Samuel Emerson, pastor of Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church in Surrey, British Columbia, and his wife Madelaine, have been charged with multiple accounts of sexual assault. They have already been scrubbed from the church’s website
Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church pastor Samuel Emerson and his wife Madelaine Emerson have been charged with multiple counts of sexual assault, sexual touching and threats.
In a media release issued Tuesday afternoon, Surrey RCMP revealed that they received several allegations of sexual assault on May 17, 2017.
On May 18, the Emersons were arrested. Neither were known to police beforehand, and were later released under “strict conditions.”
Samuel Emerson, 34, has been charged with 13 counts of sexual assault, 11 counts of being in a position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose, and one count of sexual touching of a person under the age of 16.
Madelaine Emerson, 37, has been charged with one count of sexual assault, one count of being in a position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose, and one count of threats to cause death or bodily harm.
The alleged assaults occurred between 2015 and 2017
Surrey RCMP have said the investigation is still ongoing, and they are asking that any potential victims come forward to speak with police, as they believe that there may have been other victims.
“Calling the police to report a sexual assault is a very difficult thing to do, especially when the suspect is someone you knew and trusted, and can leave lifelong emotional scars,” said RCMP Corporal Scotty Schumann.
“Our highly-skilled investigators take sexual assaults very seriously, and, supported by our Surrey RCMP Victim Services workers, are here to listen and provide emotional support,” he said.
Samuel Emerson’s father, Randy, is the senior pastor of the church. Last May, the elder Emerson said on Facebook:
If you know us and our church please pray. We are under attack like never before and we need the accuser of the saints to be silenced and Truth prevail.
Thank you to everyone who is praying for us and expressing love at this time. You are making a difference. This is a time when we must not believe with our eyes and ears but with our spirits. Let God be true and every man a liar. Can’t be specific at this time but your prayers are making a difference. Thanks and much love, Randy.
Just weeks after dozens of sexual assault charges were laid against one of its board members in a series of incidents in the Lower Mainland, Cowichan River Bible Camp has been alleged as the scene of other assaults.
Surrey pastor Samuel Emerson, who was a board member of the bible camp, has been charged with 25 criminal code offences related to at least five victims, including: 13 counts of sexual assault, 11 counts of being in position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual touching of a person under the age of 16.
Camp general director Gerald Wall confirmed this week the camp has cut ties with Samuel after police announced the charges earlier this month.
Samuel’s wife, Madelaine Emerson, 37, has also been charged with one count of sexual assault, one count of being in a position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose, and one count of threats to cause death or bodily harm.
Court documents show most of the offences are alleged to have taken place in Surrey, where until his arrest, Emerson was a pastor at the Cloverdale Christian Fellowship.
One alleged sexual assault, according to court documents, occurred in or near Cowichan Bay between July and August 2014.
Duncan resident Alexis Masur attended Cowichan River Bible Camp on River bottom Road for four years starting when she was 15. She alleges she, and others, were assaulted at the camp and at the affiliated Oasis church by an adult that was not Emerson.
“It started out with really long hugs, then their face would get closer to me and they would start giving me kisses on the cheek and then they’d start kissing me on the lips and then the next thing you know they’re caressing me to the point where they’re touching my genitals,” she explained.
She said she knew what they were doing was wrong but she felt powerless.
“They were a really well respected leader in the church and respected at the camp too,” she said. “This person was smart, they knew how to make me take blame. I was so afraid that if I said it out loud that I would never be loved again. This person had power, and if I said a peep, almost everyone I respected would turn on me in an instant.”
Masur is haunted by the youth she left behind.
“When I left that church, I ran, and I never looked back. But I always feel guilty because I know if I had stayed, and fought that I could prevented other people from having the same thing happen to them,” she said.
Masur’s allegations took Wall by surprise.
“This is news,” he said Tuesday morning. “I won’t respond to that right now. All I know is that we do have protocols in place for our staff and that this comes out of left field. I have no prior knowledge of this. Until we have some confirmation through the RCMP, I won’t respond any further.”
Masur has not reported her complaint to the RCMP.