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Enrique Vasquez, 48, was arrested Wednesday during a routine stop in the Honduran capital, police spokesman Anibal Baca said Thursday.
Vasquez failed to present a passport and claimed to be a Venezuelan called Strauss, Baca said. However, after an "intense interrogation" he confessed to his true identity and it was found he was wanted by Interpol, he said.
Vasquez was accused of committing child abuse in a Costa Rican church in 1994 and has been a fugitive since 1998.
In 2005, a Costa Rican court convicted him in his absence and sentenced him to 12 years in prison.
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2 ... s-Priest-Arrest.php
迫口交不果 虐打勒令脫衣彈跳 牧師非禮智障女囚21月
King posted a $1,000 bond early Saturday morning on the third-degree felony charge after he was booked into Escambia County Jail.
Elvin McCorvey, president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said that King's arrest was a tragedy for the local community.
"I'm very disappointed that this has happened, because Rev. King was a man that I held in high esteem," McCorvey said. "He always seemed to be a fine person."
King could not be reached for comment.
King, 53, is pastor of the Greater Union Baptist Church, one of the largest black churches in Pensacola, and also serves on the board of trustees for Community Maritime Park Associates Inc.
The former Pensacola City Council member was arrested late Friday evening at A and Blount streets by Pensacola police, who reported finding a plastic bag with cocaine in King's back pocket.
However, longtime church member Zoya Webster-Phillips, 64, said she does not believe King is guilty as charged.
"Naturally, we are soliciting the prayers of the people of Pensacola, whatever the outcome," Webster-Phillips said.
"Whatever the outcome is, his loved ones, which include his church family, will stand with him and for him."
Police arrested King shortly before midnight Friday when responding to a burglary call in the 100 block of North D Street. Police were notified that two black males were seen leaving the scene of the burglary in a gray Chevrolet Blazer. Several blocks away, they spotted a light-green Ford Explorer driven by Mark Anthony Cotton, 51, a police report states. King was a passenger in the car.
After stopping King and Cotton, an officer noticed a knife in the center drink holder of the car and observed a white-powder residue on it.
King and Cotton later were searched, and a plastic bag with white powder was found in King's back pocket, arresting officer Charles Joseph Decker reported.
White-powder residue also was found on the driver's seat.
All of the white powder tested positive as cocaine, Decker stated in the report.
Jail officials estimated the value of the cocaine at $25.
Escambia County jail had no record of Cotton's arrest. Cotton could not be reached for comment.
King is a well-known fixture in the community. He served on the Pensacola City Council from 1999 to until 2004, declining to run for re-election following the death of his father, the Rev. A.J. King Sr., on Oct. 9, 2003.
A.J. King led the church for more than 45 years.
Hugh King took over as pastor full time following his father's death and attributed his decision not to seek re-election to his expanded role at the church.
As president of the local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, King helped push to rename a portion of Alcaniz Street in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.
It was unclear Saturday whether Hugh King still is president of the SCLC chapter.
Vocal on issues affecting minorities in the community, King questioned the University of West Florida's lack of minority contractors in 1998 and the state's "stand your ground" law passed by the Legislature in 2005. That law provides immunity to those who use deadly force in defense of life and limb.
Recently, King was appointed to the board of trustees for the Community Maritime Park Associates, which is entrusted with spearheading a $70 million waterfront project in downtown Pensacola that is expected to become the city's signature tourist attraction.
King was selected to oversee a subcommittee tasked with creating a contractor's academy to train local minority business owners in the complexities of seeking and securing bids on the project that will include a multiuse stadium, University of West Florida classrooms, a maritime museum and restaurant and retail space.
Pensacola Mayor John Fogg, who also sits on the Community Maritime Park Associates board of trustees, said he was not aware of any provisions in the group's charter that would allow for the removal of a board member if convicted of a felony.
Fogg said he did not want to speculate on a case that has not been decided.
"The due process has to unfold," Fogg said.
Some area pastors and City Council members contacted for the story Saturday night were reluctant to talk.
Quint Studer, a local businessman, owner of the Pensacola Pelicans and principal contributor to the maritime park called King's arrest "a tragedy" but declined further comment.
King is no stranger to controversy. A council member of the Governor's Front Porch Revitalization Council of Pensacola, he has been a staunch supporter of the organization's community liaison, Thelma Manley.
The Inspector General's Office of the Florida Department of Community Affairs and the Florida Office of Financial Integrity are investigating allegations by some council members that Manley took agency grand funds for her own use.
King called a news conference at his church to defend Manley after the allegations surfaced.
Pensacola businessman John Wyche has known King for decades. King recently served as campaign manager of Wyche's recent unsuccessful run for the state House District 3 seat.
"We're just going to pray for him and his family with the hope that everything turns out just fine," Wyche said of King. "The Christian thing to do is for people to not cast stones at Rev. King. Now is the time for folks to show him all the love and support at this time of need."
"The church is 100 percent behind him," she said. "A person is innocent until proven guilty."
http://www.pensacolanewsjournal. ... WS01/704290318/1006
UPDATE, 3pm Tuesday: 49-year-old Rev. Herman Lewis appeared in Spokane Co. Superior Court this afternoon on charges of assault and attempted kidnapping. According to court documents, Lewis told detectives he went to the Shari's Restaurant near Indiana and Monroe to meet a woman to have sex with.
Lewis also told police he had been living "a double life" since turning 19 by having sex with prostitutes and regularly using crack cocaine and PCP.
UPDATE, 9:30pm Spokane County Jail officials say Herman Lewis is still at the jail, but in lockdown because he was considered combative and a threat to himself and officers when he was booked this afternoon.
According to his resume, Rev. Herman Lewis Sr. began his career as pastor near his hometown of Winnie, Texas. Between 1980 and 2003 Lewis lived in Austin and Galveston. He was a chaplain for a county jail, a local hospital, and helped build a new baptist church for 400 members. In 2003, he joined the People's Institutional Baptist Church in Seattle. Nothing on his resume has been verified.
Lewis recently reported that he left an $80,000 managerial job at a Seattle Holiday Inn to become the pastor of Spokane's Morning Star Baptist Church last year. The congregation recently moved to a building on West Rowan.
Lewis is charged with Unlawful Imprisonment and Assault.
UPDATE, 3:30pm Monday: Members of the Morning Star Baptist Church confirm 49-year-old Herman Lewis, arrested this morning after leading Spokane Police on a chase this morning, is their senior pastor. Lewis is charged with unlawful imprisonment and two counts of assault. He's now in the Spokane County Jail.
SPOKANE -- One man has been arrested after a short pursuit that ended at Division and Indiana.Officers are investigating a possible kidnapping at Shari's at Indiana an Monroe. According to police, someone tried to stop the kidnapper, and that person was assaulted by the suspect.
The suspect then fled to a nearby McDonalds. Police found his silver corvette in the parking lot. The suspect put his car in reverse striking two officers, then hit a police car.
Police say the suspect also rammed a patrol car several times. A short pursuit followed.
The man was arrested at a stop light at Indiana and Division. Police used a taser to subdue him.
He was taken to the hospital for treatment and for a mental evaluation.
By JIM SABIN
Advocate City Editor
HEBRON -- A family has sued two pastors, their church and others a year and a half after one of the pastors pleaded guilty to sex charges against juvenile sisters.
The girls, now 17 and 19, and family members have filed a lawsuit in Licking County Common Pleas Court against Lonnie J. Aleshire Jr., Lonnie J. Aleshire Sr. and Licking Baptist Church. Aleshire Jr. pleaded guilty in November 2005 to a count of rape, six counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and three counts of sexual imposition.
The problems didn't end there, the family claims.
"There's been an ongoing continuance or occurrence of events between my clients and the church," attorney Ross Gillespie, of Farlow & Associates, in Dublin, said on the family's behalf. "They didn't feel like they got an adequate response or any response from the defendants. They felt they were ostracized in the church community."
Aleshire Jr. was an associate pastor who employed the younger sister as a baby sitter and carried on what prosecutors called a two-year love affair with her. He also raped the older sister in a back hallway at the church in June 2004.
His father, Aleshire Sr., was the senior pastor at the church. The lawsuit also names American Baptist Churches of Ohio, based in Granville, and American Baptist Churches of USA, based in Pennsylvania, as well as the Revs. Lawrence Swain and Robert Cassady, of ABC Ohio.
Cassady declined comment when reached at the Granville office. No listing could be found for Aleshire Sr., and the church's number has been disconnected.
The church's Web site lists "Lonny Aleshire" as its pastor, but in the upcoming sermons section, none are listed after August 2006.
The lawsuit claims the organizations, Aleshire Sr. and the church did not take action against Aleshire Jr. and instead allowed him to conduct a sermon from his jail cell. The plaintiffs also claim the church and Aleshire Sr. made false and defamatory statements about the family between January 2005 and December 2006.
The lawsuit includes proposed damages totaling $3.8 million, but Gillespie said those are general numbers.
"We've requested a jury in this case, and we expect a jury to decide the amount of the award," Gillespie said. "We have tried to resolve my clients' claims informally. We didn't have any success. ... They have indicated that they are not interested or willing to negotiate at this time."
The defendants have 28 days from the time the lawsuit was served to respond, Gillespie said. Though the case was filed April 17, defendants weren't served until Monday and Tuesday.
Cassady said Columbus attorney James Brudney is representing the church. Brudney did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Jim Sabin can be reached at (740) 328-8821 or email@example.com.
http://www.newarkadvocate.com/ap ... WS01/704270350/1002
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) -- A woman blames the devil, and not her husband, for severely burning their infant daughter in a microwave, a Texas television station reported.
Eva Marie Mauldin said Satan compelled her 19-year-old husband, Joshua Royce Mauldin, to microwave their daughter May 10 because the devil disapproved of Joshua's efforts to become a preacher.
"Satan saw my husband as a threat," Eva Mauldin told Houston television station KHOU-TV.
A grand jury indicted Joshua Mauldin last week on child injury charges after hearing evidence that he placed the two-month-old in a motel microwave for 10 to 20 seconds. (Watch cops react to burned baby Video)
The infant, Ana Marie, remains hospitalized. She suffered burns on the left side of her face and to her left hand, police said.
Police said Joshua Mauldin told them he put Ana Marie in the microwave because he was under stress. Eva Maudlin denied it.
"He would never do anything to hurt her. He loves her," she said.
She is hoping to be reunited with her daughter, but Child Protective Services is working to have the parental rights severed.
A former youth minister was charged with numerous sex crimes yesterday involving two underage boys who were members of his youth group.
David Baird, 45, of Penn Hills, was charged with statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviant intercourse, sexual assault, two counts of indecent assault, indecent exposure, endangering the welfare of children, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor.
Police said Mr. Baird had a variety of sexual encounters with two boys, aged 10 and 14, at his home while he worked as youth pastor for a Covenant Church of Pittsburgh in Wilkinsburg.
Mr. Baird worked for the church from January 1994 to 2004 as both a youth pastor and evangelical pastor.
During that time, Mr. Baird would invite children to his home on Orchard Drive, where the alleged sexual assaults occurred in 1999 and 2000.
Mr. Baird was released on bond yesterday.
The Associated Press
MOUNT CARMEL, Pa. (AP) — A Baptist minister was accused of using the identity of his church's secretary-treasurer to charge up to $28,000 on two credit cards.
The Rev. Raymond Lee Clayton Sr., pastor of Grace Fellowship Baptist Church, was charged with falsely acquiring and using a credit card, forgery and related offenses.
Clayton, 43, charged $25,000 to a U.S. Bancorp credit card issued in his name and the name of Patricia Tomedi, the church's secretary-treasurer, and $3,334 to a Staples credit card issued in Tomedi's name — using her Social Security number, police said.
Tomedi, 82, told police she initially confronted Clayton about the Staples credit card and he told her he was responsible for the charges, police said.
Earlier this month, Tomedi said she received a call from a U.S. Bank representative informing her that $25,000 in charges were past due, and that a Discover representative also called to ask her if she had applied for a credit card in her name and Clayton's name, police said.
Clayton was arraigned Tuesday and remained in the Northumberland County Prison on $10,000 bail Friday. Authorities said they did not know whether he had hired an attorney.
http://www.pennlive.com/newsflas ... &storylist=penn
After 10 hours of deliberation, a nearly deadlocked jury found a Jacksonville youth pastor guilty Friday on two counts of possessing child pornography on his computer.
The jury came to its decision around 6 p.m., but just hours earlier, at 3:30 p.m., a jury foreman told U.S. District Judge Henry Adams that the jury was split and unable to come to a decision in the case against Richard Steven Sweat, former youth pastor at Lake Shore Baptist Church on Blanding Boulevard.
Adams urged the jury to come to a consensus and asked those in the minority, regardless of the side, to reconsider.
According to court documents filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Henry, Sweat's wife found pornographic files on the computer of their Orange Park home in September 2005. Her father, the senior pastor at Lake Shore, brought in a computer expert to extract the materials, and eventually the FBI was contacted.
Sweat's attorney, Mitchell Stone, argued that his client was framed by his wife and father-in-law to aid her position in a potential divorce. Stone said other people had access to the computer.
Sweat, 35, was arrested in November and was free on his own recognizance. He was scheduled to go on trial May 14, but the case was postponed after he went to the hospital with heart problems.
Stone said he's disappointed the jury found Sweat guilty, despite what he called a lack of evidence. He said he thinks some jurors might have been convinced to change their minds because of the long deliberations.
"Whenever you have such long proceedings, it takes a toll on juries. They get tired and often they are swayed by other members to change their decisions. It's unfortunate and we will appeal," Stone said.
The jury deliberated for about three hours Thursday and at least seven hours Friday. If the jury couldn't come to a decision, a hung jury would have led to a retrial.
Adams remanded Sweat into custody of the U.S. marshals while he awaits sentencing because possession of child pornography is considered a violent crime under the law. Sweat will be sentenced Aug. 23. Each guilty count carries a five-year minimum and a 15-year maximum sentence.
The case deeply divided the Westside church with dozens of Lake Shore members sitting on opposite sides of the courtroom during the trial. Heated words were exchanged between members after the verdict.
[ 本帖最後由 沙文 於 2007-5-27 05:18 編輯 ]
David Waser, 58, former pastor of Newark's Second Church of Christ, ordered 11 child pornography videos in 2006 by sending a $130 money order to an address listed on an Internet advertisement, authorities said. The ad had been posted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service as part of an investigation into trafficking of child pornography.
A postal inspector who posed as a letter carrier delivered the videos to Waser's home in Newark, about 30 miles east of Columbus, and obtained a search warrant immediately afterward. The inspector found the package opened and one of the videos inserted into a VCR, the government said.
Church members removed Waser from office after his arrest.
Waser pleaded guilty in March to receiving child pornography. He faced federal charges because the videotapes were sent across state lines.
U.S. District Court Judge George Smith on Wednesday also ordered Waser to register as a sex offender after serving the 10-year prison term and to receive treatment for sexual addiction.
Waser's wife, Judy, 54, is awaiting trial on child pornography charges. Prosecutors allege she knew the videos were coming to the home, something her attorney has denied.
By Titan Barksdale JOURNAL REPORTER Saturday, June 9, 2007
The pastor of Emmanuel Apostolic Church was convicted yesterday of several sexual-offense charges involving a teenage girl who was a member of his church. He was sentenced in Forsyth Superior Court to at least 20 years in prison.
What began as counseling sessions between the Rev. Gregory Michael Butler Sr., 46, and a 14-year-old girl devolved into a sexual relationship with the sex acts taking place in his Cadillac, hotel rooms, and even inside his church, a prosecutor said yesterday during the trial.
The names of the girl, who is now 17 and her family members are not being published because the Winston-Salem Journal does not publish the names of victims in cases involving sex crimes.
Butler faced 13 counts of statutory sex offense, two counts of statutory rape and three counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. The jury deliberated for most of the day before returning its verdict. Butler was found guilty of all the charges.
Butler, wearing a tan suit, showed no emotion when he was sentenced. When Judge L. Todd Burke asked him if he wanted to say anything, Butler replied, “No, sir.”
Prosecutor Pansy Glanton said that Butler committed the sexual offenses against the girl between June 2004 and September 2005. The girl was 14 when the relationship started, and had turned 15 by the time it ended.
Butler was arrested in 2006, after the girl reported the relationship to a school counselor.
The 12-member jury heard the graphic details of the relationship during the five-day trial.
The relationship was confusing to the girl, who Glanton said had developed a crush on Butler. She eventually fell in love with him.
The girl had a troubled background. She was molested when she was 7-years-old and wanted a father figure in her life. Butler filled that role, Glanton said. Butler offered to give the girl weekly counseling sessions after she fainted during a panic attack at church. The girl’s mother, who was also involved in a relationship with Butler, agreed to the sessions. The mother demanded that Butler stop the sessions after he announced to church members he would not marry her. Butler told Glanton in court that he wanted to “encourage self-esteem” by taking the girl to get her nails done, buying her gifts, taking her out to eat, and sending her Valentine’s Day cards signed with the pet name she gave him, “Daddy D.”
The girl responded by sending Butler text messages saying that she loved him. She kissed him on the cheek and rubbed his leg during one of at least two trips to Hickory, according to testimony.
The girl “had so many issues when this man came into her life, and he took advantage of those issues,” Glanton said during her closing argument. “He was her first love, and he led her to believe he loved her.”
When Butler was questioned by his attorney, Teresa Stewart, he admitted that he stayed with the girl in a hotel in Hickory but denied having a sex with her. He later told Glanton that he believed that the hotel stays were normal because he “embraced (the girl) as a daughter.”
Forensic experts found no DNA from Butler to link him to a crime. They tested two pairs of panties and a church fan that Winston-Salem police found in his Cadillac. Blood on the panties and the fan matched the girl’s blood, forensic experts said.
Butler said he did not know how the panties got in the trunk of his car. He said because he ended the relationship with the girl’s mother, she pushed her daughter to bring false charges against him.
Stewart said during closing arguments that Butler should have ended the relationship when the girl developed a crush. But as a pastor, she said, he wanted to continue to try to help the girl.
Burke consolidated the charges into two counts of statutory rape and one count of statutory sex offense. He then sentenced Butler to a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of 24 years and 9 months. He must serve 20 years before he is eligible for release.
After the sentencing, about 30 supporters of Butler walked out the courtroom, many away wiping tears. Some supporters were members of Butler’s church, which is on Vargrave Street, and has about 35 members.
The girl is still in therapy, and has missed her high-school exams, Glanton said.
“She now has to learn how to have a normal relationship with males and to have faith in ministers,” Glanton said. “I think she said it best when she said she didn’t know whether to be a woman or a child in that relationship.”
http://www.journalnow.com/servle ... p;cid=1173351554660
An associate pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church of Slidell was arrested Monday and booked Tuesday on two counts of aggravated sex crimes and 47 counts of possession of child pornography.
Deputies obtained warrants to search the home of James Griffin, 67, after they began an investigation about three weeks ago, St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain said Thursday.
Upon searching Griffin's personal computer, investigators found 50 pictures, downloaded from the Internet, involving child pornography, according to Strain. They are searching computers he used at Immanuel Baptist and Grace Memorial Baptist Church in Slidell, where he formerly did volunteer work.
Griffin remains in jail on a $500,000 bond for each of the two aggravated sex crime charges, Strain said.
http://blog.nola.com/tpnorthshor ... _in_slidell_bo.html
updated:2007-07-16 09:23:24 MYT
2004年2月，一項調查報告說，過去的50年當中，美國有4000多名神父被控性侵犯。 （星洲日報/國際•2007.07.16 )
2007-07-05 13:54:13 來源：國際線上專稿 編輯：李智超
The 54-year-old man, who cannot be named, was sentenced in the SA District Court to eight and a half years jail after pleading guilty to seven counts each of incest and unlawful sexual intercourse.
The court heard that the man had sex with his daughters for nearly a decade from 1991 when they were aged 13 and 15 at the family property.
The sex took place at various locations including in a shearer's shed, a paddock, on the back of a ute and, on one occasion, at the girls' grandparents house.
The man told the court the sex was not about fulfilling his desires but about teaching his daughters how to behave for their husbands when they eventually married, as dictated in scripture.
In sentencing, Judge David Lovell said the misrepresentation of scripture used to justify the abuse of the girls "defied belief", and that he had "hypocritically betrayed" his religion and principles.
"You said the acts were about learning about sex rather than engaging in the acts of sex," Judge Lovell said.
"I do not accept that.
"You treated your daughters as your property ... using them to satisfy and gratify your sexual urges."
Judge Lovell gave full credit for the man's guilty pleas, saying he was genuinely remorseful and had a good chance of rehabilitation as his wife and the church remained supportive.
The man will be eligible for parole in four years.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/Natio ... /1188067267416.html
[ 本帖最後由 沙文 於 2007-9-4 02:53 編輯 ]
A spokesman for the Church of God's international offices in Cleveland, Tennessee, says Cook has been placed on administrative leave.
A high-profile pastor from Kanawha County says he's one of the sexual assault victims of another pastor -- and he's written a letter to the public.
Pastor Mike Lewis of the New Life Center in Cedar Grove sent a letter to local media outlets Tuesday night. In the letter, he says he was one of the victims of Sandy Martin Cook more than ten years ago when he was a teenager.
Cook was and still is the pastor at the Shrewsbury Church of God.
Cook was arrested by West Virginia State Police on Monday. He's charged with 3 counts of sexual abuse by a person of trust, and 44 counts of sexual assault in the 3rd degree.
During his arraignment in Kanawha County magistrate court, Cook said, "I'm scared to death."
According to the criminal complaint, the alleged crimes happened around 1994 -- and so far, three alleged victims have come forward in the case. All were between 13-16 years old at the time.
One victim stated he developed a close relationship with Cook -- and that Cook told him it was "normal for father figures to perform/receive sexual acts on each other and that the performing of such acts was part of growing up."
Another victim told police Cook performed sexual acts on him during two sleepovers at Cook's house, according to the criminal complaint. That victim told his parents, who reported the matter to the church; but the matter was later withdrawn during a meeting at church in Chesapeake "for conflicting reasons" and was not reported to police at the time.
A trooper verified the victim's statement about the meeting and the fact that the issue was withdrawn.
Investigators say the suspect's actions are similar in each case.
"Each of the 3 victims live separate lives and one lives in another state," as stated in the criminal complaint. "However, each of their allegations provide details of the intricacies of Cook's conduct that are exactly the same."
Police say they first learned of this case when one of the alleged victims came forward on August 3. According to investigators, the first person led them to Mike Lewis, and he led to the third victim in the case.
The criminal complaint states that a majority of the alleged crimes happened either at Cook's home in Belle, or in one of Cook's cars.
Cook is currently out of jail on $150,000 bond. WSAZ has also learned that he works full-time as the head at the the cardiac cath lab at Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) Memorial Hospital.
State Police say more victims may be out there. They urge you to come forward if you have any more information in this case. Trooper M.J. Napier is handling the investigation: (304) 558-7778.
PASTOR'S LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY:
Here is a letter Pastor Mike Lewis wrote to the public after he says he was sexually abused by Sandy Cook more than ten years ago:
From the Office of Pastor Michael A. Lewis
Senior Pastor of New Life Center
Cedar Grove, WV 25039
To Whom It May Concern,
Four weeks ago my world was rocked when State Police investigators contacted me concerning allegations of sexual abuse by a local Church of God pastor. My name was given to investigators by another victim who had suspicions that I may have suffered the same abuse that he did over a decade ago. For thirteen years I have hidden this secret in the deepest part of my being, never to let it out. Over these past years I have shared this secret with no one. Not my wife, parents, family, or leaders. I assumed that my abuse had been limited to me alone and that no one else was suffering what I suffered. My assumptions were wrong.
I have since learned that multiple victims have come forward seeking justice for what was taken from them by a person who was suppose to protect and guide. I now know that I was not alone and I have a right & responsibility to speak up. I would have taken this secret to my grave, but when Investigators approached me and asked the question… ‘Are you also a victim’, I could not lie. The fact is, I am a victim of sexual abuse, suffered at the hands of this so called pastor who is in serious need of help.
My abuse started around the age of thirteen and continued for around four years. I was too afraid to speak up or speak out. I was told by this so called leader that these things must happen to me in order for God to use my life to make a difference. As a young boy with no church background and not many possessions, I was suckered into this web of lies and deceit. As I matured I realized that his excuses for abuses were all trumped up lies and that my relationship with God was between me and God alone, and did not require a third person.
The realization of the fact that this persons sexual abuses were brought to the attention of other local Church of God pastors, as well as the State Overseer of the Church of God, and that it was swept under a rug and not reported to the authorities is simply appalling. To think that the abuse I suffered and the victims that came after me should not have been, had the Church of God denomination followed the law and reported this first allegation in 1994. They failed to follow the law and I stand here today, with many other victims asking why.
I give praise to God because unlike many victims, my abuse did not stop me from reaching my goals. God has called me to His work and I am thankful that God brought me through the difficulties I weathered as a young teen. My life is not messed up. I have the greatest wife & family on the planet, the greatest church family and the greatest circle of friends anyone could ask for, and it is all because I stayed focused on Jesus. The abuse that I suffered was simply a trick of enemy to try and stop the plans that God has for my life – and he failed, and failed miserably!
I was not the first victim to come forward in this investigation, and I will not be the last. My sincere prayers are with the other victims and their families today. I know what you are going through and I encourage you to speak up if you haven’t already. The way I view this situation is simple – the hard part is over, meaning that the abuse is behind us. He can never touch us again, and it is our responsibility to make sure that he can never touch anyone else again either.
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