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Category: Black Collar Crime

Black Collar Crime: Dr. David Smock Accused of Molesting Child at IFB Boarding School

dr david smock

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.

Dr. David Smock, the physician for Agape Boarding School in Stockton, Missouri, stands accused of sodomizing and molesting a fourteen-year-old boy. Other alleged sex crimes in other states are currently being investigated. Agape Boarding school is a “ministry” of Agape Baptist Church — an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) institution. Agape Baptist is pastored by James Clemensen. (Please read the school’s Parent Handbook. Be prepared to weep.)

The Kansas City Star reports:

Longtime Agape Boarding School doctor David Smock groomed the young male student he is accused of sodomizing and molesting, buying him a cellphone, taking his family on trips and throwing him birthday parties, according to court records obtained by The Star. Those details, including child sex allegations against Smock from two other states that go back decades, are outlined in a probable cause statement The Star received Monday. The affidavit describes three felonies filed by Greene County prosecutors on Thursday, the same day a judge signed an arrest warrant for the 57-year-old doctor.

Authorities confirmed to The Star that Smock was still at large Monday afternoon. “For years, David E. Smock groomed Juvenile by inviting him over to his (Smock) home located in Jerico Springs where he could play video games, use the gym and basketball court, purchasing a cell phone for him, providing gifts, money, and promised cars once he turned 16 years of age,” the affidavit says.

Smock also “took Juvenile and his family on outings to arcades, trips to places such as Silver Dollar City and Incredible Pizza and hosted birthday parties for Juvenile,” the document says.

According to the affidavit, Smock provided medical treatment — including physicals — for the students. The boy and his mother began having contact with Smock in 2013-2014, it says. Her son first met Smock during a gym night. The investigation began on Oct. 7, 2020, when Heidi Fox, an investigator with the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team, received a request from an investigator with the Missouri Department of Social Services’ Children’s Division regarding a child molestation case reported to the Cedar County Sheriff. The case involved a 14-year-old male who disclosed to the Children’s Division in 2020 “that he was touched inappropriately when he was thirteen years of age by a fifty six year old white male identified as David E. Smock,” the affidavit says.

Cedar County Sheriff James “Jimbob” McCrary did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Agape leader Bryan Clemensen also has not responded to requests for comment. Smock began spending more time with the boy to be a “father figure” to him, according to the affidavit, and then began taking him to and from school. He threw birthday parties for the boy’s 12th, 13th and 14th birthdays and eventually convinced the boy’s mother to allow her son to move into Smock’s home. The boy lived with Smock, the affidavit says, from age 13 until just before his 15th birthday. When the boy was 13 and in Smock’s care, the doctor took him from Cedar County to Springfield to help clean a rental property Smock owned, the document says. “Juvenile disclosed while at this location, he was instructed by David E. Smock to pull his own pants down, when Juvenile did not, David E. Smock instructed him to pull his pants down two additional times,” according to the affidavit. “David E. Smock touched Juvenile’s penis with his hand and held Juvenile’s penis with his hand.” Smock was charged Thursday in Greene County Circuit Court with three felonies — one count of second-degree statutory sodomy regarding a child; third-degree molestation of a child younger than 14 years of age; and enticement or attempted enticement of a child younger than 15.

….

As a physician, Smock is required by law to report suspicions of child abuse and neglect. Smock came to Missouri from Arizona and in 2006 built an 11-bedroom mansion with an indoor pool and gymnasium in rural Cedar County between Stockton and Jerico Springs. That location at 6360 E. 1570 Road, which Smock uses as his home and business addresses, also houses Legacy Academy Adventures, a Christian boarding school for boys ages 9-15. Legacy is run by Brent Jackson, who has close ties to Smock and was an Agape staffer for 18 years, part of that time serving as its dean of students. Jackson left Agape in 2018. According to the probable cause statement obtained Monday, while interviewing people about the Missouri allegations, the state investigator said she received police reports about Smock from California and Arizona dating back to the late 1980s.

In a June 6, 2007, document from Gonzales, California, police interviewed Smock regarding a child cruelty case. At that time, Smock told authorities that he and his six children — some of them adopted — slept in the same room but he slept in his bed alone. The report also indicated there was an empty second bedroom and that an adult female and her young children were staying in a third bedroom, the probable cause affidavit says. “The adult female had ended a relationship with David E. Smock previously due to David E. Smock’s ‘controlling behaviors,’” the affidavit says. “And at the time of this report (she) was an employee at his clinic. She reported being fearful of David E. Smock and that she may lose her job, as she was informed by David E. Smock if any of his employees speak to the police, he would terminate their employment. “One of the juveniles provided information to the police regarding the sleeping arrangements of the children, specifically David E. Smock sleeping in bed with one of the juvenile boys aged fifteen years old.” At the time of the police report in 2007, Smock was a licensed physician and surgeon in California.

The Gonzales, California, Police Department also discovered four more reports about Smock. Those reports were made to other law enforcement and state agencies regarding sexually inappropriate behavior with children under 16, the affidavit says. Gonzales officers discovered that a report was made to the San Diego Police Department in 1988 regarding David E. Smock being identified as a suspect in a child molestation investigation. Details of that case were not included in the Greene County affidavit obtained Monday. In another case discovered by California authorities, the Marine Family Advocacy in Yuma, Arizona, told Gonzales police about a 1997 report that two juvenile males alleged Smock walked around the house nude in front of them during a visit to his residence in 1994-1995. The report said Smock showered with the two juvenile boys in 1996. The Gonzales officer contacted Yuma, Arizona, Child Protective Services and was informed of a report made in 1998 alleging Smock altered the use of the hot water heater and stove in a home he owned that was being occupied by his estranged wife. “The report documents David E. Smock made comments regarding selling his daughters because he only wanted to keep the juvenile son,” according to the Greene County affidavit. “The male child was interviewed and stated he sleeps in a bed with David E. Smock.”

A 1996 case out of the police department in Yuma, said that two 12-year-old boys and their mother reported Smock for “sexually inappropriate behavior.” It said Smock was their neighbor and had purchased several expensive items for the boys and provided “vitamins” for them to take. “The two juvenile boys reported to the Police Department that while spending the night at David E. Smock’s residence, he informed them they can sleep naked and offered to give one of the juvenile boys a ‘physical,’” the Greene County affidavit says. “The mother of the two juveniles reported to the police that she observes several children at David E. Smock’s residence because he has a pool.” That mother said tarps had been placed over the fence tops surrounding Smock’s back yard in Arizona. “When David E. Smock was interviewed by the Police,” the affidavit says, “he is reported to have stated he tried to tell the mother of the boys ‘that he really loved children.’”

In September 2021, five workers at Agape Boarding School were accused of assault.

KY-3 reported:

The Cedar County prosecutor filed charges against several workers of the Agape boarding school near Stockton after accusations of abuse.

In all, five faces charges. They include:

-Seth Duncan: 5 counts of third-degree assault

-Scott Dumar: 4 counts of third-degree assault

-Trent Hartman: 2 counts of third-degree assault

-Christopher McElroy: 1 count of third-degree assault

-Everett Graves: 1 count of third-degree assault

Former students accuse workers of the school of assault and other abuse. Former student Colton Schrag says he’s disheartened to see only five people charged in this investigation.

“The message should’ve been we hear you, we’re gonna try to protect you and help you get out of this situation and then we’re gonna shut it down,” Schrag says. “But the message we received was we’ll do the bare minimum to get you off our backs but we don’t actually really care about you guys.”

Operators advertise Agape as a national boarding school for at-risk or unmotivated boys. The campus is also home to Agape Baptist Church. When it comes to troubled teenage boys, Schrag says they’re often overlooked and people may not be as open to hearing their stories.

”If I was to speak out at that time like I did, ‘Hey they’re beating on us,’ it kind of just fell on deaf ears,” Schrag says. “You automatically think like what did that kid do. He’s there for a reason he’s not a good kid.”

Schrag spent three-and-a-half years at Agape. During his time there, Schrag says students endured physical, mental, and psychological abuse.

“From getting drug out of your bunk into the hallway with staff members elbowing you, hitting you, kneeing you, and slamming you onto the ground,” Schrag says. “Even also some of them withholding meals from you or putting you on a small portion so you can’t eat like the rest of the students.”

Boyd and Stephanie Householder face 100 criminal abuse charges as the owners of the Circle of Hope Ranch. Their daughter, Amanda Householder, says the couple worked at Agape before opening their school.

“My dad learned at Agape how to restrain the students, how to withhold their food, their water,” Householder says. “Basically, Agape is the blueprint for Circle of Hope.”

The Missouri Attorney General’s office identified 65 criminal counts against 22 co-defendants. Those charges included abuse of a child, failure to report child abuse, endangering the welfare of a child, tampering with a victim, and assault. However, the Cedar County prosecutor charged five defendants with multiple counts of assault.

“It’s not even a slap on the wrist for Agape,” Householder says. “It’s a slap in the face for the victims of Agape.”

The Missouri Highway Patrol says it began its investigation into allegations of abuse and neglect at the facility in late February.

According to Householder, some of the people charged were former students at Agape.

“They were just doing what they were brainwashed to do from childhood,” Householder says. “They were students and then they turned staff. It’s very angering to me that the people who forced the people to act the way they’re acting are not being charged.”

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Muslim Tutor Muhammad Hasan Sentenced to Four Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing Two Girls

muhammad hasan

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, Muhammad Hasan, a Muslim business owner who offered private Quran instruction, was accused of sexually abusing two female students.

The Oregonian reported at the time:

Investigators have arrested a man who’s accused of abusing two girls who were clients of his religious instruction business, Tigard police say.

Muhammad L. Hasan ran AICQ (American Islamic Center for the Holy Quran), a Tigard business that offered private Quran instruction, the city’s police department said in a news release. He was indicted last week and arrested Wednesday.

Hasan’s indictment lists six counts of first-degree sex abuse and a single count of third-degree sex abuse. He’s accused of kissing one of the girls on multiple occasions and touching another’s breast or breasts, according to the document.

In January 2019, Hasan pleaded guilty to two child sex abuse charges involving two girls who were his students. One was 17 years old, the other was 9 years old. Hasan was sentenced to 4 years in prison.

KGW-8 reported:

A man who taught children about the Quran at his private business in Tigard is going to prison for four years after pleading guilty to sex abuse charges.

Last month, Muhammad Hasan pleaded guilty to two child sex abuse charges involving two girls who were his students. One was 17 years old, the other was 9 years old.

Megan Johnson, senior deputy district attorney for Washington County, said the 17-year-old felt “shocked, confused, guilty, stuck, and frozen” during the abuse. Before the investigation, the two girls did not know about what was happening to the other. Both studied Quran memorization with Hasan for a year or two at his business, the American Islamic Center for the Holy Quran (AICQ). The abuse occurred in Hasan’s office in 2016.

Tigard police heard about the incidents involving both girls around the same time in 2017 and began investigating.

Johnson said through the course of the investigation, detectives found similar reports against Hasan in Vancouver, Washington. Detectives were met with road blocks. The situation had been handled within the community. Hasan was no longer teaching in the Vancouver Muslim community, and it seemed no one wanted to officially go on the record to make a report.

Now, investigators are worried that there could be more victims.

Johnson said this particular child sex abuse case is the most difficult one she, her office, and the Tigard Police Department have encountered. People have been hesitant to speak out about such a well-loved person.

But on Friday, Judge Theodore Sims handed down Hasan’s sentence: four years in prison. He is now a registered sex offender for life. Hasan is not allowed to have contact with any minors, with the exception of his 16-year-old daughter.

Throughout his sentencing, Hasan sat stoic with an interpreter beside him.

“This is a sad case for so, so, many reasons,” said Johnson as she began speaking in court.

“The pain [the victims] have suffered at his hands is remarkable,” she said.

The pain is from both the abuse, but also the violation of trust. Hasan was adored and trusted in the community.

“That enabled you to victimize some kids and got you into a position of trust in the community, which you violated,” said Judge Sims told Hasan.

Hasan’s lawyer, in court, asked the judge to factor in the good he has done in the community in trying to bridge the gap between Muslims and people of different faiths. Hasan briefly spoke through his interpreter.

He said he would make his best effort to be a good citizen and serve the community when he is released from jail. Hasan touched on his religious goals, that people of different faiths live in harmony.

He also requested that he serve out his time in the Washington County Jail, and if he had to go to prison, he wanted to have his own cell.

Johnson said it’s unlikely he’ll get what he wants. At no time did Hasan apologize.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Brian Pounds Sentenced to Forty-Five Years in Prison for Sexual Assault

pastor brian pounds

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.

Earlier this year, Brian Pounds, pastor of Vernon First Assembly of God in Vernon, Texas, was charged with raping a 15-year-old girl. Pounds is a graduate of Liberty University.

After his original arrest, Pounds was accused of sexually assaulting another teenager.

In July 2021, Times Record News reported:

A Vernon pastor suspected of raping a 15-year-old girl in a church and a motel, choking her and giving her drugs was indicted Wednesday. 

A Wilbarger County grand jury handed down a five-count indictment against Brian Keith Pounds, 45, on Wednesday.

Pounds was indicted on one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child, two counts of sexual assault of a child, one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and one count of delivery of methamphetamine to a minor, according to the indictment.  

The offenses are alleged to have happened July 1, according to the indictment. 

Pounds, 45, was being held Friday in Wilbarger County Jail, according to online jail records. 

His bond amounts were not available Friday evening. 

Pounds was held by the Wichita County Jail from July 16 until Friday on total bonds of $300,000 for charges of sexual assault and delivery of drugs to a minor, according to online jail records.

….

“Mr. Pounds has been a pastor in the Vernon community for over a decade,” 46th Judicial District Attorney Staley Heatly said in a media release.

….

Pounds lists himself as lead pastor at Vernon First Assembly of God on his LinkedIn social media account.

He has held that position for nine years and 10 months, according to his LinkedIn account, where his function has been to “Inspire, motivate, and educate people in life’s journey, helping them to debelop [sic] the soul: body, mind, and spirit.”

An affidavit detailed in a previous Times Record News story gave this account

A 15-year-old girl’s mother contacted Vernon police to report her daughter had sexual intercourse with a man later identified as Pounds. 

She told police she was trying to find her daughter when she made contact with Pounds at a motel.

He told her he was a pastor at First Assembly of God and was trying to get a room for someone in need. He rented a room at the motel in the name of the church. 

Officers did not know at the time that Pounds had been in the room with the woman’s daughter. 

Later that day, the woman found her daughter at a Walmart and brought her to the Vernon Police Department.

The girl told police she had been having sex with Pounds and had smoked meth at the motel. 

She told police they had been having sex for about a month, and Pounds had been counseling her and her family through the church.

Pounds denied to police any sexual contact with the girl. He told police he had been helping her and her family as a minister.

Pounds gave the police permission to search the motel room. They found evidence of meth, fibers and hair, leading officers to believe the girl had been there. 

….

She said he began to groom her by getting her a job cleaning houses. She said she would meet Pounds at the church, and he would give her meth. 

She described the meetings at the church as counseling where Pounds offered her meth. She said their first sexual encounter was at the church.

The girl said she told her mother the day she and Pounds got caught. The teenager said Pounds picked her up, gave her meth and had sex with her.

Also, she said Pounds put his hands around her neck and choked her.

In August 2021, the Vernon Record reported:

A new victim has come forward, accusing former Vernon First Assembly of God Pastor Brian Pounds of illegal sexual behavior with a child. The allegations were unsealed Friday and a new charge of sexual assault of a child was added to Pounds, who is currently being held in the Wilbarger County Jail under six Grand Jury indictments.

Jimmy Dennis, secretary of the Vernon Assembly of God board of trustees, said the new allegations saddened the church and were deeply troubling. He said the church was cooperating with authorities in the investigation. Dennis presented the following statement to the newspaper from the church: “As the congregation of Vernon First Assembly, we were deeply saddened and troubled by the news concerning our former pastor Brian Pounds. His tenure as pastor ended with a letter of resignation that was submitted by him and read to the congregation on Sunday, July 18. We are cooperating fully with local authorities as they investigate this situation. We understand how hurtful and heart-wrenching these allegations are and our hearts, our prayers, and our sincere apologies go out to the family and those in our community who, along with us, have been affected by these tragic events.”

Pounds was charged with a new count of sexual assault of a child on Friday. The new allegation refers to an incident that occurred sometime around Oct. 1, 2013 according to a probable cause affidavit from the Texas Rangers, and it was uncovered as part of the investigation into the initial accusation.

Pounds was aware, on July 1, that he was under investigation from accusations made by a 15-year-old girl. As the week progressed and a case was built, Pounds became suicidal. On July 5, 2021 the affidavit states Vernon police responded to Pounds residence because it was “reported he was threatening suicide.” Police removed a 38-caliber revolver handgun from the residence, and also located 38 caliber ammo at the church in Pound’s desk. Pounds reportedly checked into Red River Hospital in Wichita Falls.

The affidavit states that on July 14, investigators conducted an interview with Pounds’ wife Amy, at her residence in Vernon: “Amy was asked about any knowledge of inappropriate activities by Brian, including any extramarital affairs, inappropriate relationships, or methamphetamine use. Amy denied any knowledge of indiscretions, affairs, or methamphetamine use by Brian.”

Pounds was arrested on July 16 at the Wichita Falls hospital and booked into the Wichita County Jail.

While he was incarcerated, investigators reviewed phone calls Pounds made: “During these calls, Brian and Amy began discussing additional potential charges that could be filed against him. Brian identified (the new victim) to Amy by her first name, Brian inferred that if the additional charges are related to (the new victim) it would be bad. Amy told Brian, “I know.” Brian became extremely emotional saying, “I’m a dead man.’ Brian told Amy his involvement with (the new victim) was a long time ago and that “it has never mattered how sorry [he] was.”

During a follow-up interview: “Amy was confronted with the information obtained from the recorded jail calls between her and Brian. Amy confirmed she was dishonest during her initial interview regarding Brian’s involvement with other females and his methamphetamine use. Amy confirmed she knew of Brian being involved in exchanging inappropriate text messages with (the new victim) in the past though she denied any knowledge of a sexual relationship between the two.”

Investigators determined the identity of the new victim and interviewed her, they said she became extremely distraught, and agreed to give details of the alleged assaults.

She said about seven years ago, at age 15, she was sexually assaulted at the church and the assaults continued for about two years at both the church and Pound’s home. She said the first incident began when she participated in a youth group activity at the First Assembly of God church as they were playing a game called “Murder in the dark.”

She said Pounds would turn off the lights and the kids would hide in places around the church. She said when Pounds found her, he groped her. In another instance Pounds invited her to the church for a youth group activity, but she found only Pounds there. She said he told her to go wait in his office, until everyone else arrived. Instead he came in and locked the door. She alleged he made her disrobe and forced her to perform sex acts. On another occasion in the church office, she said Pounds put a revolver to her head and told her if she ever told anyone of the incidents he would kill her and himself.

In December 2021, Pounds pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child and was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Ministry Watch reports:

A former pastor in Vernon, Texas, has been sentenced to 45 years in prison after he pleaded guilty last week to aggravated sexual assault of a child.

rian Keith Pounds was arrested in July and accused of raping a 15-year-old girl when he was minister at First Assembly of God Church and a chaplain at Tyson Foods.  

An affidavit filed in the case said he groomed the girl by getting her a job cleaning houses for elderly people, then began to have sex with her at the church and in a motel room, giving her methamphetamines and, in at least one instance, choking her. 

He also had been counseling the girl’s family through the church. 

Pounds was charged with three additional counts of sexual assault of a child after he revealed the existence of another victim during a phone call to his wife in August from the Wichita County Jail, where he was being held on $200,000 bail.

Pounds was sentenced in the 46th District Court of Wilbarger County. According to the Wichita Falls Times Record News, Staley Heatly, 46th District Attorney, said that under Texas law Pounds will be required to serve at least half of his sentence, and that sex offenders generally serve more than that. 

“Brian Pounds abused his position of trust as a pastor in the most horrific way,” Heatly said. “Our community and our children are much safer with him in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.”

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Lindsey Melnick Accused of Sexual Assault

lindsey melnick

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.

Lindsey Melnick, pastor of Breakthrough Church in Duncannon, Pennsylvania, stands accused of sexually assaulting a fifteen-year-old girl.

PennLive reports:

Police charged a Perry County church pastor with four felonies after a woman told police she was molested 10 years ago by the pastor when she was 15.

Pennsylvania State Police arrested Lindsey Melnick, 36, on Monday in connection with charges of statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact of a minor. The charges allege Melnick sexually assaulted the teen several times a week for about one year starting in August 2011.

At the time, Melnick was about 26 and had been the girl’s soccer coach at a school and a church counselor at summer camp, according to court records.

Melnick is listed as the pastor of the Breakthrough Church in Duncannon, according to the church website.

Her next court hearing was set for Jan. 11. She is free on $15,000 unsecured bail.

According to the report filed by the Pennsylvania State Police:

A woman told police in July she felt she was “manipulated and groomed” by Melnick when they first met in 2010, and also a teacher aide for most of her classes while she was in eighth grade.

They would pass a notebook back and forth during class, Melnick gave her a cell phone, and they communicated by that cell phone and through Facebook, including a “fake” account that Melnick allegedly created under the name Sophia Martin, according to police.

The victim said if she didn’t answer phone calls from Melnick, the woman would become angry with her so she felt she had to take her calls. Melnick also snuck into her parents’ home dozens of times using a hidden key, the court records said. Melnick would hide under her bed, the girl said.

Eventually, the girl said, she started sleeping on her parents’ floor to avoid Melnick.

Melnick eventually became controlling of “every aspect of her life,” according to court records, which said Melnick resigned from the school soccer team because teachers and staff members “were catching on” to what was going on.

Melnick would pick her up from her friends’ homes or events and take her to a graveyard.

A youth group teammate confirmed to police in July that she saw Melnick giving the girl a back massage at an event at someone’s home when they were 14 to 15 years old, according to the report.

The teammate said Melnick spent the night and when she would leave the room to get a drink of water or something, she would return to see Melnick on top of the victim, giving the girl a back massage. But when she entered the room, Melnick would “stop what she was doing and act like nothing had happened,” according to the report written by police.

Police recovered Facebook messages from the account of “Sophia Martin” in December 2011 to the girl that said she was angered “about how you were torn away from me.”

Melnick’s church bio page states:

Lindsey Melnick is a 2008 gradute [sic] of Colorado Christian Univeristy [sic] and a 2019 graduate of Liberty Univeristy [sic]. She has degrees in both Youth Ministry and Professional Counseling. This blend of Biblical knowledge and Mental Health training allows her to have a good balance of Scriptural teaching and counseling. 

She has a passion for sharing Jesus with all, discipling believers, and helping people heal spiritually. She focuses on Bibilical [sic] teaching, Youth Ministry, and Outreach opportunities. 

She loves Penn State Football, her dogs [sic] Scout and Sherlock, and all types of pasta, especially Mac & Cheese. If you would like to get ahold of Lindsey please e-mail her at XXXXXXXXX.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: “Dr.” David Tee Continues to Whine About the Black Collar Crime Series

dr david tee

BG has this series over at his website. What purpose it serves is beyond any rational and logical thinking. It certainly is not going to change the behavior of those people he accuses nor will it stop anyone from committing the same acts.

If he is trying to provide criticism against Christians and Christianity, he is barking up the wrong tree. Christians already know that there are people in their denominations that do these acts.

His series does an injustice to everyone as it ignores the fact that some of those people he highlights are not Christian except in name only. believers already know that. Their claims and presence in those denominations do not take away the reality of the Christian faith or its pure origins.

Nor do they harm the word of God.  God’s word is true no matter how believers and wolves in sheep’s clothing behave. Their actions do harm the people committing those crimes as their deeds are exposed to the world around them and they commit sins that may put them into the lake of fire.

BG’s recording them does not create news as the Christians in those churches already know what is going on. At best, all he is providing is fodder for himself, and his atheist friends to justify their decision to reject Christ as their Savior.

He also provides fuel for them to criticize those who struggle in their faith or fail to live up to society’s ideals. That is the wrong thing to do. When people make these errors in their lives, no one has the right to mock them.

….

Whatever bad purpose BG has for creating and maintaining this series we do not have to go along with it. We can bring something good out of these situations to help warn believers and prove the truthfulness of the Bible.

The Bible tells us that our enemy is not other rhumans [sic]. That means that BG and other atheists are not our foes. As the Bible tells us, our foe is the evil forces behind the unbeliever. This is why we need to put on the whole armor of God.

….

In other words, we do not rail against BG for creating his Black Collar Series nor do we call him names and so on. We turn the other cheek and respond with the wisdom of Christ. He is just fooling himself if he thinks he is doing anything constructive.

….

We see far too many Christians fall to evil’s influence and because of that, we should take Peter’s words concerning ‘making our own calling and election sure’ seriously. These examples of evil devouring possible true Christians are an enormous number, far beyond what BG records in that series.

We should take every step to see that it does not happen to us. One of the biggest examples we have of evil devouring true Christians is BG himself. if it can happen to him it can happen to anyone.

….

We have to be wary, watchful, and learn what we need to do to protect ourselves and our families. Get to the truth and apply it correctly to your lives as the lessons from Black Collar Crimes are very clear. We are a targeted people and the enemy is not our friend.

If BG and the other pastors and missionaries who have left the Christian faith and become agnostics and atheists really want to do something of value there is a way. Instead of claiming that God & Jesus do not exist, that the Bible is a fairy tale, and criticizes those Christians who are still living the life they once lived, those former believers should be warning Christians to watch out for the attacks of evil.

But for some reason, they do not show any remorse for their decisions to reject the faith, etc. They do not even show any concern for their once fellow believers. What we see is a concentrated effort to destroy more Christians.

That is sad. These people could still do good work by warning believers but they have chosen to fight along side evil and do its bidding. How many more believers will be lost because of these worse black collar crimes BG ignores?

— “Dr.” David Tee (David Thiessen, TheologyArcheology, TEWSNBN), Theologyarcheology: A Site for the Glory of God, Black Collar Crime, December 23, 2021

Tee knows exactly why I write the Black Collar Crime Series. He chooses, instead, to deliberately lie about my motivations.

UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Baptist Pastor Riley Brown Pleads Guilty to Stealing $332,000 From Church

pastor riley brown

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 2017, Riley Brown, executive pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison, Mississippi, was accused of stealing $332,000 from the church.

The Clarion-Ledger reported:

A Baptist pastor is accused of stealing more than $300,000 over more than two years.

In an emailed statement, officials with Broadmoor Baptist Church said former executive pastor Riley Brown took $332,000 from the church coffers over a “primarily” 27-month period.

Brown could not be reached for comment.

The “transactions” were discovered after an internal policy review in September, according to the statement.

“These transactions were undertaken by one individual, Riley Brown, circumventing our existing internal policies and procedures,” the statement read.

Brown is no longer employed with the church. Church officials are reporting the matter to the Internal Revenue Service and the Mississippi Department of Revenue.

The church will not press criminal charges but will cooperate with prosecutors, according to the emailed statement. Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest was not immediately available.

“As a body of Christ, we sought to find a proper balance between accountability and grace; and given our exchanges in personnel and significant new safeguards and internal controls we have added, and will continue to add, we are confident we can responsibly steward the resources entrusted to us,” the statement reads. “While we choose not to press criminal charges against this individual, we will fully cooperate with prosecutors if it is independently pursued.”

Update

An October 27, 2017, MS News Now report stated:

Broadmoor released a statement that an internal policy review showed that more than $330 thousand dollars was unaccounted for.

The church also said that Brown was no longer with the church and that findings were turned over to the IRS and the Dept of Revenue.

Though he would not take any questions, Brown spoke to us exclusively about the situation.

“I am innocent of any alleged theft. This is a civil matter that was settled two weeks ago.”

….

An email statement from church stated:

As a body of Christ, we sought to find a proper balance between accountability and grace; and given our exchanges in personnel and significant new safeguards and internal controls we have added, and will continue to add, we are confident we can responsibly steward the resources entrusted to us. While we choose not to press criminal charges against this individual, we will fully cooperate with prosecutors if it is independently pursued.

In an October 31, 2017, Clarion-Ledger news report, Brown denied he stole any money from the church:

The former pastor of a central Mississippi Baptist church disputes claims that he stole $332,000 from the church.

The Rev. Riley Brown tells WLBT-TV that he’s innocent of any theft and signed a civil settlement with Broadmoor Baptist Church two weeks ago.

The Southern Baptist congregation in Madison is among the largest in the state.

More: Church says pastor stole over $300,000 from coffers

The church last week said Brown made unauthorized transactions for his own benefit over 27 months. Brown’s lawyer says it’s a dispute over church policy, not a criminal matter.

Broadmoor’s leaders say they’re not pressing charges but have notified income tax officials.

Madison County District Attorney Michael Guest says he was unaware of the claims before the church released a statement but is investigating. The church says it will cooperate if Guest intervenes.

In August 2019, Brown pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with 10 years suspended.

ABC-16 reported:

The former pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to embezzlement, Madison County court officials said.

James Riley Brown is accused of stealing $332,000 from the church to pay his mortgage between February 2014 and August 2017. The Southern Baptist congregation in Madison is among the largest in the state.

Documents show Brown transferred church funds into his personal bank account, including one transaction of nearly $36,000.

Brown was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with 10 years suspended and five years to serve, court officials said. He was also sentenced to serve five years’ probation once he’s released.

Church members initially said they wouldn’t press charges, but the Madison County district attorney’s office carried out its own investigation.

Brown served as executive pastor of the church from 2014 to 2017, when an audit exposed the missing money.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Javyon George-Boatman Convicted of Sexual Misconduct With a Minor

busted

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 2017, Javyon George-Boatman, who may or may not have been a youth worker at Family Christian Center in Munster, Indiana, was arrested Wednesday and charged with  “three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.”

Times reporters Steve Garrison and Lauren Cross had this to say about George-Boatman’s arrest:

A 22-year-old man who previously attended Family Christian Center in Munster is accused of having sex at the church with a 14-year-old girl.
Javyon M. George-Boatman was charged Wednesday in Lake Criminal Court with three counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, according to court records.
Court records listed George-Boatman as a youth leader at the church, but John Ponder, the pastor of Christian Education and Pastoral Care, told The Times on Thursday that George-Boatman is not a youth leader, nor did he serve the church in any official capacity.

The church barred George-Boatman from accessing church property immediately after learning of the allegations, Ponder said.

The girl told police in an interview June 26 that she first met the defendant during music practice at Family Christian Center, according to a probable cause affidavit.
She said George-Boatman kissed her on Palm Sunday at the church, and the physical contact escalated until she agreed to have sex with him in a church closet on April 23, the affidavit states.

She said they had sex at least 10 more times at the church between April 23 and June 7, the affidavit states.

The church’s pastor, Steve Munsey, did not respond to a request for comment.

Ponder said the victim confided in a church elder, who encouraged the girl to tell her father. The female elder supported the girl’s decision and volunteered to accompany her, Ponder said. The father then contacted police, Ponder said.

“We’re very fastidious about such things. We find this abhorrent, immoral and against the law and totally intolerable,” Ponder said, noting the church conducts background checks before anyone can serve in an official capacity.

In 2019, Boatman was convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Embezzlement Charges Against Catholic Priest Richard Fritz Dismissed

richard fritz

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 2017, Richard Fritz, priest for several Michigan parishes, was charged with embezzling $213,000 from St. Mary’s Assumption in Bronson and St. Barbara Mission in Colon. Those charges were later dismissed.

The Daily Reporter reports:

St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough has charged Rev. Richard Fritz with embezzlement of more than $ 100,000 from the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo. The information for the 20-year felony said the complaining party was St. Barbara Parish in Colon. He served that parish, as well as St. Mary’s of Assumption Catholic Church in Bronson.

Father Fritz was arraigned on the charge April 24 in St. Joseph County District Court booked, fingerprinted, and released on a $15,000 personal recognizance bond. A pre-exam conference is scheduled for Tuesday and a preliminary hearing will be held a week later on May 16, according to computer records.

….

In October 2016 the Diocese of Kalamazoo announced that it had turned over to Michigan State Police findings from an independent forensic audit involving St. Mary’s Assumption parish in Bronson and St. Barbara Parish in Colon, “because of what appeared to be questionable financial transactions and practices at both parishes,” records state.

During a six-year period, the audit raised questions about checks in the amount of more than $213,000, written and cashed by the priest.

….

Father Fritz resigned as pastor at St. Mary’s last October, amidst the investigation.

In 2020, Fritz was accused of sexual misconduct.

MLive reported:

A retired priest once accused of embezzlement is now under investigation for sexual abuse from the late 1970s and early 1980s, leaders with the Diocese of Kalamazoo say.

A statement from the Diocese issued Friday, Feb. 21 named Father Richard Fritz and said allegations made against him have been deemed credible.

A Diocesan review board, consisting of experts in sexual abuse as well as clergy, made the finding about the credibility.

Fritz also came under scrutiny in 2017 when he was accused of embezzling more than $100,000 from the church. The embezzlement investigation focused on his activities at St. Mary’s Assumption church in Bronson and St. Barbara church in Colon.

The charges ultimately were dismissed, according to a report from the The Daily Reporter in Coldwater.

In the Diocese statement issued Friday, church officials say they are not aware of any additional complaints of sexual abuse against Fritz.

Fritz was ordained on May 23, 1975, in Lakeport and incardinated to the Diocese of Kalamazoo on November 24, 1981. He retired in October 2016 amid the embezzlement investigation.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

UPDATED: Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest David Fisher Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Stealing $450,000

busted

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 2017, David Fisher, former pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Owosso, Michigan was accused of stealing $450,000 from his parish. M Live reported:

A Catholic church in Shiawassee County is reeling after it was discovered the former pastor there is accused of stealing nearly $500,000.

The Rev. David Fisher was in charge of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Owosso for 23 years and retired to North Dakota in June 2015.

A new pastor was brought in and noticed some figures were off with the parish’s finances, according to Michael Diebold, director of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Lansing.

“They started seeing some anomalies,” Diebold said. “It became obvious real soon that there was something amiss.”

The Diocese contacted the Michigan State Police and it was recommended a forensic audit, Diebold said.

The audit revealed there was $450,000 missing, according to Diebold.

Fisher was arrested in North Dakota on suspicion of seven counts of embezzlement, Michigan State Police Detective/Sgt. Mark Pendergraff said.

The investigation into the suspected thefts can only go back six years due to the statute of limitations, according to Pendergraff.

Fisher was charged with a count of embezzlement of over $100,000 from a charitable organization and the other six counts of for alleged embezzlement of lesser amounts, Pendergraff said.

Church secretary Nancy DeFrenn also was arrested, according to Pendergraff. She is charged with a single count of embezzlement from a charitable organization of more than $1,000 but less than $20,000.

“We didn’t give out specifically what they were using the money for, but they converted it for personal use — things like paying bills and other things,” Pendergraff said.

Fisher is fighting extradition back to Michigan, according to Pendergraff. A hearing on the extradition is set for March 29.

In September 2017, Fisher was found guilty and sentenced to a minimum sentence of five years in prison.

The Lansing Journal reported:

A retired priest has been sentenced to at least five years in prison for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from a Michigan church.

The Rev. David Fisher was pastor for 23 years at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Owosso, 90 miles northwest of Detroit. He was sentenced Friday and ordered to repay $127,000.

Fisher retired in 2015 and moved to Grand Forks, North Dakota. He’ll be eligible for parole after five years in prison. His maximum sentence is 15 years in prison.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Bruce Gerencser