said that the minister represented himself to them as the angel Gabriel. (1985)
The Jehovah's Witnesses organization is under growing attack by some of its members for policies they say can allow child molesters to go unreported, putting church members and the public at increased risk. Church officials say elders alert authorities to suspected abuse in states that require reporting. But in other states they prefer to take steps to protect children that don't breach what they see as confidential communication between elders and members. Church policy also allows some confessed molesters - whose offenses are usually kept secret - to stay in the church community, sometimes with tragic results. An examination by The Courier-Journal of court cases involving church members in Maine, New Hampshire and Texas showed that the confidential church disciplinary process was blamed by some victims for allowing molestation to continue. Among the cases: In Maine, a teen-age boy was molested between 1989 and 1992 by a church member after church elders disciplined the offender secretly for molesting another boy. Elders did not report the first case to authorities, and the law did not require them to. The second victim told a therapist, who notified authorities. In New Hampshire, a former church member said elders failed to act when she told them her husband was physically abusing their children. The man received a 56-year prison sentence in October 2000 for sexual abuse that continued years after the woman went to elders. New Hampshire law required clergy to report suspicions of abuse. In Texas, a prosecutor said church elders told a teen-age boy to stop molesting his younger sister in 1992 but failed to report it to police in apparent violation of state law. The boy later molested a second sister and in 1997 was sentenced to a 40-year prison term. Police were alerted when one victim reported the abuse to hospital staff following a suicide attempt. Church policy also allows molesters who are deemed repentant to continue evangelizing door to door - accompanied by another member - bringing them into contact with unsuspecting households that don't have the church's knowledge that a child molester is at their door. The church's policies on sexual abuse have come under scrutiny following the resignation of a Western Kentucky church elder who objected to them. The court cases have played out against the backdrop of a growing national consensus that all suspected child abuse must be reported and known molesters aggressively identified. A lawyer for the Jehovah's Witnesses church, which has nearly 1 million members nationally and 6 million worldwide, said it complies with those state laws that require church elders to report abuse. "If there is a law that mandates reporting, that takes precedent over any confidentiality, whether in church policy or statute," said Mario Moreno, associate general counsel for the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, a legal corporation of the church. "I refuse to support a pedophile refuge mentality." William H. Bowen in his letter resigning his church leadership post in Draffenville, Ky. "In states where there is no reporting requirement, it's a different scenario," Moreno said. Elders might have the victim relocated away from the abuser or have the parent or guardian of the victim, or even the accused person, report the abuse to police, he said. "The laws of this country, as well as people's moral values, tell you there are some things that should be kept private. That's why laws protect confidential communications between clergy and their flock." But Moreno said elders who contact the church's legal department with cases of suspected sexual abuse - as they must do - are often advised to refer victims to police or other outside help, even if the law doesn't require it. Victims and their parents are free, Moreno said, to seek help from police or therapists and should not blame the church if they choose not to do so. "Parents are encouraged to do whatever they need to do to protect their child," said Moreno. However, some abuse victims and their advocates, in lawsuits and in interviews, said that fear of reprisals by church leaders, coupled with the importance of the church in their lives, made them reluctant to report abuse outside the church. William H. Bowen resigned Dec. 31 as presiding overseer (chief elder) of the Draffenville congregation near Paducah, saying he could no longer support church policies that he felt allowed child molesters to go undetected. "I refuse to support a pedophile refuge mentality that is promoted among bodies of elders around the world," wrote Bowen in his letter of resignation. "Criminals should be ousted, identified and punished to protect the innocent and give closure to the victim." Elders Approached Woman felt punished for accusing husband Sara Poisson of Claremont, N.H., said she never considered turning to anyone but her church elders when then-husband Paul Berry began physically abusing some of her children. Berry would eventually receive a 56-year prison term. "Whatever issues might arise that required guidance were to be handled within the congregation by the body of elders," Poisson said at her ex-husband's sentencing for molestation on Oct. 31, 2000. Bowen said members of the Jehovah's Witnesses are continually told that if they have any problems within the family, they are to go to the elders for help. "You have to understand the Jehovah's Witnesses organization," Bowen said. "Their life revolves around following the direction of what the local elders and the organization say." But Sam Neal, an elder in the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Jeffersontown, Ky., said church members are not sheltered. "All of us have access to all of the things in the community," said Neal, retired associate dean of the University of Louisville's School of Social Work. "Whatever we need, we know where to go." Church attorney Moreno said church members know they can go to the authorities on a matter of abuse. "They haven't committed a sin by turning in a Jehovah's Witness to the authorities," he said. "It's a very personal decision." But Poisson said in Hillsborough County Superior Court at her ex-husband's sentencing that when she went to elders with her concerns, they repeatedly told her that she "needed to be a better wife" and "needed to pray more." "Each time I spoke to the elders I was sanctioned in some way," Poisson told the court. "Some privilege was removed because I had dared to usurp the authority of my husband." Poisson later told a reporter she was barred from speaking at some meetings and restricted in the amount of door-to-door evangelism she could do. New Hampshire law since the late 1970s has said that any "person having reason to suspect that a child has been abused or neglected shall report the same." There is no evidence in court records or elders' public comments that the church reported Poisson's allegations. Poisson said in court that while she did not know of Berry's sexual abuse, she knew of and didn't report the physical abuse, and "this I have to live with for the rest of my life." Authorities found out, Poisson said, when her son went to school one day with the imprint of a fly swatter on his leg. Poisson said a social worker gave her an ultimatum: Have Berry leave the house or lose custody of their children. She chose the former and said the congregation shunned her. Some time later, one of Poisson's daughters ran away. She returned 18 months later, frail and sick, with the words, "Why did you let that happen?" Poisson said in court. The girl informed her mother that Berry had sexually abused her from age 4 to 10. Mother and daughter went to police to launch the sexual abuse investigation. Berry was arrested and in July 2000 was convicted of 17 counts of sexual assault. Among his offenses, Berry suspended one of his daughters from hooks in a barn and strapped her to a tree during episodes of sexual abuse. When Berry showed up for sentencing, so did 29 members of his Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in Wilton, N.H., all of whom spoke in his favor, often in glowing terms, according to court records. "Whatever charges that have been brought against him have been somehow misconstrued," said Robert Michalowski, a former Wilton elder. "Elders in the congregation would have picked up on (sexual abuse) in a minute." In sentencing Berry, Judge Arthur Brennan said the church might have done more to help the victim. "The church didn't help her and the state didn't help her," Brennan said. ". . . Perhaps if somebody had spoken years ago, if somebody had inquired, instead of relying perhaps on Jehovah . . . maybe it would have been . . . a lot less cruel for that child." Brennan said he was "not talking against anybody's religion. I'm saying I've seen this happen in any number of different congregations." The victim, Holly Brewer, of Berkeley, Calif., agreed to have her story told. Berry maintains his innocence and is appealing the conviction, his lawyer, Mark Sisti, said. Moreno would not comment on whether elders violated the law in this case but said, "Once in a while, in a small minority cases, elders screw up. They screw up because they don't call here (the Watch Tower legal department). When they call here, they don't screw up." The Hillsborough County attorney's office said it did not investigate whether elders broke the law by failing to report the suspected physical abuse. By the time prosecutors investigated, more than one year had passed since the elders' involvement, beyond the statute of limitations for prosecuting a misdemeanor such as failing to report. Three years ago, similar questions about elders' actions arose in a Texas case. When a family in the Houston-area church reported that a teen-age son was molesting his younger sister, elders visited the home, counseled the family and received the boy's assurance he would stop, according to allegations in the family's lawsuit against the church. Instead, the abuse continued, the lawsuit said. A criminal court jury in 1997 convicted the then-22-year-old for abuse committed as an adult. He was given a 40-year sentence for aggravated sexual assault. "The elders sat at that kitchen table and listened to her tell what her brother had done," said Kelly Siegler, an assistant district attorney for Harris County. "All they did is tell him to stop and they prayed about it. They just blew it off. No one ever told the police." Siegler said she would have prosecuted elders for failing to report abuse if the two-year statute of limitations hadn't expired. The family sued the church in civil court and in 1999 reached a settlement that bars both sides from discussing the case. Houston lawyer Jeffrey Parsons, who represented the Jehovah's Witnesses, said he was convinced the church conducted itself properly. "It was really an unfortunate circumstance, but (the family's lawsuit) was not a well-founded case." Church Process Strict burden of proof needed for discipline Taking a sexual abuse complaint to Jehovah's Witnesses church elders puts members in contact with a secretive church process that has a burden of proof that is much greater than in a civil court. If a church member is accused of any offense, elders follow a strict biblical standard. They require either the member's confession or the testimony of at least two witnesses, including the accuser, to prove the member's guilt, according to church attorney Moreno and church publications. This applies even in cases of sexual abuse, when there often are no "outside" witnesses. For victims who can't produce witnesses or persuade the accused person to confess, elders are instructed to "explain to the accuser that nothing more can be done in a judicial (church disciplinary) way," according to a 1995 article in the Jehovah's Witnesses' Watchtower - a magazine with a circulation of 22 million in 132 languages. "And the congregation will continue to view the one accused as an innocent person," the article continued. The article offers one other avenue of justice: "The question of his guilt or innocence can be safely left in Jehovah's (God's) hands." Moreno said that eventually, the truth comes out. "Somebody else comes out of the woodwork and now you can take action," he said. Moreno said two separate accusers would count as two witnesses when making a sexual abuse accusation. Church policy neither encourages nor discourages members to report suspected or admitted sexual abuse to police, Moreno said. Elders are instructed to always call the central legal department of the church in Carmel, N.Y., upon receiving an accusation. When elders call, church lawyers tell them whether state law requires them to report abuse to police, Moreno said. A still-valid 1989 church memo also tells elders to call for legal advice before being interviewed by police, responding to a subpoena or voluntarily turning over confidential church records, unless police have a search warrant. Moreno said church lawyers might advise elders to refer victims to police or other outside help. "That's a personal decision." If elders suspect sexual abuse has occurred, they can begin church disciplinary hearings, in which what is said and written is held confidential. No one but elders may take notes, which are collected and kept in a secure place, according to the 1989 memo. It is a process intended to safeguard reputations and protect the church against lawsuits, according to the memo. The church memo warns of lawsuits by "vindictive or disgruntled ones" and "some who oppose the Kingdom preaching work" if accusations are leaked. No tape recordings of these proceedings are permitted. A Jan. 2 statement from J.R. Brown, director of public affairs for the Jehovah's Witnesses, said church elders "encourage the wrongdoers to do everything they can to set the matter straight with the authorities." But the strict rules of confidentiality - in which elders are warned not to tell even their own family about disciplinary proceedings - can leave a molester's identity shielded from those not involved. Bryan Rees, formerly of Augusta, Maine, said in a lawsuit that his stepfather, Alan Ayers, never warned him to stay clear of his next-door neighbor, church member Larry Baker. Baker had confessed to Ayers and other elders that he had molested another boy. The elders had secretly disciplined Baker, giving him "some real strict, severe counsel . . . and that was essentially it," Baker later testified. Maine didn't require church officials to notify authorities and the elders in Augusta never informed police or anyone else. Though they warned Baker to stay away from children, the molester testified that elders knew he was going door to door with Rees. "I'm sure they must have known," Baker testified. "There wasn't anything secret about it." Baker went on to molest Rees at least 30 times by his own admission between 1989 and 1992. He was convicted of unlawful contact with a minor and served about a 90-day jail term. Rees, who could not be reached for comment, won a $1.2 million judgment Rees later went public with his story after suing the Jehovah's Witnesses unsuccessfully in 1998. He alleged the church breached its fiduciary responsibility when it failed to warn him about Baker and when it failed to exert some type of control over Baker's actions. But Maine's highest court rejected such arguments in 1999. "The mere fact that one individual knows that a third party is or could be dangerous to others does not make that individual responsible for controlling the third party," the Supreme Judicial Court ruled. Ayers, Rees' stepfather, declined to comment, but church lawyer Moreno applauded the decision. "There is no duty to announce to people that 'John Brown' is a child abuser," he said. If the court had ruled otherwise, he said, it "would basically discourage people from going to their ministers and getting help." "If people could not count on confidentiality when they go and confess to a Catholic priest, there's going be quite a chilling effect on religion," he said. The Jehovah's Witnesses say the privilege of clergy confidentiality applies to any confidential communication with members, including disciplinary hearings that involve multiple elders and witnesses. A prosecutor in Hillsborough County, N.H., is currently seeking to force an elder to testify to what Gregory Blackstock, already convicted in one child molestation case, confessed to elders in the case of two other girls who were allegedly molested. The congregation involved was not the same as the one in the Paul Berry case. Assistant County Attorney Roger Chadwick said because more than one elder was involved, and one elder regularly phoned the alleged victims' mother with updates, the church couldn't claim exemption under the state's confidentiality law. "Simply put, (church) judicial investigations and telephone timeouts to confirm confessional details were not the types of speech that (clergy confidentiality laws) intended to protect," Chadwick said in a written brief filed in Hillsborough County Superior Court. But Attorney Paul Garrity, representing Blackstock, argued that just because Jehovah's Witnesses don't use the one-on-one confessional process of other religions, the state can't strip its right to confidentiality based on "theological differences as to how reconciliation with God is to be achieved." The case is pending. An Elder Protests It was the church's focus on the letter of the law that led elder and presiding overseer Bowen to publicly resign his church position in the Marshall County town of Draffenville, Kentucky. William Bowen had been alerted to possible sexual abuse involving a family in his area. When he called the church's legal department, as required, lawyers told him Kentucky law did not require him to report the suspected abuse. After hearing details of the allegations, a separate church department then advised against a disciplinary hearing, Bowen said. He said elders go against such advice at the risk of losing their position. After he resigned, he said he reported the allegations of abuse to police. Bowen said he was told by police the case is under investigation. Bowen said a Jehovah's Witnesses policy requiring two people to witness wrongdoing before it is acknowledged by leaders makes it nearly impossible to prove child molestation occurs. Victims who do come forward confident they will receive help from church leaders are often left feeling betrayed, he said. Bowen is still technically a member. Thomas Carrothers, the Jehovah's Witnesses' city overseer for nearby Paducah, said he saw no grounds for expelling Bowen. "People are allowed to express their points of view," he said. In a talk to the congregation about Bowen's criticism of church policies, Carrothers urged church members to respond with love to "opposers" and "the slanderous statements of lying apostates." Carrothers said he wasn't referring to Bowen. "I was quoting from Watchtower articles. I wasn't accusing him of it," he said. Bowen's father, Bill J. Bowen, denounced his son's actions in a videotaped interview produced and distributed by the church. "What (my son) is saying is just absurd," the older Bowen, a longtime church member, said. "I've got to hope that my son will turn around, change his mind." Elder David King of Edmonds, Wash., said he also resigned his church position in 1997, partly because of his disillusionment with the church's attention to "legal ramifications." When investigating an allegation of sexual abuse several years ago, King said, elders called a lawyer at church headquarters. "The moment we identified who we were, he immediately knew state law (in Washington) and said we didn't have to report it," King said. "That was almost the first thing he said. "At the time, I was a true believer, but it shook me to think they were more concerned about legal ramifications than getting some kind of healthy recovery." The victims' parents later called police. King said he gradually stopped attending the church. Outside Help Church writings say members are allowed to seek outside help when they suspect abuse, but members say church discouraged efforts. Some members, such as Poisson, say they were intimidated by elders when they tried. In Keene, N.H., the guardian of a 15-year-old girl sued a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in 1987, alleging that elders threatened the girl's parents with "religious excommunication and eternal damnation" if they sought police intervention or counseling for their daughter, who was sexually abused from 1975 to 1985. The lawsuit was settled, and the girl's lawyer, Charles Donahue, said he could not comment on it. The abuser - the girl's father - was later sentenced to three to eight years in prison in 1986 after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault, according to records in Cheshire County Superior Court. Church lawyer Moreno said it would be "ridiculous" for any elder to make such a threat, and if one did, it would contradict church policy. "That's not scriptural," he said. "We teach the Scriptures. The Scriptures don't say, 'If you file criminal charges against an abuser you're going to have eternal damnation.' The one in danger of eternal damnation is the abuser." Church literature also says victims and other church members can seek professional therapy, as long as the counselor respects their beliefs and victims don't reveal names of alleged abusers in group therapy. But former Jehovah's Witnesses elder J. Michael Terry, of Conway, Ark., said his experience didn't match the policy. He said that about three or four years ago, he steered the mother of an abuse victim to a therapist, who then reported the crime. "I got jumped on pretty bad" by two fellow elders, Terry said. "I did what my conscience told me to do," said Terry, who is no longer active in the church. "They said I should have done nothing but listen." Arkansas law does not require clergy to report abuse to authorities but it does require social workers to. Terry is a social worker. He said the incident soured his working relationship with elders, and about three years later he was stripped of his elder's position for being uncooperative. One of the elders whom Terry said had criticized his actions declined to comment on his dealings with Terry. Range of Penalties Repentant molesters can go door to door Watch Tower officials are not consistent on how the church punishes child molesters. In a Jan. 2 statement, church public affairs director Brown Church said that child abusers are "disfellowshipped," or expelled from the congregation. Later, he acknowledged the church can use less severe penalties. He defended his original statement, saying that for "mass consumption it conveys the thought (that elders) do institute this discipline. They're not soft on abusers." But an Aug. 1, 1995, church memo shows that repentant pedophiles can avoid excommunication and remain church members, as happened with Baker. The document also says elders can restore church memberships to pedophiles who convince elders they have repented. That's what happened in the case of Clement Pandelo of Paramus, N.J. In fact, Pandelo, who admitted to police he had molested young girls for 40 years, was twice disfellowshipped and twice reinstated, according to court documents. Pandelo pleaded guilty in 1988 to molesting his 12-year-old granddaughter and two other girls. His granddaughter, Corinne Holloway, now 24, said Pandelo's reinstatements compounded her physical and psychological trauma. Church elders "validated the perpetrator rather than the victim," said Holloway, of Spring Lake Park, N.J. "He had the privileges (of membership) and we were in this long, drawn-out process." Said Moreno: "I wouldn't be too happy myself if somebody abused my child and was reinstated. The bottom line is if an elder determines a former child abuser has demonstrated repentance, (he has) a scriptural obligation to reinstate him." Church policy permits Pandelo, as a member in good standing, to go door to door, spreading the Jehovah's Witnesses' message. Barbara Pandelo, Holloway's mother, said she finds that policy potentially harmful. "These perverts are still allowed to go door to door to unknowing householders," said Barbara Pandelo, of Belmar, N.J. "The Watch Tower Society doesn't make itself bothered with the danger it exposes families (to)." Brown said pedophiles are restricted from working with minors and must also be with a well-respected church member when they go door to door. Pedophiles also might not be sent into neighborhoods where they might be recognized as molesters, Brown said. Church memos tell elders that molesters who remain in the church should be warned not to touch children or be alone with them. But David Richart, of the National Institute on Children, said a strictly spiritual approach to child molestation is inadequate. "The whole idea of child sexual abuse is that it generally is an invisible kind of crime and it generally doesn't go away without in some cases treatment and in other cases imprisonment," said Richart, who reviewed Jehovah's Witnesses literature on the subject at The Courier-Journal's request. "The whole idea implicit in their response is that somebody can be persuaded or guilt-tripped into changing their behavior. It's generally a much more sophisticated problem than that. "Prayer can do a lot of things, and in the case of child sexual abuse it can be a powerful instrument for change, but it's no substitute for a societal intervention." Richart said he believes other religious groups have similar problems. "A lot of churches deal internally with allegations of child sexual abuse and refer to Scripture in ways which seem to encourage the children to be compliant." Some victims and their advocates want Jehovah's Witnesses to do what civil society has done - adopt so-called "Megan's Laws," named for the New Jersey murder victim of a neighbor who had two previous sexual-abuse convictions. Such laws establish sexual-offender registries enabling the public to learn if their neighbors are pedophiles, though few churches of any denomination have such a policy. "People in the church have the right to know (a member is) a pedophile," said Carl Pandelo of Belmar, N.J., son of Clement Pandelo. Attorney Waxman, who represented molestation victim Rees in the Maine lawsuit, agreed. "The churches are going to say one of their main tenets is forgiveness," he said. "Let's assume there is a real, direct confrontation between a church's ideals and the state's interest in protecting kids from being abused. In my view, the kids win." Neal, the social worker and elder of the Jeffersontown Jehovah's Witnesses congregation, said if a member confessed to child molestation, he would tell the full body of elders and was confident the board would make members aware. "Nobody has a right to keep matters that really put other folks at risk secret," he said. "We're concerned about every member of the organization, and their best interest, their welfare, their security and safety are matters of concern. "We don't feel we would be discharging our spiritual responsibility if we held something secret that has a direct impact on the safety and welfare of others." Telling authorities When Jehovah's Witnesses elders call the central legal office, lawyers advise them on their state's reporting laws. Some states, like Kentucky, require citizens to report suspicions of abuse but provide exceptions for clergy-penitent conversations. Other states, like Indiana, allow no exceptions. Still others only require professionals in certain fields, mainly those dealing with children, to report abuse. In Boulder, Colo., in December 1991, elders in a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation publicly reprimanded member Leland Elwyn Davies after finding that he had fondled several teen-age girls, according to a report filed by the Boulder County sheriff's office, which investigated after the mother of three victims had alerted police. One victim, who spoke to police in Jan. 1992, said she was "displeased that the behavior had not been reported by the elders to the authorities," according to the police report. Police contacted an elder in the congregation who said he could not give out confidential information from the disciplinary process. Colorado does not mandate that clergy give out such information. Police arrested Davies in July 1992 - about six months after the church imposed discipline. He pleaded guilty to two counts of third-degree sexual assault and was placed on probation, according to the criminal court clerk in Colorado's 20th Judicial District. Davies died in August 2000. According to church lawyer Moreno, the system worked. Elders did their job, and victims and police did theirs, he said. "What was the harm?" Moreno said. "The report got made. "You've got a teen, who has been molested, upset at the elders for not calling the police?" he said. "You can call the police. You're the one injured. "Who makes the laws? Not us. Don't blame us for the laws, please. Talk to the state legislators of Colorado." AP 2/17/2001, Courier-Journal 2/4
A Louisville, Kentucky pastor convicted of sodomy and sexual abuse of young boys testified anonymously before a Senate subcommittee in April, 1982, about hunting boys for sex. He recounted how he had cruised areas where teenaged boys congregate in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Louisville. He received a suspended sentence in March 1982 of 10 years in prison and was given five years' probation. (Source: Lexington Herald, 4/2/82)
Mormon Sunday school teacher Art Phillips, 43, of Arizona, was arrested in March and arraigned in April for fondling a 15-year-old girl and "solicitation to commit commercial sexual exploitation of a minor."
A plaintiff identified as "E.R.B." and his parents claimed the New Life Fellowship Church of God in Longview and its governing body failed to properly investigate associate pastor Rick Shaw's conduct after numerous allegations were made against him. Shaw was accused of sexually abusing E.R.B. for five years, beginning in 1985 when E.R.B. was 14 years old.
Jacksonville, FL. Trinity Christian Academy teacher Thomas Rake, 35, pleaded guilty to 1 count of lewd and lascivious conduct for fondling a girl, 13. (Jacksonville Times-Union)
Jury awarded a Colorado woman $1.2 million in a judgment against the Diocese of Colorado and then-Bishop William Frey in 1991 (Frey was named as ecclesiastical authority).
Grangetown, England. A senior Church in Wales vicar has been remanded in custody by magistrates in Cardiff charged with serious sex offences against a young man more than 10 years ago. Canon Lawrence Davies, Vicar of St Paul's Church in Grangetown in Cardiff and an area dean of the city, is charged with the rape of a man, indecent assault of a boy under 16 and gross indecency with a boy under 16.