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.
Raymond Chang, the pastor of Resurrection Church and an employee of Sweetser Adult Crisis Residential Facility in Rockport, Maine, stands accused of sexually assaulting a child.
Raymond K. Chang, who is both a pastor and works at a Sweetser crisis unit, was arrested by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office on a warrant charging him with felony unlawful sexual contact and misdemeanor unlawful sexual touching.
Chang was taken to the Knox County Jail in Rockland. Judge Sarah Gilbert set bail Wednesday, May 31 at $2,500 cash during Chang’s initial appearance in the Knox County Court in Rockland. The judge also ordered Chang to wear a GPS monitor, not have contact with the victim or her mother, and to have no unsupervised contact with people younger than 18 years old.
Assistant District Attorney Mari Wells had asked for bail to be set at $5,000, citing the seriousness of the charges.
Defense attorney for the day Daniel Purdy had asked for bail of no more than $1,200 which is the amount he said Chang could raise.
Chang is a pastor at his church and operates a Sweetser facility, Purdy said.
Sweetser Communications and Public Relations Director Justin Chenette said Chang works at a Sweetser adult crisis residential facility in Rockport but does not run it. Chang is on unpaid administrative leave, the spokesman said.
The affidavit filed in the court by the Sheriff’s Office stated that the victim said Chang had been kicked out of his last church and started a new one in Rockport called “Resurrection Church.”
The affidavit stated that the victim reported being sexually assaulted by Chang multiple times from when she was 12 to 14 years old. The initial criminal complaint filed by the district attorney’s office lists two counts in 2019.
Chang was not asked to enter a plea at Wednesday’s hearing because one charge is a felony and that must first be presented to a grand jury.
The affidavit quotes the victim as saying that she reported the sexual abuse to a family member and in response the family got together with members of the former church (which is not named in the affidavit) and she was told she needed to apologize and that both needed to forgive each other.
The victim reported the matter to police in early April and the Sheriff’s Office began its investigation.
The victim and her mother obtained a temporary protection from abuse order against Chang on April 21 from a state judge in Lewiston, citing sexual and physical abuse, according to the affidavit.
The Sheriff’s Office contacted Chang by telephone on April 27 and he referred Detective Justin Twitchell to his attorney. Chang said he did not have a contact number for the lawyer, and hung up. The man’s attorney Adam Sherman of Lewiston then called the detective back moments later, according to the affidavit.
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 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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