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.
Edward Thompson, a music ministry leader at Christ Fellowship Church in Eugene, Oregon, and a former member of Eugene Faith Center, was convicted of “repeated acts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of a child” that started when the victim was a toddler. Thompson was sentenced to life in prison.
A jury found Edward Samuel Thompson of Eugene guilty after a week-long trial earlier this month.
The jury convicted Thompson on charges of: 4 counts of Rape in the First Degree,Sodomy in the First Degree, 5 counts of Sex Abuse in the First Degree.
Thompson was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to 125 years in prison.
Prosecutors say the charges stemmed from “repeated acts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of a child.”
“The abuse began when the victim was a toddler, spanning from 2012 to 2018,” the Lane County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “The District Attorney’s Office appreciates Presiding Judge Debra Vogt’s recognition of the seriousness in this matter and reflecting that in sentencing Mr. Thompson.”
Thompson had been a leader in Eugene church communities.
“At the time of his arrest, it was reported that Thompson was a long-term member and a music ministry leader at Christ Fellowship Church in Eugene and former member of Eugene Faith Center,” Eugene Police said.
In 2018, Thompson was arrested on federal child pornography charges. A FBI news release stated at the time:
FBI agents and Eugene Police officers arrested Edward Samuel Thompson, age 38, at his Eugene home on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, following the service of a federal search warrant. Agents filed a criminal complaint against Thompson, charging him with accessing, receiving, possessing, and distributing child pornography. The arrest was without incident.
At his initial appearance on Tuesday, August 21, a federal magistrate ordered Thompson held. He is currently lodged at the Springfield Municipal Jail.
Thompson is a long-time member and a music ministry leader at Christ Fellowship Church in Eugene and former member of Eugene Faith Center where he still plays on a volleyball team at the church. The FBI offers this advice to concerned community members:
Parents who have a child who has come in contact with Thompson should let that child know that Thompson has been arrested for inappropriate behavior. Parents should tell that child that if Thompson did, or said, anything inappropriate to the child to let the parents know. If a child discloses an incident that did happen to him or her or that the child observed an innappropriate incident happen to someone else, the parent should not ask the child detailed questions about the incident. Instead, please contact Eugene Police Detective Chris Mackey at (541) 682-5175 or call the FBI at (541) 343-5222.
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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