Category Archives: Clergy Sexual Abuse

ABUSE OF FAITH: SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION DATABASE OF PEDOPHILE PASTORS, YOUTH PASTORS, DEACONS AND OTHER PEDO PERVERTS OF THE SBC PART 1

In the past 20 years, hundreds of Southern Baptists with formal church roles have engaged in sexual misconduct, a new investigation by the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News reveals. They were pastors. Deacons. Youth pastors.

Read and hear survivors’ stories, and learn about the depths of crimes and misconduct of church leaders they trusted. This database contains information on 263 people who were convicted or took plea deals.

LINK TO DATABASE
https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/#/overview

Part One: 26 Pedophiles, Child Sex Traffickers and Child Porno perverts, a Video Recording Peeping Tom Pervert Pastor, a SBC Pastor Murderer and a Former SBC President moralist busted for hiring prostitutes

These are taken from the database.

John Earl Bonine Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Fresno County, 2009
Outcome: Sentenced to 36 years in prison in California. Incarcerated.
https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/#/person/John-Earl-Bonine
News Story https://abc30.com/archive/6755416/
Police/Court Records https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5017938-CA-Bonine-JohnEarldoc.html

Kenneth Eugene Ward Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Dallas County, 1999
Outcome: Admitted to molesting more than 40 children, but the Texas statute of limitations had expired for all but one complaining victim. Convicted of indecency to a child by contact and served four years of a 12-year sentence. Dead. Included on a list of church leaders convicted of sex crimes published in 2007 by the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/#/person/Kenneth-Eugene-Ward
News Story https://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=3034040&page=1

Matt Dee Baker Church Position:Pastor
Court of Conviction: McLennan County, 2010
Outcome: Was convicted in 2010 of murder for asphyxiating his wife. A related wrongful death investigation conducted as part of a civil lawsuit by his dead wife’s family — and subsequent criminal probe — revealed that Baker had engaged in a long pattern of sexual abuse and assaults of women. Incidents of violence and harassment had been reported by women at Baker’s former church, at a nonprofit where he worked and at Baylor University for years before Baker began an extramarital affair with a congregant and then plotted to kill his wife, records show. Incarcerated on a 65-year sentence in Texas.
https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/#/person/Matt-Dee-Baker
News Story https://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=7252064
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4853035-Baker-Matt-TDCJctdocs.html

Dirk P Jackson Church Position: Teacher/Pastor
Court of Conviction: Kitsap County, 2011
Outcome: Registered sex offender in Kitsap County, Wash. Sentenced to 41 months in prison in 2011 after pleading guilty to two counts of indecent liberties with a child. Unclear how much time he served.
https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/#/person/Dirk-P-Jackson
News Story http://archive.kitsapsun.com/news/code-911/ex-pastor-from-port-orchard-sentenced-for-sexual-acts-with-12-year-old-ep-418270967-357121071.html
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5017934-WA-Jackson-DirkPsof.html

Larry Gene Singleton Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Tate County, 2013
Outcome: Convicted in 2013 of 18 charges, including sexual battery of a child, “gratification of lust” and possession of child pornography. Serving a 30-year sentence. Abuse described in the case targeted a teenaged boy and spanned a seven-year period from 2005 to 2012. Appeal to the Mississippi Court of Appeals was denied.
https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/#/person/Larry-Gene-Singleton
News Story About Singleton https://www.gulflive.com/mississippi-press-news/2014/11/former_mississippi_pastor_lose.html
Police Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4918330-MS-SingletonLarry-Doc.html

Larry Michael BerkleyChurch Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Lauderdale County, 2014
Outcome: Convicted of 16 crimes, including four counts of aggravated statutory rape and four counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. Sentenced to 33 years. Incarcerated in Tennessee and registered as a sex offender.
News Story https://harrisondaily.com/news/larry-michael-berkley-found-guilty-in-tennessee/article_31fed6be-a806-11e4-aedd-bfa079fbca8f.html
Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4936946-TN-Berkley-LarryMsof.html
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4936912-TN-Berkley-LarryM.html

Samuel Lee Lyte Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Howard County, 2013
Outcome: Convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child; sentenced to 25 years in prison.
News Story http://www.bigspringherald.com/content/lyte-gets-25-years-sexual-assault-child
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5004992-Lyte-SamuelLee-Doc.html

Garett Dykes Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Middle District of Alabama, 2006
Outcome: Sentenced to 262 months for federal child porn case in the Middle District of Alabama (20 years). In federal prison.
News Story https://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/DA/20060929/Lifestyle/603228225/GT/
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4883562-AL-Dykes-Garett-ALDoc.html

Timothy Chun-Chuck Mann Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Montgomery County, 2008
Outcome: Registered sex offender in Alabama. Pleaded guilty to child abuse of a 14-year-old female in Maryland in 2008; sentenced to 13 years with seven years in confinement, the rest suspended, according to Maryland court records.
News Story http://www.gazette.net/stories/073008/montnew200341_32374.shtml
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5025956-MD-AL-Mann-Timothysof.html

William Frank Brown Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: McLennan County, 2009
Outcome: Convicted in 2009 of four counts of aggravated sexual battery for molesting a female victim or victims as young as 11. Sentenced to 50 years. Incarcerated in Texas.
News Story https://www.kxxv.com/Global/story.asp?S=10107445&nav=menu509_2
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4853051-Brown-WilliamFrankTDCJctdocs.html

Anthony Lynn ThibodeauxChurch Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Freestone County, 2013
Outcome: Convicted of sexual assault of a child and of two counts of indecency with a child by contact in 2013. Sentenced to 10 years. Incarcerated in Texas.
News Story https://www.kxxv.com/story/19252220/freestone-county-preacher-accused-of-sex-assault-on-15-yr-old
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4853017-Thibodeaux-Anthony.html

Hezekiah Stallworth Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Anderson County, 2012
Outcome: Serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault of a child and indecency with a child for offenses in 2010 and in 1989. Prosecutors at trial presented evidence that Stallworth had molested at least three girls at his church over that 21-year period. Stallworth lured some children into his study by offering them lollipops, court records show. Appealed but lost in 2012.
News Story https://www.palestineherald.com/news/local_news/ex-pastor-sentenced-for-sexual-abuse-of-girls/article_bb8641ab-196b-5d4c-950f-41a6087d80a6.html
Police Court Record https://projects.houstonchronicle.com/2019/southern-baptist-abuse/#/person/Hezekiah-Stallworth

Daniel Stephen Johnson Church Position: Missionary
Court of Conviction: Federal, 2018
Outcome: Johnson, a missionary, was investigated by the FBI at the request of Cambodian authorities. Arrested in Cambodia by U.S. authorities in 2014. Convicted by a jury in 2018 of eight federal charges, including charges for traveling to a foreign place and engaging in illicit sexual conduct with six different minor boys. Johnson has since filed a motion for a new trial and to set aside the jury’s verdict.

Johnson was arrested in December 2014 after authorities in Cambodia handed him over to FBI agents who then brought him to Oregon. At the time, Johnson had just completed a one-year prison sentence in Cambodia for sexually abusing five boys who were in his care at an orphanage that he had operated there. Federal authorities said Johnson’s victims were between 8 and 17 years old.

News Story https://www.registerguard.com/news/20180516/federal-jury-in-eugene-finds-missionary-from-oregon-guilty-of-sexually-abusing-boys-in-cambodia
Police/Court Records https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5728661-Or-Johnson-DanielStephenbop.html

Michael Wayne O’Guin Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Denton and Tarrant counties, 2004
Outcome: Ordered to complete two years community supervision without adjudication of guilt in 2004 after pleading no contest to the felony sexual assault made by a child victim. A warrant was issued for his arrest in 2006 after prosecutors claimed he failed to complete conditions as required.
News Story https://www.stategazette.com/story/1025922.html

Michael Alan Crippen Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Jasper and Greene counties, 2012
Outcome: Registered as a sex offender in Missouri for offenses of possession of child pornography. A forensic examination of his laptop computer discovered more than 360 images of child pornography, including girls under 10 years old either posing nude or engaged in sexual conduct.
News Story https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/missouri-minister-gets-years-for-child-porn/article_dd0d03c2-bbd3-11e1-9960-001a4bcf6878.html
Police/Court Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5002655-MO-Crippen-MichaelAlan-sofpg3.html

Travis Payne Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Miller County, 2012
Outcome: Convicted of sexual assault (victim was reported to be a 3-year-old). Sentenced to five years in prison. A Miller County jury Tuesday found South Texarkana Baptist Church pastor Travis Payne guilty of sexual misconduct with a 3-year-old girl and sentenced him to five years in prison. Later died.
News Story https://www.texarkanagazette.com/news/texarkana/story/2012/feb/29/pastor-found-guilty/288194/

Daniel J. Moore Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Johnson County, 2010
Outcome: Convicted in 2010 of sexual misconduct with a minor and other charges in Johnson County. Sentenced to 10 years. Paroled. Registered sex offender in Indiana.

A former Southern Baptist pastor in central Indiana has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old church member in a relationship that began with him counseling the girl because she was not getting along with her mother.Daniel Moore, 50, former pastor of New Whiteland Baptist Church near Franklin, Ind., pleaded guilty March 15 to felony child solicitation and sexual misconduct charges in exchange for a 10-year sentence. A Johnson County circuit court judge approved the plea bargain at a sentencing hearing April 8.

The girl’s mother, who is not being identified to protect the privacy of her daughter, said she was satisfied with the sentence because she didn’t want to put the now soon-to-be 17-year-old through the trauma of a jury trial.

Entering the courtroom April 8, the mother said she was surprised how many people from the former church were there to support their former pastor. At the end of the hearing, she said, Moore’s stepdaughter said to her daughter, “I hope you rot in hell,” for her role in assisting in the prosecution of the case.

News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/former-baptist-pastor-gets-10-years-for-molestation/#.XFIdSVVKhhE
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4910844-In-Moore-DanielJsof.html

Luis Federico Garcia Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Shelby County, 2007
Outcome: Registered sex offender. Convicted in 2007 of three counts of sexual abuse in Shelby County, Ala. A former pastor of Spanish ministries at the First Baptist Church of Pelham is charged with sexual abuse of three young girls. Luis Federico Garcia, 63, of Alabaster, was arrested on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse for the alleged abuse of two 7-year-olds and one 6-year-old, Pelham Lt. Scott Tucker said. The alleged abuse occurred from July 2002 until May of 2007, Tucker said. Garcia has been released on a $30,000 bond. Now lives in the Dominican Republic.
News Story https://www.tuscaloosanews.com/article/DA/20031011/News/606114298/TL/
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4901453-AL-Garcia-LuisFedericosexoffender.html

Benjamin William Nelson Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Hill County, 2018
Outcome: Used social media to lure a 13-year-old girl into sexual encounters and was convicted of sexual assault with a child (two counts) indecency with a child (two counts) and online solicitation of a minor afterward. Sentenced in February 2018 in Hill County to 20 years in prison. Incarcerated in Texas.

A Hill County pastor and former student at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday for using social media to lure a teenage girl into a sexual encounter last year. Benjamin Nelson, 27, pastor of Peoria Baptist Church west of Hillsboro, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, two counts of indecency with a child by contact and online solicitation of a minor.
Judge Lee Harris of Hill County’s 66th State District Court sentenced Nelson to five concurrent, 20-year sentences in a plea bargain Nelson reached with Hill County District Attorney Mark Pratt.
Pratt said Nelson posed as a teenager while talking to the 13-year-old online and convinced her to meet him in a parking lot in Whitney.

News Story https://www.wacotrib.com/news/courts_and_trials/pastor-sentenced-in-sexual-abuse-of-young-girl/article_cdf7725a-6dba-5fda-815e-c86f73c4ad9f.html
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5004990-Nelson-Benjamin-Tdcjinfo.html

Christopher Donald Beam Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Wayne County, 2017
Outcome: Convicted of unlawful touching of a child and exploitation of a child. Sentenced to five years in 2017. Incarcerated in Mississippi.
A Wayne County pastor is sentenced to five years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to having an inappropriate relationship with a minor. Christopher Beam pleaded guilty Monday to lustful touching and exploitation of a child.
On Monday, he was sentenced to 30 years with 25 years suspended. Investigators said Beam was a substitute teacher and bus driver at Beat 4 School in Wayne County in January 2016 when he kissed a 12-year-old girl in the school’s bathroom.
The victim told officials she was texting Beam when he convinced her to leave class and meet him there.
Beam was fired from both positions at the school and his roll at Evergreen Baptist Church in Shubuta after his arrest.
According to officials, the victim’s family was “very pleased” with Monday’s outcome.

News Story https://www.wdam.com/story/34494393/paster-sentenced-to-5-years-for-physical-relationship-with-minor/
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5141981-MS-Beam-Christopher-Doc.html

Edward Earl Prince Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Desoto County, 2013
Outcome: Listed as a sex offender in Mississippi for a 2013 conviction of child exploitation. A Mid-South pastor has been charged with possession of child pornography after he was found surfing on a library computer. Hernando police said the computers in the library have software to keep people from viewing inappropriate material.
However, investigators said the Hernando pastor managed to get around the filters and firewalls.
Edward Prince, 63, is the pastor at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Hernando, Mississippi. He is being charged with possession of child pornography after staff at the Hernando Public Library told police Prince was viewing inappropriate images on one of the computers. Police found that Prince had downloaded and viewed child pornography on the computer in the public library.
The illegal downloads were tied to his computer login. “You have to register and that’s one of the ways we were able to determine what belong to him,” said Champion.

News Story https://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/14381708/hernando-pastor-charged-with-child-pornography/
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4918329-MS-Prince-Edwardsof.html

Joseph Raleigh Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Federal and Hughes County, 2016
Outcome: Pleaded guilty to attempted human trafficking after arranging to meet and have sex with an undercover agent who he thought was a 15-year-old girl. Sentenced to 46 months in federal prison in 2016. Released. Registered sex offender in South Dakota.
Joseph Raleigh, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Miller, S.D., pleaded guilty June 28 in federal court to Attempted Trafficking with Respect to Involuntary Servitude and Forced Labor, a federal law making it a crime to recruit or transport persons for forced labor.
Raleigh, 35, an Ohio native who served as pastor of Hysham Baptist Church in Hysham, Mont., before moving to South Dakota in 2013, was arrested Oct. 24, 2015, in a sting by federal, state and local agencies after negotiating a deal on the Internet with an undercover officer posing as a pimp to have sex with a 15-year-old girl.
He resigned as pastor of the 50-member Southern Baptist church within a day of his arrest. The guilty plea was part of a deal with prosecutors reducing the crime from stiffer charges of Attempted Commercial Sex Trafficking of Children and Attempted Enticement of a Minor Using the Internet.
Due to his lack of criminal history and other factors, his recommended sentence ranged from 30 to 37 months, but U.S. District Judge Roberto Lange increased it to nearly four years in prison, finding that as a pastor Raleigh had violated a position of trust.

News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/former-pastor-caught-in-internet-prostitution-sting-sentenced-to-prison/#.XC1ZylVKhhE
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5498579-SD-Raleigh-Josephsexoffender.html
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5002732-SC-RaleighJosephbop.html

Holland Farrell McMorris Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Rapides Parish, 2010
Outcome: Was convicted in 2010 and is serving a 25-year sentence in Louisiana state prison for sex crimes, according to a state prison spokesman. A former Louisiana Baptist preacher was sentenced to 25 years in prison Oct. 3 for sexual abuse of a young female relative. Holland Farrell McMorris, 64, was arrested in June 2010 and charged with 15 counts of aggravated incest. Two months later a grand jury increased the number of charges to 473, indicting McMorris on 157 counts of aggravated incest, 157 counts of sexual battery, 157 counts of molestation of a juvenile and two counts of attempted aggravated rape. Authorities say the crimes occurred between May 2006 and August 2009 when the victim was between 11 and 14 years old. She is now 16 and has undergone counseling.
The 2009 Louisiana Baptist Convention annual listed McMorris as pastor of Paradise Baptist Church in Ball, La. The 80-member congregation founded in 1952 is listed in online directories of both the Louisiana Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention.
Quoted by the Alexandria Town Talk newspaper, the girl’s mother said in court that McMorris used his status in both the family and the Baptist church to take advantage of her daughter.
According to the newspaper, McMorris told the court he was a social worker at Central Louisiana State Hospital and that he holds two master’s degrees. He admitted guilt but did not apologize. Assistant District Attorney Monique Metoyer said the victim’s family was “quite generous” in agreeing to the 25-year plea deal.

News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/former-preacher-sentenced-for-incest/#.WujUPS7wbIU

Coy Privette Church Position: Past president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, trustee/chair of the SBC’s Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C., and a trustee of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Court of Conviction: Rowan County, 2007
Outcome: Retired Baptist minister and former state legislator. Pleaded guilty in 2007 to aiding and abetting prostitution and was given probation. Died in 2015.
Moral activist and conservative Southern Baptist Convention leader Coy Privette received “deferred prosecution” on six charges of aiding and abetting prostitution during his hearing Aug. 22.
Privette, a Rowan County, N.C., commissioner and former executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, admitted to investigators that he had sex with an accused prostitute, according to the prosecutor at the hearing.
Deferred prosecution means Privette, who resigned from the state convention’s board after his arrest in July, will have his record wiped clean if he performs 48 hours of community service, complies with probation requirements for a year and pays court and probation costs.
According to the prosecutor, the case started June 27 when a Cabarrus County bank refused to honor a check being drawn against Privette’s account because it seemed high. Bank employees alerted police in Kannapolis, N.C., where Privette lives.
A police investigator interviewed Tiffany Summers, who said she had received the check from Privette. She also said she had sex with Privette on a number of occasions in two hotels.
Summers showed the investigator a photo of Privette that she took with her cell phone. The prosecutor said Privette had signed in to the hotels under his own name six times. Hotel security cameras showed both Privette and Summers, according to the prosecutor.

News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/southern-baptist-morality-activist-confesses-to-soliciting-prostitute/#.Wujowy7wbIU

Samuel Allen Nuckolls Church Position: Pastor/Minister
Court of Conviction: DeSoto County, 2012
Outcome: Serving a 10-year sentence in Mississippi state prison on three counts of video voyeurism, prison records show. Nuckolls originally faced 13 charges of video voyeurism in 2012, but the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned 10 of 13 counts in a ruling in 2015. Required to register as a sex offender. The Mississippi Supreme Court has reversed 10 of the 13 counts of a traveling Southern Baptist evangelist convicted three years ago of video voyeurism. Sam Nuckolls, a former youth camp pastor for LifeWay Christian Resources, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2012 for making secret videos of 13 women taking showers in his home in Olive Branch, Miss., between June 2007 and October 2011. The Supreme Court ruled Dec. 10 that law enforcement failed to prove that 10 of 11 videos found copied on a laptop computer seized from Nuckolls were reproduced within the jurisdiction of DeSoto County Judge Gerald Chatham, who decided the sentence based on stipulated facts in September 2012. The Supreme Court upheld one of the appealed sentences, saying a video made in Olive Branch ending with Nuckolls shown possessing a silver laptop consistent with the Apple MacBook Pro he purchased Jan. 5, 2011, was enough to reasonably infer the recording was made after that date. Nuckolls did not appeal two counts of surreptitious recordings that occurred within the statute of limitations on Oct. 14 and Oct. 19, 2011. Judge Chatham sentenced Nuckolls to consecutive five-year prison sentences for those charges, with all the remaining five-year sentences running concurrently to his time in jail. Nuckolls secretly recorded women ranging in age from 17 to 26 at two different residences in Olive Branch. Most were friends or acquaintances, including wives of ministerial colleagues.
Nuckolls was first arrested in Gosnell, Ark., after a woman who lived in the house where Nuckolls was staying while in town to preach a revival found a spy pen in her bathroom that contained video of her inside the bathroom. Nuckolls pleaded guilty in Arkansas in exchange for five years of probation. Similar allegations investigated in Texas were outside the window of the state’s three-year statute of limitations. He was also investigated in Virginia, where video voyeurism is a misdemeanor.
After his release from prison Nuckolls must register as a sex offender and undergo treatment and monitoring for another 10 years.

News Story https://baptistnews.com/article/state-supreme-court-reverses-convictions-of-peeping-preacher/#.W2MVNNVKhaQ
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4918327-MS-Nuckolls-Samsof.html
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4918326-MS-Nuckolls-Samdoc.html

Joshua L. Spires Church Position: Minister
Court of Conviction: Delaware County, 2009
Outcome: Registered sex offender in Texas for life. Under probation/community supervision until 2029. Convicted in 2009 after guilty plea to 10 counts of lewd molestation of a minor; served nine years in Oklahoma state prison. Released Feb. 28, 2018.
A former Delaware County pastor was sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old girl who attended his church, a prosecutor said Friday.
Joshua Spires, 28, of Odessa, Texas, pleaded guilty in Delaware County District Court on Tuesday to 10 counts of lewd molestation. Spires was sentenced to 10 years on each count and fined $10,000.
All the sentences will run concurrently, said Bryce Lair, assistant district attorney.
According to court records, the sexual assaults occurred every Sunday at the Jay church about an hour before services began.
Spires will have to serve 8 1/2 years before he becomes eligible for early release, Lair said.
As part of the plea agreement, Spires confessed in court to the sexual misconduct with the teenager, who once was in his youth group.
The sexual relationship began in 2007 and lasted until Nov. 15, when the girl broke off the relationship, according to an affidavit. Both the victim and Spires told authorities the relationship was consensual.
Oklahoma law states that a 15-year-old cannot consent to a sexual relationship.

News Story https://oklahoman.com/article/3409847/ex-pastor-joshua-spires-sentenced-in-abuse-of-jay-teen?custom_click=pod_headline_crime
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5019111-OK-Spires-JoshuasofinTexas.html
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5019111-OK-Spires-JoshuasofinTexas.html

Christopher Alan Hogge Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Isle of Wight County, 2017
Outcome: Pleaded guilty to 19 child pornography charges in 2017. Serving a 16-year sentence. Incarcerated in Virginia. Release date 2033.
Christopher Alan Hogge has pleaded guilty to the 19 child pornography charges he faced.
Hogge, the Pastor of Battery Park Baptist Church and Director of Franklin Social Services was arrested in May of 2016 on eight child pornography charges. Additional charges were filed against him in July. He entered a guilty plea on April 12.
For 15 of the charges, Hogge was sentenced to five years behind bars with five years suspended. On four of the charges he was sentenced to tens years with five years suspended. He will serve those five years sentences consecutively, at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
According to court documents, pictures of children in sexual positions were found on Hogge’s Twitter account. The IP address for the account was traced back to Hogge’s home, which is connected to the church, where Hogge served as a Pastor. Though, that’s not the only place Hogge allegedly viewed and distributed child pornography.
During an interview with Detectives, Hogge reportedly admitted to using the printer at Franklin Social Services to print more than 200 images of male child pornography five years ago. He kept those pictures at his desk there, according to court documents.

News Story https://wtkr.com/2017/04/19/pastor-city-employee-to-appear-in-court-for-19-child-pornography-charges/
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5348143-VA-Hogge-ChristopherAlandoc.html

David Glenn Boyd Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Federal, 2018
Outcome: Sentenced to 120 months in prison by a federal judge after being convicted of a charge of distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in “sexually explicit conduct.”
Former Wheelwright Baptist Church pastor David Glenn Boyd was sentenced this week to 10 years in prison on child pornography charges. The 53-year old Floyd County man pleaded guilty back in December to one count of distributing child pornography. Prosecutors say they recovered a laptop with dozens of inappropriate photos and videos involving children, some under the age of 12.

News Story https://www.1039thebulldog.com/2018/03/15/wheelwright-pastor-sentenced-to-10-years-on-child-pornography-charges/
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5141986-KY-Boyd-DavidGlenbop.html

Ralph Lee Aaron Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Covington County, 2010
Outcome: Convicted of four felonies, including production of obscene matter (three counts) and sodomy. Sentenced to four consecutive 99-year terms. Incarcerated. Registered sex offender.
The former pastor of Grace Christian Fellowship is now facing charges on 152 “atrocious acts” stemming from allegations he sexually abused and tortured young boys while on camping trips.
At a press conference Tuesday, Covington County Sheriff Dennis Meeks and the case’s lead investigator Wesley Snodgrass revealed the current scope of the case against 54-year-old Ralph Lee Aaron.
The investigation began last Tuesday after a mother, who had heard rumors of a previous incident involving Aaron, had a “straightforward” conversation with her son. That incident stemmed from a 2005 complaint that occurred while Aaron was serving at Andalusia’s Victory Baptist Church. No charges were filed in the 2005 complaint, which was investigated by the Covington County District Attorney’s office and the Department of Human Resources.
As a result of that conversation, the mother determined her son may have had inappropriate contact with Aaron, and she elected to contact authorities.
“Surprisingly, (the victim) was open and honest, and they discussed it at length before contacting law enforcement,” Snodgrass said. “It was quickly identified as a substantial case.”
When officers arrived at Aaron’s home Tuesday night, they seized numerous items of computer equipment and camera equipment. Snodgrass said they found more than 100 pornographic images Aaron allegedly downloaded from the Internet as well as some images taken of his alleged local victims.
As the investigation continued, it was determined the majority of Aaron’s alleged victims ranged in age from 8 to 12 and were all male. No specific number of victims was released, as the investigation is still ongoing.
Snodgrass said the alleged abuse occurred when Aaron, while acting in his capacity as pastor, took the boys on camping trips to local areas. It is not believed any of these incidents occurred at the church, Snodgrass said.
“We also have some evidence that shows other abuse occurred at Aaron’s residence,” he said.
However, there is no evidence that shows Aaron’s family had any knowledge of his actions, he said.
“From all accounts, Mr. Aaron was believed to be a decent man, but he obviously had a secret life,” he said. “He was able to do (these acts) because he befriended (the parents), the children and the church family. That’s how he got into their lives.”
Aaron is now charged with the following:
38 counts of production of obscene matter containing visual depiction of a person under 17 involved in obscene acts.
3 counts of dissemination of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17 involved in obscene acts.
97 counts of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17 involved in obscene acts.
3 counts of sexual torture.
3 counts of first-degree sodomy.
8 counts of sexual abuse of a child less than 12
He is currently being held in the Covington County Jail, where he is separated from the general population “for his own safety,” Snodgrass said. His bond is set at $24.2 million.
Aaron could face additional charges as the case continues, Snodgrass said.
“I would say that Mr. Aaron has not been fully cooperative throughout this investigation and, in my opinion, seems completely and entirely unremorseful,” Snodgrass said. “Right now, he’s more concerned about his current situation than he is with anything else or our victims.”


News Story https://www.andalusiastarnews.com/2009/10/28/pastor-faces-152-counts/
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4910819-AL-Aaron-RalphLee-Sexoffender.html
Police/Court https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4883607-AL-Aaron-RalphLee-DOCdocument.html

Phillip Rutledge Church Position: Pastor
Court of Conviction: Texas, 2003
Outcome: Registered sex offender because of two 2003 aggravated sexual assault charges against children, Texas records show.
CHURCH GIVES SEX OFFENDER A SECOND CHANCE
Pastor Phillip Rutledge is on the pulpit Sundays at Ranchland Heights Baptist Church. He’s also a low-risk sex offender because of two Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child charges back in 2003. He is registered with the state.
CBS 7 received a call from someone who went to the church concerned because they found out about the pastor’s status by word of mouth outside of the church. Church officials confirm they knew of his status before hiring him.
“Our administration knew about Bro. Phillip’s history before the hiring, and the vast majority of the church knew about it as well. We believe that God can change people, and we believe that God has forgiven Bro. Phillip as well.”
They also confirm not all of the congregation is aware that Pastor Rutledge is a sex offender.
“I can’t tell you that 100 percent of the people know, but the vast majority know.” said Deacon DJ Rambo.
While the law does not say sex offenders can’t serve in church, it is up to the discretion of the congregation.
“We make sure children are never by themselves in the sanctuary or any activities alone with the Pastor. He is very cautious of it as well.” said Rambo.
In a photo on the church’s Facebook page, the pastor is seen helping baptize a youth at the church.

News Story https://www.cbs7.com/content/news/Church-Gives-Sex-Offender-a-Second-Chance-382546021.html
Sex Offender Record https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5673298-Rutledge-Phillip-Sof-1.html

ABUSE OF FAITH Videos

Videos

By Jon Shapley and Marie D. De Jesus
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/investigations/abuse-of-faith/multimedia/

Survivors’ Stories

Survivors hope their stories can help other survivors of sexual abuse as the Southern Baptist Convention struggles to weed out predators in its 47,000 churches in the United States.

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO VISIT THE SITE AND WATCH THE VIDEOS OF THESE SURVIVORS.

They include the following videos:

‘I didn’t want that’

Dillon Price was routinely molested by the pastor of his church in Fort Worth, Texas. He remained silent about the abuse for years, and at one point became suicidal. He recently decided to speak out to help other victims.

‘I was so terrified, but I was also trusting’

This Texas woman says she was only 12 when her pastor’s son invited her in for a Coke and then raped her.

‘Accountability is finally taking place.’

Former Southern Baptist Pastor Doug Myers was sent to prison after he sexually abused boys in Florida and Maryland. One survivor asks why the Southern Baptist Convention didn’t do more to stop him.

‘Why didn’t I matter?’

Jules Woodson was sexually abused by the youth pastor of her church near Houston in 1998. Her abuser, Andy Savage, later moved to Tennessee, where he worked as a pastor until Woodson came forward and he was forced to admit to abusing her. She wonders why the Southern Baptist Convention hasn’t been more proactive about helping victims or removing church leaders who turned a blind eye to abuses.

Missionaries

A Houston Chronicle investigation found a trail of abuse by Southern Baptist missionaries stretching back for decades. Mission board officials kept the allegations internal.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-churches-hired-ministers-accused-13588233.php

‘I have never forgotten’

Anne Marie Miller told the International Mission Board in 2007 that one of their top missionaries allegedly abused her. The board did not notify police.

Youth Pastors

Their most common targets were teenage girls and boys, though smaller children also were molested, sometimes in pastors’ studies and Sunday school rooms.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/All-too-often-Southern-Baptist-youth-pastors-13588292.php

‘I stopped believing in God’

Nicole and police investigators say Houston youth pastor Chad Foster used his position to take advantage of members of his youth groups.

‘Stalking his prey’

Bryan police detective Travis Hines describes his pursuit of Joe David Barron. Barron, now out of prison, says he wants to be judged on he has responded to his mistake.

Travelers

At least 35 Southern Baptist ministers and volunteers were accused of sexual misconduct but that didn’t stop them from working at churches.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-churches-hired-ministers-accused-13588233.php

‘The devil inside him’

Medina County investigator Wayne Springer says sexual abusers groom not just their victims, but those around them.

‘I can tell him’

Medina County investigator Wayne Springer says sexual assault cases involving church officials can be tricky.

‘I’m no longer your victim’

Scott Holden, a prosecutor in Anderson County, describes the strength it takes for victims to confront their abusers in court.

Abuse of Faith

In the past 20 years, about 400 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News found. They were pastors. Deacons. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school and Christian school teachers. Church program volunteers. They left behind more than 700 victims.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/investigations/article/Southern-Baptist-sexual-abuse-spreads-as-leaders-13588038.php

‘The destruction of innocence’

Prosecutors, convicted pastors discuss sexual assault.

‘I need to talk to you, Mom’

Gwen Casados, mother of Heather Schneider, says her daughter’s life was ruined by a pageant coordinator at Houston’s Second Baptist Church.

‘The voice of God’

Houston psychiatrist Harvey Rosenstock explains the devastation of a child being abused by a religious leader.

ABUSE OF FAITH PART 6: Silence, survival, speaking out Survivors of Baptist sexual abuse come forward to help others

Silence, survival, speaking out

Survivors of Baptist sexual abuse come forward to help others

By John Tedesco, Lise Olsen, and Robert Downen
Multimedia by Marie D. De Jesús and Jon Shapley
https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Abuse-of-Faith-Survivors-of-Baptist-sexual-abuse-13938643.php

Dillon Price once lived in a world of secrets and silence. It nearly killed him.

The secrets started when Price met Dan Haby Jr., a magnetic Southern Baptist preacher in Fort Worth. Price was just a teenager, but he bonded with Haby. He thought they shared a love of God.

Price and other boys spent so much time with Haby that they started staying the night at his house on weekends. Price slept on a couch the first few nights.

Then Haby suggested he sleep on a mattress in hisbedroom to be more comfortable. One night, Haby locked the door.

Price didn’t know what to do when Haby — a man he looked up to — began molesting him. Haby claimed the acts helped “relieve stress” and made him a better pastor.

Price kept quiet about the recurring abuse for years, even after he left Haby’s church and tried to move on with his life. But he couldn’t escape what had happened. He became suicidal.

“Silence is the worst thing,” said Price. “At the time, I didn’t know anything but silence.”

Price hopes the story of how he finally broke his silence and reported Haby to police can helpother survivors of sexual abuse as the Southern Baptist Convention struggles to weed out predators in its 47,000 churches in the United States.

Price and his mother were among 350 people who contacted the Houston Chronicle with their stories of abuse and of predatory behavior by officials based primarily in Southern Baptist churches after the February publication of “Abuse of Faith,” an investigation by the Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News.

The series revealed that roughly 380 church pastors, employees and volunteers have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct, sued or convicted in criminal cases during the past two decades. They left behind more than 700 victims.

Survivors shared information about other criminal cases as well as abuse that went unpunished. With the help of readers, the Chronicle has identified additional cases that raise the number of those credibly accused to more than 400 — and added 45 criminal cases involving Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers to our searchable, online database. It now includes convictions or plea deals involving more than 260 offenders.

Many survivors who contacted the Chronicle said they had felt alone until they read the articles.

Kingsley Brown reached out after spotting her father and abuser — a charismatic former Waco pastor named William Frank Brown – in a photo collage of offenders convicted of sex crimes.

“In these types of situations, a lot of people want to blame the church and turn away from the church and blame the Lord, and it is so easy for that to happen,” she said. “Our whole purpose is that this is an issue that needs to be addressed — it’s OK for you to come forward.”

Breaking taboos

Kingsley Brown was only 14 in March 2009 when a counselor called her to the school office, where Child Protective Service workers were waiting. Outwardly, Kingsley was a success — a popular A student. But she carried a secret: Her father began molesting her when she was 10 and continued to do so for two years. Though Kingsley followed his command to never tell anyone, her sister had eventually guessed.

At the time, her father was lead pastor of Bellmead Baptist Church, a Waco congregation with 1,300 members.

She broke down in the circle of school and state officials, wondering if revealing her father’s abuse now held the power to ruin their entire family. She felt intense shame, guilt and confusion as she repeated the story of serial incest to police and prosecutors.

Her father was immediately removed from the home. He was indicted, and he later confessed — and Waco newspapers ran the story on their front pages.

Brown was not alone as an incest survivor of a Southern Baptist preacher or leader, though she didn’t know it then. The Chronicle’s database includes about two dozen casesof incest involving church leaders. Nearly all of the cases are similar to Brown’s, in which pastors and other trusted church figures were prosecuted for molesting or raping their own children or other relatives.

For Brown’s family, the initial consequences were devastating. Her father went to prison. Both parents lost their jobs. Her mother, Connie, had been serving as an associate pastor alongside her father but could not stay because of the scandal and couldn’t become pastor of the church because churches can be expelled from the SBC for employing female pastors. The Browns divorced.

In 2009, William Brown pleaded guilty and was sentenced to serve 50 years in prison on four counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Kingsley later cut off all contact with her father for her own mental health.

In the aftermath, church leaders, many of whom did not know that Brown’s daughter was his victim, failed to provide comfort or support to the family, Connie Brown says. Both Kingsley and her mother are no longer Southern Baptists but say they never lost their faith. Kingsley Brown works as a faith-based speaker and part-time model in Atlanta. Her mother founded a nonprofit and still preaches.

“There’s a lot of damage that you have to pick up from what occurs after abuse like that, so it’s important to be able to speak on restoration and healing,” Kingsley said.

They both talked to the Chronicle in hopes of inspiring others with a positive message: Incest and abuse do not have to destroy you. They say breaking taboos by sharing that experience with authorities, with trusted friends, with God and with the right counselors can be a path to a better future.

“We know the freedom that comes on the other side, and we are anxious to help other people through it,” Connie Brown told the Chronicle.

Abuse goes unpunished

Other survivors of abuse wrote about predators who remain in the pulpit. Several expressed in interviews how hard it has been to see the people who hurt or raped them go unpunished and continue preaching. They shared stories of abuse that occurred years or even decades ago.

One Texas woman wrote about how she was only 12 when a popular young preacher’s son saw her walking by his house on a hot day and invited her inside for a Coke. He raped her on the floor of his house. He explained it was “something he’d helped some of my friends with” — special treatment he gave only certain girls. Her family belonged to his father’s Texas-based Southern Baptist church. She never told anyone.

Years later, as a successful business executive, she began speaking to teenagers about her struggle to overcome the pain and shame of sexual abuse. She asked not to be identified in this story because she fears going public would identify her abuser, who was never prosecuted, and upset her elderly father. But she still wonders if her popular attacker later harmed others when he became a church leader himself.

Other survivors filed civil lawsuits that exposed pastors who abused their counseling roles to seduce and abuse adult women. These women didn’t want to reopen old wounds by speaking publicly, but they emphasized that pastors who abuse adults remain more likely to get away with misconduct or crimes than child abusers. Very few cases the Chronicle tracked involving abuse of adults resulted in criminal charges.

Several victims who have become strong advocates for change in Southern Baptist churches are among those who say they were denied justice — including best friends Kenny Stubblefield and Brooks Hansen, whose alleged abuser was never punished because they came forward too late for prosecution. The statute of limitations had expired in Tennessee, where they grew up.

Stubblefield still remembers every inch of that basement in Memphis: the shag carpet. The fridge full of Michelobs. The big-screen TV with porn playing. The waterbed, where at 16 he slept at the insistence of his youth pastor. The black window curtains, and the way the sunrise bled through them as he sat, paralyzed with fear, in the early morning hours after he said he was molested in November 1996.

For the next year, he lived “in the shadows,” he said in a recent interview. At the time, he thought: “I am by myself. … I am alone. Nobody will protect me.”

Then his best friend, Brooks Hansen, told him about his own night in their youth pastor’sbasement. Hansen’s older brother had a similar story.

All three eventually went to the church’s lead pastor, Scott Payne, who said he would act. The youth pastor was back at the church months later, the men said. Stubblefield said they were told to stay quiet, because that “was what the faithful did.”

“The abuse was horrendous,” Stubblefield said. “But the most damaging, life-altering part of the entire process was when the people I trusted — that I thought I could trust, that had my back, that were supposed to protect me — absolutely re-victimized me. It was like a gunshot wound in my gut.”

Despite knowing Tennessee’s statute of limitations had expired, the men filed a police report in2016after learning their alleged attacker still worked with schoolchildren at a Memphis library.The alleged attacker was investigated by police, who took no action. The city of Memphis said in a statement that the district attorney had declined to prosecute “due to the statute of limitations” but said that the employee, Chris Carwile, was “no longer employed by the City of Memphis.”

Neither Carwile nor Payne could be reached for comment. Payne previously has denied telling Stubblefield and Hansen to stay quiet and has said he believed the families were satisfied when he fired Carwile from the church.

Stand Up, Speak Out

In Fort Worth, it took Dillon Price a decade to break his silence and talk openly about what his pastor did to him.

The decision was incredibly difficult. By then, Price had attended seminary and earned a college degree. He was no longer under Haby’s direct control.

But Price’s family knew Haby. They liked him. Many of his friends admired the pastor. Price knew there could be a backlash: “You might lose friends, you might lose people around you that don’t believe you for whatever reason,” Price said.

Haby, now a registered sex offender, did not respond to a written request for comment.

Price, now 34, said he came to realize that secrets and silence were part of the tools Haby used to abuse him. He felt like staying silent was allowing Haby to control his life. And he was worried Haby might be abusing others.

Price finally told his family the truth. Most of his relatives were shocked and angry, but nearly all believed him. One of Price’s uncles sided with Haby and to this day won’t speak to Price.

Price reported Haby to police in 2014 — about 14 years after Haby began molesting him. Price said that when a Fort Worth police detective called and told him that Haby had been arrested, he felt free for the first time in years.

Two more men stepped forward and said Haby had abused them in their youth. Haby initially fought the charges, and the case went to trial. Haby reached a plea deal with prosecutors that allowed him to avoid prison time, but he had to admit his crimes and become a registered sex offender.

Price went from suffering in silence to writing a book about recovering from his abuse. He now attends a new church in Fort Worth. He has become a teacher, father and a coach and founded a ministry called Stand Up, Speak Out to talk openly about what happened to him.He especially wanted to increase support for male victims of clergy abuse, who tend to feel particularly isolated, he said.

“It’s just so crazy that we don’t have these conversations,” Price said.

Talking about sexual abuse is awkward and painful, he acknowledged, but talking about it helps churches learn how to prevent it.

If more people understood predatory behavior, he said, they would have asked why Haby was routinely spending so much time alone with Price when he was just a 15-year-old boy.

That’s not normal, Price said. But no one in his family or in his church knew enough about the problem to voice any suspicions.

“Whether it’s in a church, whether it’s in school, no matter what organization we’re talking about, as long as there’s conversations not happening, predators are finding their foothold,” Price said. “And they’re going to continue to weasel their way in there.

“Because that’s what they do.”

‘Jesus is coming to get you’: CHRISTIAN Brother’s threat to boy he abused

‘Jesus is coming to get you’: Christian Brother’s threat to boy he abused
By Debbie Cuthbertson, Simone Fox Koob, Farrah Tomazin and Chris Vedelago February 16, 2020
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/jesus-is-coming-to-get-you-brother-s-threat-to-boy-he-abused-20200214-p540u8.html

“Jesus is coming to get you.”

That was the warning Lionel (not his real name) alleges Christian Brother Rex Francis Elmer gave in an attempt to silence him after he sexually assaulted him at a Melbourne orphanage in the 1970s.

The words rang in the boy’s ears long after.

Elmer “kissed me on the forehead and said well done” after molesting him, Lionel said.

“He then told me not to tell anyone. He said to me, if you tell anyone, Jesus would come down from heaven and take me away and you will not see your family or friends ever again,” he told police.

“I was scared and really believed what he had said, that Jesus would take me away if I said anything. I was an altar boy and I believed this.

“The word ‘Jesus’ was ringing in my ears.”

The assaults continued, as did the warnings, for more than a year, Lionel said. It was a vicious circle.

“This sort of incident happened at least two to three times a week,” Lionel said in his witness statement to police. “The same sort of thing. I would piss the bed scared at night that [Elmer] would come to me. I was petrified of him. I couldn’t tell anyone because I was scared of getting a flogging and being taken away by Jesus.”

Another boy who had complained about being abused by Elmer was flogged with a cane by another brother then removed from the St Vincent de Paul Boys’ Home, Lionel said.

“He dobbed Elmer in for doing something sexual to him. It was two days later that this guy who got hit and dobbed got taken from the home.”

He said he told another boy at the home about the abuse. That boy replied that Elmer had also sexually assaulted him. “We were both scared that Jesus would come to take us,” Lionel said. “This is what we thought happened to [the boy who left].”

Lionel said he also confided in a nun from a nearby convent. “I told her what Elmer had been doing to me. She said ‘Darling, please do not say a word to anyone, I will fix this for you’.”

Soon after he confessed to her, Lionel alleges, Elmer and two other brothers brutally beat him, including with a cane, in an assault that left him bleeding from his behind and bedridden for more than a week.

While he was still recovering, Lionel said, Elmer abused him again. He punched the boy repeatedly, giving him a black eye and bloody nose after the boy vomited on the brother during the assault.

“When I spewed, he punched me in the face with a clenched fist … three or four times. I couldn’t see out of my left eye for a few days until the swelling went down. He said to me ‘Jesus is coming to get you’. This is the last time that I ever saw Elmer.”

In mid-1976, Elmer suddenly left St Vincent’s. “I don’t know what happened to Elmer, but he was gone from the home,” Lionel told police.

Lionel, now aged 59, said of the ongoing effect of his abuse: “I get teary talking about this but I have learnt to deal with it. It is always in my mind and it always hurts me.”

On Monday, Elmer pleaded guilty in the County Court to the indecent assault of two other complainants, also from St Vincent’s, in the 1970s, after which prosecutors did not proceed with charges related to Lionel’s accusations. That meant that Lionel’s witness statement was never tendered and Elmer never faced his allegations.

Court documents show the 75-year-old was charged in 2018 with 19 counts of indecent assault and one of false imprisonment in relation to three victims during the 1970s.

The first complainant, who had been in state care since infancy, told police Elmer repeatedly abused him between the ages of 11 and 13, usually while he was sleeping in a dormitory.

He said the first assault occurred when Elmer threw off his bed covers, demanded he do as he was told, and put his hand down the boy’s pyjama pants. The assault, however, was interrupted. “Someone has approached the bed as he was being assaulted by the accused, who then fled,” according to the police brief of evidence.

“The complainant was summoned to the office of the now deceased Brother in charge, Brother Carey … Shortly thereafter the complainant recalls being sexually abused by the accused on many occasions.”

The second complainant, who came to the orphanage aged seven after his parents died, was sexually abused by Elmer repeatedly between the ages of nine and 11.

On one occasion Elmer led the boy, who had been playing in the grounds of the home after school, upstairs into his private bedroom at the end of a dormitory.

Elmer produced a large book with pictures of human anatomy and made the boy sit on his knee while the brother asked him to name various body parts, including male genitalia, and masturbated against the boy’s back during the 20-minute assault.

As dormitory master at St Vincent’s, Elmer was responsible for up to 40 children at a time, aged between seven and 14.

The most senior Christian Brothers officials in Victoria knew in mid-1976, when they removed Elmer from the orphanage, that he had abused boys there.

Later that year they made Elmer principal of St Joseph’s, a Catholic boys primary school in Warrnambool.

Elmer was in charge of the school from 1976-81. He worked in the town alongside several other notorious paedophile clerics including priests Paul David Ryan and Robert Claffey, and fellow Christian Brother Edward Dowlan (all since jailed for child sexual assault).

Elmer left Warrnambool after more complaints about his behaviour at St Vincent’s reached his superiors. In 1988 he reappeared, in an article from a small Tasmanian newspaper called Western Tiers, published in his home town of Deloraine.

“Brother Rex Elmer will be spending Christmas at home with his mother … and family before leaving to go to Africa to set up a Mission School at Arushia [sic] in Tanzania with two other Christian Brothers,” the newspaper reported proudly on page 3.

“Rex was a pupil at Our Lady of Mercy College and St Patrick’s [College] and has been teaching at various schools, including Warrnambool in Victoria. He is hoping to see old school friends while at home and we all wish him well in the future.”

The school Elmer helped found in northern Tanzania is now run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers East Africa District and has more than 1300 students.

Elmer left the school in 1993 after more complaints surfaced, and was sent by his order to the United States for counselling at the St Luke Institute for paedophile Catholic clergy in Maryland.

He was charged In 1997 with 69 counts. He was convicted the next year of 12 counts: one charge of indecent assault against each of the 12 boys. The judge sentenced him to five years in prison with a minimum of three years and four months.

At his sentencing, Judge Thomas Neesham described Elmer, then 53, as a man of God who had indulged in “depraved self-gratification”, The Age reported at the time.

“Each of your victims was a small boy in your care. Each was an inmate,” he said. The boys, many of them orphans or wards of the state, were aged between eight and 12.

“They were helpless,” Judge Neesham said. “Who could they tell, who would believe them?

“All your victims wear deep emotional scars to this day as is brought out by their victim impact statements,” he said. “As a teacher and a man of God, how could you not have had an inkling of the devastation to your victims’ faith … by your act of misbehaviour.

“Your victims will have to live in the misery that you inflicted upon them … You will have to live with the disgrace that you brought on yourself and your family.”

Elmer had been living in a Christian Brothers home in Brunswick at the time of his first conviction  and was still working for the order in an administrative role. In 2002, after his release from prison, he was placed him on “restricted ministry”.

He now resides in a property owned by the order in the same suburb. His bail was extended following his guilty plea this week until his sentencing in July.

“The accused is currently retired and resides within the Christian Brothers Community,” a police brief from his current case states.

The order has received 22 claims for redress from people who allege Elmer sexually abused them as children, according to documents it provided to Austalia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, which reported its findings in 2017.

Those claims all related to accusations of multiple assaults alleged to have occurred between 1969 and 1985 – from when Elmer was a novitiate (a Christian Brother in training) to the years when he worked in South Melbourne and Warrnambool, mainly during his time at St Vincent’s.

The documents also show the order knew that a number of victims had alleged that other clergy had participated in the abuse by Elmer.

Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) refused to cover the Christian Brothers in relation to any claims of abuse by Elmer after 1976, ruling the order – including its most senior cleric, then provincial Brother Patrick Naughtin – had “prior knowledge” of his crimes.

“Whilst the Visitation was in progress [13/06/1976], a Child Welfare Office reported to Brother [redacted] Acting Superior that Rex had been interfering with little boys; this was true and it had been attended to by the Provincial,” said a CCI document submitted to the royal commission.

In a letter dated June 20, 1976, Naughtin wrote to the acting superior of the orphanage: “Thank you very much for the report on the situation which developed … in connection with Br Elmer. It is indeed a serious and most unfortunate state of affairs and I am grateful for your bringing it to my attention so promptly.”

In his letter, Naughtin (who died in 2010) expressed concern for Elmer’s reputation, not for the welfare of the children he had abused. He also referenced the illegality of Elmer’s actions but did not report him to authorities.

“I have interviewed Br Elmer and discussed this position with him. He is clearly aware of the serious nature of his actions and I took pains to point out his legal and moral obligations in the matter.

“It seems to me extremely unlikely that there will be any recurrence of what had happened … It would seem to me best at this stage not to transfer Brother … immediately, though I would propose to announce his change next August – the usual time for releasing details of staffing for the following year.

“In coming to this decision I have been guided by the Brother’s assurance for the future, by his excellent record to date and by consideration for his reputation which would undoubtedly be harmed by a sudden transfer at this time.”

When Elmer left St Vincent’s he was replaced by Edward ‘Ted’ Dowlan, now one of the most notorious paedophile clerics in Victoria. They later worked together at St Joseph’s in Warrnambool.

A 1996 letter from an unnamed Christian Brother was submitted to the Victorian parliamentary inquiry in 2013 into the handling of child abuse by institutions, including religious orders. It sheds light on how widespread the abuse was at St Vincent’s, and how determined the church was to dismiss it.

“I accepted with good faith the sudden departure of Brother Elmer from the school and the appointment of Brother Dowlan to fill his position,” the letter reads. “Indeed, I spent many extra hours, which I could ill afford, assisting Brother Dowlan to understand the nature and behaviours of the boys and the teachers.

“As you are probably aware, many of St Vincent’s residents had been sexually abused, and often displayed overt and outrageous sexualised behaviour. Furthermore, they expected or requested that this behaviour be reciprocated by the adults in their lives. A major part of our endeavours at St Vincent’s was getting these boys to a point where they would expect not to be abused. Now I find that all of this work could have been compromised by the presence of a man like Brother Dowlan …

“I take note of your congregation’s position that the brothers were unaware of Brother Dowlan’s tendencies and activities. I cannot accept this as a reasonable position. I cannot believe that the number of allegations against this man could have been kept from his various communities’ and the congregation’s superiors. I find that expecting the public to believe this is preposterous. I do not believe this plea of ignorance.”

St Vincent’s orphanage closed in 1997. It was home to more than 6000 boys over 140 years.

Information provided by the Catholic Church to the royal commission showed it had received 114 claims of sexual abuse at the home, the highest number of any Catholic institution in Victoria.

The Christian Brothers declined to answer The Age’s questions about Elmer, citing “ongoing legal proceedings”.

If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, beyondblue 1300 224 636, or CLAN on 1800 008 774.

Study identifies 16 child sex abuse rings in Victorian Catholic Church

Study identifies 16 child sex abuse rings in Victorian Catholic Church
By Debbie Cuthbbertson February 23, 2020
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/study-identifies-16-child-sex-abuse-rings-in-victorian-catholic-church-20200215-p54158.html

Pedophile and Pedophile Pimp Cardinal George Pell

A three-year research project into paedophile Catholic clerics in Victoria has identified 16 child sex abuse networks operating over six decades involving 99 priests and Christian Brothers.

The investigation found that clergy paedophile rings shared patterns of behaviour with criminal gangs, the Mafia, terrorist cells, corrupt police, drug dealers, money launderers and price-fixing cartels.

The research showed their abuse was facilitated and reinforced by church hierarchy, including five successive archbishops of Melbourne from Daniel Mannix, appointed in 1917, through to George Pell (himself appealing against a conviction for child sex abuse) in 2001.

The researcher, Sally Muytjens, spent more than three years investigating “dark networks” of paedophile clergy in Victorian dioceses. She published the research late last year, receiving a doctorate from Queensland University of Technology.

Muytjens’ research found the largest and most active dark networks were at schools including St Alipius in Ballarat and Salesian College, Rupertswood, and orphanages including St Vincent de Paul’s in South Melbourne and St Augustine’s in Geelong.

One of the worst offenders, convicted paedophile and former Christian Brother Edward “Ted” Dowlan, was active in five of the 16 dark networks, she found.

Her study also identified Christian Brother Rex Francis Elmer as a member of two paedophile networks. The Sunday Age last week revealed that Elmer taught at Catholic schools in regional Victoria and Africa for decades after his order first knew he had abused children at a Melbourne orphanage.

In her thesis, Muytjens used a research method called social network analysis, which can reveal hidden patterns and ties between members of groups and provide insights into how they operate.

Using SNA enabled her to identify connections between clergy perpetrators and specific locations in Victoria from 1939 until 2000, unearthing what she described as a pervasive “sexual underworld” that had the potential to destroy Victorian dioceses.

Elsewhere, SNA has been used to map links between terror cells involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks and 2005 London bombings, and to track child sex trafficking networks in Britain, Italian money-laundering rackets and an Australian amphetamine trafficking ring.

It has also been employed to track the spread of contagious diseases, as well as population displacement after natural disasters.

Muytjens also drew on material from the Victorian parliamentary inquiry and the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, victims’ advocacy group Broken Rites and media coverage of criminal trials involving clergy, to map links between clergy child sex abusers in Victoria over six decades.

Her thesis examined the responses of the Catholic Church to such criminal activity, describing the institution as a “grey network” that repeatedly facilitated abuse.

“One of these patterns was promoting known clergy perpetrators of child sex abuse to senior positions which not only provided further access to victims but also placed them in positions where they were better able to protect the dark network from exposure,” she wrote.

The code of silence among Catholic clergy in Victoria mirrored patterns of behaviour exhibited by groups including crooked police and the Mafia, Muytjens added, and that “extended to a refusal to give evidence to the police”. “Similar methods were utilised by clergy perpetrator networks within the Victorian Catholic Church to maintain silence.”

Documented clusters of paedophile clergy, including at St Alipius Boys’ School in Ballarat in the 1970s, showed they were “conducting illicit activity in an organised and co-operative way”,  Muytjens wrote.

Dowlan and notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale both had multiple convictions for sexually abusing children, including at St Alipius. Another four clergymen were each part of least two different clusters of abusers at different times, Muytjens found.

“Some [clergy] committed child sex abuse at institutions where they were the only known dark network actor … [but] they were also transferred to parishes where there were clusters of other known clergy perpetrators.

“These perpetrators were part of multiple clusters at different times … As [Ridsdale and Dowlan] were prolific perpetrators, it can be reasonably argued that [they] were transferred out of clusters when subject to complaints of child sex abuse but were returned to clusters where they could be better supported and protected through stronger ties.

“Fr Ridsdale and Br Dowlan’s movement between clusters … [and] the number of convictions for these two clergy perpetrators demonstrates the unfettered access they had to child victims.”

The church’s pattern of response to complaints of child sex abuse by its clerics functioned as a resource for the paedophile rings, Muytjens found.

“Members of the sexual underworld support one another in seeking positions of responsibility by praising one another and condemning any critics … this sexual underworld is so pervasive that acknowledging and addressing this may destroy a Diocese,” she wrote.

Drawing on research from around the world into child sex abuse by Catholic clerics, she said the data showed that “clergy perpetrators … were placed in roles of recruiting boys to the priesthood”.

Muytjens’ thesis was completed around the same time as an investigation by The Age revealed that clusters of paedophile priests in Victoria worked together to sexually abuse children, including at Melbourne’s Corpus Christi seminary.

Her research was supervised by UTQ School of Justice criminologists Dr Jodi Death and Associate Professor Mark Lauchs. Lauchs’ research has focused on organised crime and corruption, while Death has also mapped paedophile networks of Catholic clergy, including among the Christian Brothers in Western Australia.

Associate Professor David Bright, a criminologist and clinical psychologist who has worked with convicted sex offenders, has used social network analysis extensively in his research, mainly in relation to drug trafficking and terrorism.

He said SNA was an effective tool for displaying links between overlapping abusers in the church: “The clustering that Sally found, it’s quite persuasive in that what it’s suggesting is that there were clusters of offenders in institutions and that this is the case more so in some than others.

“It strikes me that either these individuals were incredibly good at manipulating the system to be at the same facility … or the system was just so negligent about this and turned such a blind eye and was so convinced that these things weren’t going on that it just allowed it to continue.”

The Christian Brothers Oceania Province and the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne were approached for comment on Muytjens’ findings.

“The Christian Brothers co-operated fully with both the royal commission and the Victorian parliamentary inquiry which undertook exhaustive work into the failures of our institution and countless others that enabled the tragic and unacceptable abuse of children and how such abuse was not properly responded to … we reiterate our enduring apology to those who have been harmed as a result,” said a spokesman.

A spokesman for the archdiocese said: “The issue of historical sexual abuse, across all institutions including the Catholic Church, has been extensively and comprehensively documented in the Victorian parliamentary inquiry and the royal commission. The recommendations from these inquiries, coupled with ongoing institutional reform, have helped bring justice and more effective redress for victims.

“Whilst we believe our parishes and schools are safer than ever, we remain vigilant and committed to ensure our practices, processes and policies deliver a safe environment for everyone.”

If you or anyone you know needs support, you can contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline 131 114, or beyondblue 1300 224 636.

Suffern priest accused of rape faces more charges following grand jury indictment

Suffern priest accused of rape faces more charges following grand jury indictment
By Christopher J Eberhart February 27, 2020
https://www.lohud.com/story/news/crime/2020/02/27/suffern-priest-faces-rape-charges/4895263002/

A Suffern priest accused of raping two women faces more charges after he was indicted by a grand jury in Rockland County Court on Wednesday. 

Fidel Hernandez, 51, was indicted on charges of first- and third-degree rape as well as three counts of first-degree criminal sexual act and three counts of third-degree criminal sexual act. 

He was originally charged with first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree sexual abuse and forcible touching.

“This indictment sends the message that this office will prosecute those whom are to be trusted by their congregants,” Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Walsh said in a statement. “We cannot turn a blind eye to clergy sexual abuse cases. I hope that this indictment encourages others who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward and make a report to their local police or district attorneys.”

The Rockland District Attorney’s office urges anyone who knows of a potential victim, or has been a victim themselves, to contact the local police department or the Rockland County District Attorney’s Special Victims Unit.

Hernandez was a priest in the Tagaste Monastery and Sacred Heart Church in 2018, when the alleged incidents occurred.