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Category: Black Collar Crime

Black Collar Crime: Midland Christian School Officials Accused of Failing to Report Sexual Assault

midland christian school

Four administrators and a coach at Midland Christian School in Midland, Texas, stand accused of failing to report the sexual assault of a student.

Julie Roy reports:

Four top administrators and a coach at one of Texas’ largest Christian K-12 schools have been arrested on charges they tried to hide a student’s alleged sexual assault from police.

The arrests are in connection with an alleged hazing incident in January at the 1,200-student Midland Christian School in Midland, Texas. The school is associated with Churches of Christ.

Charged with failure to report with intent to conceal neglect or abuse are Midland’s superintendent, principal, vice principal, athletic director and head baseball coach.

All have since bonded out of the Midland County Detention Center, local media reported. Police also arrested an unidentified minor.

The probable cause affidavit for Superintendent Jared Lee’s arrest states Midland police were told Jan. 28 that a student may have been sexually assaulted at the school after baseball practice on Jan. 20.

The alleged victim told police he was attacked with a baseball bat in the locker room in what was described as a “freshman initiation day.” At one point, the boy told police, he was flipped over onto his back and sexually assaulted with the bat, according to the affidavit.

Dana Ellis, principal of Midland Christian’s secondary school, told police the school learned about the assault the next day, the affidavit indicates. She told police that Superintendent Lee asked Athletic Director Greg McClendon and Vice Principal Matt Counts to investigate instead of calling law enforcement.

When police asked for the school’s documentation about the assault, Lee refused to provide it or answer questions, according to the police affidavit. Police allege that Lee and the other four — Ellis, McClendon, Counts and head baseball coach Barry Russell — “have continually attempted to conceal the incident or abuse from authorities.”

Police got a search warrant for documentation but found none, aside from some “notes” from McClendon and Counts, the affidavit indicates. Police also detailed several alleged failures of the school administration, including lack of forensic interviews or a rape kit.

Police also obtained emails between the five accused making it “very clear that a sexual assault had occurred, and the school had a duty to report,” according to the affidavit. Yet “several of the administrators refused to report the incident as shown in emails.”

….

Lee, a Midland Christian alum, has been the school’s superintendent since his father retired from the post in 2017. He has held several other positions there and was previously high school principal at Brentwood Christian School in Austin, Texas.

Ellis and Counts also graduated from Midland Christian and have been on staff for several years, according to the school’s website. McClendon has been at the school for more than 20 years.

Russell, who coached the Midland public high school team to the playoffs for 20 straight seasons, was hired as Midland Christian’s head baseball coach last summer.

When are Evangelical schools and churches going to learn that it is not their duty or responsibility to investigate sexual assault claims? Such investigations are the purview of law enforcement. Schools and churches have one obligation: report all accusations of sexual assault. End of discussion.

Midland’s statement of faith states:

WE BELIEVE that marriage is a permanent, exclusive, comprehensive, and conjugal “one flesh” union of one man and one woman, intrinsically ordered to procreation and biological family, and in furtherance of the moral, spiritual, and public good of binding father, mother and child. Genesis 1:27-28, Genesis 2:18-24, Matthew 19:4-9, Mark 10:5-9, Ephesians 5:31-33

WE BELIEVE that sexual acts outside of marriage are prohibited as sinful, including without limitation, adultery, fornication, incest, zoophilia, pornography, prostitution, masturbation, voyeurism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, sodomy, polygamy, polyamory, sologamy, or same-sex acts. Exodus 20:14, Leviticus 18:7-23, Leviticus 20:10-21, Deuteronomy 5:18, Matthew 15:19, Matthew 5:27-28, Romans 1:26-27, I Corinthians 6:9-13, I Thessalonians 4:3, Hebrews 13:4, Galations 5:19, Ephesians 4:17-19, Colossians 3:5

Evidently, sexual assault is not on the prohibited “sin” list.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Connect with me on social media:

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Kendal Kippen Accused of Child Rape

kendal kippen 2

Kendal Kippen, a youth pastor at Jake’s House Church in Arlington, Washington, stands accused of raping of a church teenager. Kippen’s father is the pastor of the church.

The Herald reports:

Kendal Kippen, 26, of Stanwood, worked at Jake’s House Church in 2017 and 2018, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. His father was the pastor.

Kippen, then 22, began “grooming” a 15-year-old girl who attended the church, the sheriff’s office reported. He would drive her home and talk to her via social media, according to a news release sent out Wednesday by the sheriff’s office.

“On multiple occasions, the suspect convinced the 15-year-old victim to sneak out of her residence, and the suspect picked her up and drove the victim to his residence in Stanwood,” the news release reads.

The youth pastor was arrested Tuesday and booked into the Snohomish County Jail in Everett. Hours later, he posted $30,000 bond.

Another young woman told The Daily Herald she was also a victim of Kippen’s abuse beginning in 2016. She said she also knew the youth pastor through Jake’s House. She was 17.

According to her, Kippen began talking with her on social media. At first, they were friends. But as time passed, Kippen started sending her sexually explicit messages. He sent her nude photos, too, she said.

The youth pastor touched the girl inappropriately at a church-sanctioned summer camp, she said. He did it again at church and at her home, she told The Daily Herald. She estimated it happened five times.

“He would always find ways to get me alone,” she said.

“He was my youth pastor, so I realized it was not OK,” she said. “We were learning about all this stuff at church — about purity, saving yourself for marriage. The person who was saying that at the pulpit was not doing it behind closed doors.”

The young woman said she was afraid to come forward about the abuse. Her dream at the time was to work at the church, she said, and Kippen told her she would never get to work there if anybody found out.

She believes other victims are out there — as do two other congregation members who spoke with The Herald on condition of anonymity.

“I would say I still believe in God,” the young woman said. “But there is a big part of me that doesn’t want to be a part of a church at all. I don’t want to be a part of something that’s hypocritical or hurts people.”

The youth pastor’s parents, Keith and Karmen Kippen, are lead pastors at Jake’s House.

One man, a former member of the church leadership, told The Herald that church elders formed a committee when they found out one of the victims was allegedly a child. The group made a plan, he said, to tell police about the allegations.

….

In November 2020, church leadership sent out an email to congregation members announcing Kendal Kippen had been “removed” from his position as youth pastor, as of August that year. He later resigned entirely from the church staff, according to the email.

“It had come to light that he was involved in sexual impropriety over the course of several years with multiple young women, both inside and outside the church,” the email read. “We referred this to law enforcement, which is now conducting an investigation, and have pledged our full cooperation. With that being said, we ask that you understand the necessity for confidentiality in the details of this matter.”

….

But in August 2021, the church’s lead pastor made plans to return at the end of the month. The unexpected turn prompted the entire apostolic team of church elders to step down: The resignation was announced at a worship service Aug. 1, 2021. Jake’s House reportedly lost over half of its congregation in the weeks that followed.

Keith Kippen did not return a Herald employee’s phone call Wednesday. Internet archives showed he and his wife were listed as lead pastors on the church’s website under a section titled “Leadership.” But that section was removed from the website sometime Wednesday.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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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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: Baptist Pastor Lee Wiegand Pleads Guilty to Sexually Abusing Teen Girl

pastor lee wiegand

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, Lee Wiegand, pastor of First Baptist Church in Canby, Oregon, was charged with sexually abusing a minor.

KOIN-6 reported at the time:

A Canby pastor is out of jail on bail after being arrested on charges of sex abuse involving a minor.

Lee Philip Wiegand is charged with 9 counts of 2nd-degree sex abuse for alleged crimes that happened in 2011-2012 involving a minor that he knew, according to Canby police.

Police said Wiegand was a pastor at First Baptist Church, which is affiliated with a school, but the alleged sex abuse is not related to the church or school.

In July 2018. Wiegand pleaded guilty to four of the original nine counts of sexual abuse as the result of a plea agreement. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail. That’s right . . . 30 days in jail. Wiegand should have served real jail time for his crimes, especially after it became clear that he likely abused several girls.

The Canby Herald reported:

On July 3, 2018, six years after the abuse of a minor female, Judge Michael Wetzel found Lee Wiegand guilty of four counts of sexual abuse in the second degree and dismissed the other five counts as agreed upon by District Attorney Scott Healy and Wiegand’s attorney Michael Clancy. Per the indictment, two of the counts were for sexual intercourse and the other two were for differing methods of sexual intercourse.

“This was a significantly negotiated case,” Healy said at the hearing.

Each of the counts carry a maximum penalty of five years’ incarceration, according to Wetzel, but Wiegand was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 36 months of formal probation, during which he must complete a sexual abuse package. The package dictates that Wiegand must not have contact with the victim or with any persons under the age of 18, he must complete sexual abuse treatment and register as a sex offender.

….

“He can’t be a part of working with children in any capacity—Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, at the zoo, things like that,” Healy said. “It includes Sunday School, your honor, too. I realize the defendant has been involved in the church significantly in his life, but I don’t think church is going to be part of his life anymore because there are kids there at the church, so certainly the probation officer will have conversations with him about that.”

The agreement comes after Wiegand received a psychosexual evaluation, deeming him “amenable to treatment.”

Following sentencing, Healy commented on the penalty.

“He is going to be now a convicted sex offender for the rest of his life, with four Class C felonies on his record that can never be expunged and, as a registered sex offender, his life will significantly change from this point forward,” Healy said. “If he does not do exactly what the probation officer asks throughout his three-year formal probation, certainly the probation can be extended. But if he violates for some reason, and his probation is revoked, he has as much as 86 months in prison hanging over his head…So, hopefully that will be a significant incentive for him to engage in offense-free behavior in the community once he is out of jail.”

During the hearing, Healy outlined the details of the abuse that occurred between January 2012 and June 2012 when the victim was 17 years old and Wiegand was 57-58 years old.

During her senior year, the victim was staying at Wiegand’s home and attending the small Christian school where Wiegand was the principal. Wiegand’s wife had just passed away and he was caring for his child, who has mental health issues. The victim had also recently lost a grandparent, so the relationship grew out of the two comforting one another.

“The victim described how touching started out as kind of just long hugs between the defendant and she,” Healy said, “and then fist bumps, to kind of holding hands and touching thighs, to then ultimately laying on top of her bed, to getting under the covers and then to full-blown sexual intercourse.”

The victim, who moved to Florida for college after her senior year, revealed in a statement to the court via phone that she remained quiet about the abuse because Wiegand had told her to not to tell.

“I spent my senior year being convinced that a sexual relationship with my principal and pastor, who I was living with as a boarding student, was a good thing,” the victim said. “Rather than finishing high school with great memories as I prepared to go to school in Florida, my senior year ended up being full of terrible memories that haunted me as I was manipulated and lied to by the defendant.

“I spent the last few months of my senior year having the defendant tell me, ‘Don’t tell anyone. They won’t understand our relationship,'” the victim continued. “I was told over and over again in words and in actions that this relationship was a good thing, but I was always told to not talk about it. As I graduated and moved on with my life and tried to adjust into my new normal, in the back of my head, all I could hear was the defendant saying, ‘Don’t tell anyone. They won’t understand.'”

….

Then in 2015, after Wiegand had remarried, he came to visit the victim when she was in the hospital; he sat on the end of her bed and put his hand on her foot, and that’s when she began to see how much his abuse had impacted her.

“That single touch flooded my mind with all of the traumatizing memories from my senior year of high school,” the victim said in her statement. “I felt so violated by that one single touch because it carried such a powerful reminder of what happened.”

Around that time, she told Bob Yoder that Wiegand had done things that made him unfit for the pulpit, but didn’t disclose any details.

Then in 2017, when Wiegand was accused by a separate victim, Yoder put two and two together, and he called the victim.

….

Healy told the court that he continued to pursue the case because he received letters from the community indicating that Wiegand was controlling, “handsy” with other members of the church and emotionally abusive. He also found that there may be a third victim of abuse occurring in the late 1980s to early 1990s. He said his detective has not been able to locate the victim in this case.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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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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: IFB Pastor Terry Compton Charged With Sex Crimes Against Children

pastor terry compton

Terry Compton, pastor of Faith Independent Missionary Baptist Church in Damascus, Virginia (no internet presence), has been charged with 12 counts of taking indecent liberties with children; 12 counts of aggravated sexual battery; three counts of forcible sodomy, and three counts of object sexual penetration.

Ministry Watch reports:

Terry Compton, 62, the current pastor of Faith Independent Missionary Baptist Church in Damascus, Virginia, was arrested and charged by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Compton is charged with 12 counts of taking indecent liberties with children; 12 counts of aggravated sexual battery; three counts of forcible sodomy and three counts of object sexual penetration.

The abuse allegedly started in 1995 and continued for 26 years.

Officials said that although the initial charges are based on assaults on three minors, multiple victims have come forward.

“The case is in, really, its infancy – he just got arrested last week,” Washington County Commonwealth Attorney Joshua Cumbow told WJHL-TV “This is a big case.”

Compton is being held at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail without bond.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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: IFB Pastor Artie Sturm Convicted of Statutory Rape

pastor artie sturm

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.

Artie Sturm, pastor of DaySpring Baptist Church (no web presence) in Newport, Tennessee, was arrested last week and charged with using his position of trust to rape a church teenager. DaySpring Baptist is affiliated with the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church movement.  Sturm was released after the judge reduced his bail from $150,000 to $50,000.

dayspring baptist church newport

According to 10-News:

The indictment said the victim was less than 18 years old, but at least 13 at the time of the incidents. 

Sturm was reportedly a pastor at DaySpring Baptist Church at the time, according to the Newport Daily Times.

According to the Cocke County Sheriff’s Department, Sturm worked at Farms Home Furniture at the time of his arrest on April 30, 2019. 

In the arrest report, the victim said her preacher had been sexually assaulting her since around December 2014 and that Sturm asked her for sexual favors when they were alone together on several occasions. 

Sturm had previously been arrested for solicitation of a person under the age of 18 for making contact with the victim and sending her inappropriate photos with his cell phone, according to the arrest report.

pastor artie sturm

According to Cocke County County records, Sturm pleaded guilty to three counts of statutory rape. As of this date, I have found no report on Sturm’s sentencing.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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 Youth Pastor Shannon Coutouzis Acquitted of Sexual Contact with a Child

shannon coutouzis

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 2019, Shannon Coutouzis, a youth pastor and administrative assistant at The Crossing Church of the Nazarene in Houston, Texas, was accused of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy. According to KHOU-11, Coutouszis’ bond has been set at $25,000.

Coutouzis’ church bio page states:

I was saved at the young age of four.  Ever since then, I remember having a conscious thought of doing right and wrong and living to glorify God. Then, when I got into the youth group, I began to learn the concept of having my own personal relationship with Christ. I learned about having a devotional and prayer life.  I grew a lot during this time. My teenage years were extremely influential. Through ministry and leadership opportunities, God revealed to me a love for His Church and a desire to teach teenagers how to live lives holy and pleasing to God.

When it comes to my call, it has been a gradual series of events. The first happening was probably when I was required to read The Cross and the Switchblade for a class in high school. This book was very powerful! David Wilkerson’s ministry to the gangs of New York touched me deeply. As I read about these things, I sensed God calling me to some sort of ministry.  After this experience and a few mission trips, I had affirmation of my call to ministry. Although I was not sure what aspect of ministry, I was prepared to do whatever God called me to do. So, I chose Biblical Studies. My desire is to be a help behind the scenes while teaching God’s Word. I will teach His Word by example and by using the knowledge and skills I have gained throughout my education. My passion for church work and knowing God’s Word has grown and I make every effort to further God’s Kingdom.

I believe Coutouzis’ father, Steve, is the pastor of The Crossing Church of the Nazarene.

On February 15, 2022, Coutouzis was acquitted of the charges against her. I found no report detailing why the jury acquitted Coutouzis.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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 Youth Pastor Lucas Jervis Charged with Sexual Assault

lucas jervis

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.

Lucas Jervis, a youth pastor at Avenue Road Baptist Church in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada stands accused of multiple counts of sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual interference.

Cambridge Today reports:

Hamilton Police have arrested and charged a 33-year-old Cambridge pastor with multiple counts of sexual assault, sexual exploitation and sexual interference after several victims came forward during a police investigation last month.

Police arrested Avenue Road Baptist Church youth pastor Lucas Jervis on Feb. 1, charging him with four counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual exploitation and sexual interference.

Hamilton Police opened an investigation after reports of sexual violence and sexual harassment surfaced on social media. 

In a press release last Friday, police said several victims came forward during the investigation.

….

On the church website, Jervis is listed as a team member who is currently on a “leave of absence.”

Sermon videos with Jervis in them have been removed from the church website and YouTube channel.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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 Youth Pastor Sean Masopust Accused of Sexually Abusing Church Teen

Sean Masopust

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.

Sean Masopust, a youth pastor for Northridge Church in Owatonna, Minnesota, stands accused of sexually abusing a church teenager. Astoundingly, the church “investigated” the accusation before reporting it to the police, sending Masopust to Kansas to “take some time off.” According to the victim’s mom, the church never told her about the incidents between Masopust and her child. Way to go, Northridge! Masopust is married to the daughter of the church’s pastor, Mark Perryman. Need I say more?

Bring Me The News reports:

A now-former youth pastor at an Owatonna church is accused of sending nude photos and sexually abusing a member of his youth group when she was 17. 

Sean Patrick Masopust, 32, of Owatonna, is charged with fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection to the incidents that occurred in 2018. 

The “inappropriate relationship” between Masopust, who was the youth pastor at Northridge Church in Owatonna, and the then-17-year-old girl was reported to police on Dec. 23, 2021, the Owatonna Police Department said

A member of the church’s regional counsel reported the incident to police after the church did its own investigation, which led to the church firing Masopust, the criminal complaint states. 

According to the criminal complaint, a member of the church’s regional counsel told police last December that Masopust had a texting and inappropriate relationship with the 17-year-old girl in 2018. 

The regional counsel member told police Masopust admitted to sending pictures of him in his underwear to the victim, and he has since been fired, charges state.

The victim was a member of Masopust’s and his wife’s youth group and she worked at the church’s daycare with Masopust’s mother-in-law, the complaint says. 

She told police from about June-October 2018, Masopust sent her inappropriate texts and Instagram messages, including nude photos and video of him masturbating. He also kissed her and touched her inappropriately on a few occasions, including at the church and at Masopust’s home after his wife hired her to babysit their children.

Masopust sent a message to the victim in October 2018 stating they couldn’t talk anymore because his wife had found the text messages, noting the church’s pastor had sent him to Kansas to “take some time off,” the charges said. The victim’s mom told police the church never told her about the incidents between Masopust and her child.

Masopust also texted the victim on her 18th birthday, welcoming her to adulthood and apologizing “for everything that happened.” He asked for her forgiveness, adding he almost lost his wife and family and he’s ashamed of what he did. 

“I’m always here and you are a big part of my wife and girls lives so I hope we can remain friends,” the text message said, according to the complaint. 

The victim told police said she looked up to Masopust for a long time, noting he was her pastor in elementary school, and it felt weird to tell him no, so she just let it happen, the complaint says.

The victim said she was active in the church until her high school graduation and became active again around November 2020 when she moved back to Owatonna. Around that time, Masopust’s wife asked her to be an adult youth leader. 

Masopust’s wife called the victim on Oct. 19, 2021, asking her to come to the church. She said she met with two men from the Minnesota Assemblies of God and shared her story. 

The Minnesota Assemblies of God (Northridge Church is part of the Assemblies of God) shared its finding of fact with police on Jan. 24, with the documents noting Masopust had sent pictures to the victim and admitted to a “flirtatious” text message thread, as well as having “hand contact” with her with the intent of having sex with her, the complaint states. 

The Roys Report’s extensive coverage of this story adds:

Sean Masopust was fired this past fall, former board member Pat McCauley and other former church members say, and he’s no longer listed on the church website.

Calls to Northridge seeking information about Masopust and his employment status were not returned.

Masopust’s wife, youth pastor Felicia Masopust, was also accused of sexual abuse in a letter sent this month by the parents of a youth group member. In the letter, which was obtained by The Roys Report, the parents state their son received a sexually explicit text from Felicia in 2019.

Kayla Mollenhauer and other former youth group members say Felicia Masopust also failed to take concerns seriously when girls told her certain men in the church made them uncomfortable. They also accuse her of manipulating them and creating a cult-like atmosphere in which they were expected to tell her everything about their private lives.

Former church members including McCauley and his daughter-in-law, Shelley McCauley, say Felicia Masopust resigned from the church in January. However, the church hasn’t made any announcement regarding Felicia Masopust’s employment, and she remains listed on the church’s website.

The Roys Report reached out to Northridge Church for clarification about Felicia Masopust’s employment, but received no response.

The Roys Report also contacted the Minnesota District of the Assemblies of God to ask about Northridge and Sean and Felicia Masopust. Mark Dean, the district superintendent, said “the accusations have been investigated.”

“We have forwarded our findings to the Owatonna Police, as well as to the General Council of the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Mo.,” Dean wrote in an email. “We have no additional comment to make.”

The McCauleys and Amber Will, a former adult leader in the youth group, allege Perryman failed to notify church board members or to investigate fully when he first learned in 2018 that his son-in-law was accused of flirtatiously texting with the teen.

When Sean Masopust left the church staff, the church was told only that Masopust had committed “conduct unbecoming of a pastor,” said Shelley McCauley, another former youth group volunteer.

“The congregation has no idea why Sean was fired, why Felicia resigned,” she added.

Now the McCauleys, Will, and others, including the young woman who says she was assaulted, say they’ve been ostracized by the church.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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.

Connect with me on social media:

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: Church Volunteer Ryan Wolstoncroft Accused of Sexually Assaulting 11-Year-Old Boy

ryan wolstoncroft

Ryan Wolstoncroft, a volunteer and lifelong member at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, stands accused of repeatedly assaulting an 11-year-old boy.

WTAE-4 reports:

Ryan Wolstoncroft, 36, has been charged with sexually assaulting an 11-year-old boy in his Washington County home daily, from February 2020 to November 2021.

According to the criminal complaint, Wolstoncroft would purchase the boy V-bucks, an in-game currency, for his Fortnite video game, in order to continue the abuse.

According to the South Fayette Township police, they are investigating similar crimes against Wolstoncroft, from decades earlier.

South Fayette police Chief John Phoennik said that two adult men have accused Wolstoncroft of abusing them 20 years ago, when they were in elementary school and Wolstoncroft was a teenager.

Phoennik said his department is meeting with the Allegheny County district attorney next week, to determine what charges will be filed.

Wolstoncroft had been volunteering with Bethany Presbyterian Church, in Bridgeville, while police said the crimes occurred.

Staff at the church confirm Wolstoncroft has been a member of their congregation his whole life.

The church released the following statement:

Bethany Presbyterian Church is devastated by the news, and we are fully cooperating with the authorities. Our Pastors, Staff and Leadership ask that you share in our prayers and support for the families and friends of all involved. Bethany Presbyterian Church is focused on being a place of healing and reconciliation for our congregation and the entire community.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

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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Bruce Gerencser