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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Melquisedec Chan Pleads Guilty to Sexually Assault

melquisedec chan

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.

In 2018, Melquisedec Chan, pastor of Vida Abundante Church in Alton, Texas, and a medical doctor in Mexico, was accused of sedating women and then sexually assaulting them. Chan is a surgeon in Mexico, but is not licensed to practice medicine in Texas. Chan was charged with “aggravated sexual assault and practicing medicine without a license.”

Chan has finally had his day in court. Chan admitted to charges he sexually assaulted two female parishioners.

The website for KURV AM Radio from Mission, Texas, reports:

A former church pastor in Alton has admitted to charges he sexually assaulted two female parishioners. 58-year-old Melquisedec Chan entered a plea of guilty shortly after a jury had been selected for his trial that was to have begun today.

Chan pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of practicing medicine without a license. The charges stem from 9-year-old accusations by two women that Chan had sedated them, then sexually assaulted them.

My RGV adds:

He [Chan] was arrested on April 11, 2018.

He was first arrested by Edinburg police after a woman reported that Chan allegedly sedated and sexually assaulted her while following up with her after a surgery.

She told police that Chan, who was the founder and a pastor at Vida Abundante Church in Alton, was also a family doctor. It’s not immediately clear whether Chan is still affiliated with the church.

A day after his arrest, a McAllen woman came forward and told investigators Chan provided “intravenous medication to (her) to help ease the pain of her illness,” following her 2012 diagnosis with a head tumor, according to a probable cause affidavit.

She had alleged that Chan first treated her at the church before “conducting regular house visits around July 2014,” during which he injected her with an unknown medication that made her fall asleep in a short amount of time.

She also alleged Chan groped her while she was sedated and assaulted her with his fingers, according to a probable cause affidavit. She confronted him in February 2015 and he “ceased all contact with her.”

On Monday, a prosecutor told the jury, which will sentence Chan, that he broke all of his oaths, his oaths to practice medicine, to take care of patients, his oath as a pastor and his oath to his wife.

“He used his power for his personal gain,” the prosecutor said. “He would sedate the victims and operated his clinic out of his church.”

The prosecutor said that after the women were sedated, they would wake up and feel strange. 

“It started with greed, it ended with lust,” the prosecutor said.

Carlos A. Garcia, Chan’s defense attorney, said that he grew up in Mexico and that his dad was also a pastor.

Garcia said that following his arrest, Chan admitted what he had done wrong and would tell anyone who would listen, including his wife, his son and the police.

The defense also highlighted Chan’s charitable work, including the founding of an orphanage in Reynosa and feeding the homeless in Reynosa.

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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