Black Collar Crime: Baptist Children’s Pastor William “Wes” Williamson Accused of Sex Crimes

The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.

William “Wes” Williamson, children’s pastor at Mount Gilead Baptist Church in Dothan, Alabama, stands accused of sexually abusing children under the age of twelve. Williamson’s name has already been removed from the church’s website. I just love the senior pastor’s statement, “This will not be a distraction—that’s what the Devil wants. God is sovereign and will seek his Glory.” Buddy, if this is not a distraction there’s something wrong with you, God or no God.

WTVY-4 reports:

A former Mount Gilead Baptist Church children’s pastor faces three charges of sexually abusing children under the age of 12. William Wesley “Wes” Williamson was arrested Thursday.

Mount Gilead Senior Pastor Bradley Rushing said he was made aware of allegations involving Williamson several weeks ago. They were reported to authorities though they didn’t apparently involve sexual relations. He can’t speak to the investigation.

Williamson was placed on administrative leave. “He had zero contact with children from that point forward,” Rushing said. Williamson was terminated following his arrest Thursday.

Court records show there are two alleged victims.

“Mr. Williamson did not commit a crime. He did nothing that was illegal,” said defense attorney Thomas Smith. He and Co-counsel Shaun McGhee represent Williamson.

Smith continued, “Frankly we’re amazed that he was charged. Based upon what we know it’s hard to believe somebody can be charged with sexual abuse.”

He said the damage to his client is done even if he’s found not guilty. “This is a married man with seven children. He’s charged on the slimmest and most vague allegations I’ve ever seen. It’s ruined him.”

….

Rushing said while the charges against Williamson are disturbing though he has no knowledge they’re factual. “This will not be a distraction—that’s what the Devil wants. God is sovereign and will seek his Glory.”

….

The Dothan Eagle reports:

A status hearing has been scheduled for a former children’s minister charged with three counts of sex abuse of a child less than 12 years old.

William Wesley Williamson will go before Houston County Judge Benjamin Lewis May 1 at 9 a.m.

During the status hearing, Lewis will inform Williamson of his rights and the charges filed against him. Williamson will have the opportunity to request an attorney be appointed to represent him, or he will inform Lewis he has obtained an attorney.

….

A May 1, 2018 Dothan Eagle report states:

A former children’s minister accused of sexual abuse against a child will not attend his preliminary hearing Friday.

William Wesley Williamson, 38, was arrested March 30 and charged with three counts of sex abuse of a child less than 12 years old. He served as the former pastor to children at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church on Brannon Stand Road.

Williamson’s attorney, Thomas Smith, said he does not feel it is necessary for his client to attend his preliminary hearing. Smith filed a motion earlier asking his clients’ presence be waived.

The preliminary hearing will determine if there is enough evidence to send Williamson’s case to a grand jury or to see if the charges will be dropped.

“This man is a father of seven children; four of those children are special needs children,” Smith said. “He is a poster man for being a caregiver to children, and he faces these charges.”

From Smith’s understanding, information listed on the warrant states Williamson brushed his hand against the clothing in the genital area of the victims, but no specific sex act is alleged.

During an April 4 press conference, Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza stated two additional allegations emerged against Williamson following his arrest. No additional charges have been filed against Williamson.

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