Tag Archive: Black Collar Crime

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Kevin Boyd Sr. Avoids Jail Time for Sex Crimes

pastor kevin boyd sr

Today, Kevin Boyd Sr., pastor of The Church at New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana, entered a no contest plea to reduced charges of ” obscenity and second-degree battery.” Boyd received no jail time and does not have to register as a sex offender.

Ken Daley, a reporter for the Times-Picayune, writes:

A New Orleans East pastor whose first trial on child molestation charges ended with a hung jury in 2015 closed his case Thursday (May 25) with a plea agreement that allowed him to avoid jail time.

Kevin Boyd Sr., the 47-year-old “presiding bishop” of The Church At New Orleans, had faced 5 to 10 years in prison had he been convicted as originally charged with molestation of a juvenile. A jury of three men and three women deadlocked on the charge after four hours of deliberations on Nov. 17, 2015.

Boyd was awaiting a new trial on two molestation counts, but through his defense attorneys Kerry Cuccia and Kimya Holmes accepted a plea agreement offered by District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office. Boyd entered a no contest plea, referencing Alford v. North Carolina, whereby a defendant in a criminal case does not admit to the criminal act and asserts innocence. Boyd entered the plea to the reduced charges of obscenity and second-degree battery.

“Mr. Boyd steadfastly maintains his innocence,” Cuccia said.

Boyd received a suspended five-year sentence on the battery count, a suspended three-year sentence on the obscenity count and five years of active, supervised probation.

Ad hoc Criminal District Judge Donald Johnson of Baton Rouge, sitting in for Judge Camille Buras, said the plea agreement also does not require Boyd to register as a sex offender.

One of the two men who accused Boyd of sexually assaulting them while they were members of his flock expressed disappointment with the plea agreement.

“I didn’t come this far to give him a slap on the wrist,” said the man, a Mississippi resident who testified against Boyd at his 2015 trial. “It’s a shame, your honor. I’m not going to sit up here and lie to you and say it don’t hurt.”

Authorities accused Boyd of sexually assaulting that member of his flock over a span of at least five years, starting in 1999 with the boy was about 12. A second accuser later emerged as well, but he was not in court Thursday and issued a brief statement professing to forgive his church leader.

The victim who was present told the judge of “being raped from the age 12 to age 23 by the hand of Kevin Boyd Sr.,” and said his life had been irreversibly affected. He said he lost his marriage of seven years, several friends and his spiritual community over the accusation against Boyd and the years of courtroom drama that followed. The pastor first was charged by the DA’s office in August 2012.

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“I’ve been called a liar for years,” the man said. “I’ve been told I’m being used by the devil by church members and preachers. The plea deal here is not enough for me. Every sin has its reward, that’s what we are taught as Christians. He committed not just a sin, but he committed a crime. But with no jail time? Kevin Boyd needs to sit down and feel the pain, the struggle, the hurt and the shame I’ve had to feel.

“But he’s able to go live his life and everybody still praises him. He preaches it, but he don’t live it. … Kevin Boyd doesn’t deserve today to go home and feel like he won.”

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Cameron Banks Arrested For Burning Down His Church

pastor cameron banks

Wednesday,Cameron Banks, pastor of The Abundant Faith Lighthouse of Jesus Christ in Conway, South Carolina,  was arrested and charged with burning down his church.

ABC-15 reports:

The leader of a Conway church was arrested Wednesday for intentionally burning down his church.

Cameron Julius Xavier Banks, 32, of Georgetown, is charged with obstructing justice, second degree arson, burning personal property to defraud insurer and making a false insurance claim to obtain benefits for fire or explosion loss.

….

The fire was determined to have been intentionally set, by means of an open flame and combustible material.

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Banks was the pastor of the church, but there had only been one church service held at the location in approximately 2 years.

Banks said that the church was being renovated and that he purchased the building from The Refuge at First Pentecostal Holiness Church for $328,400.

The pastor of The Refuge acted as the “bank” on the mortgage, according to the affidavit.

Banks was notified on May 25, 2016 that the lender was going to start foreclosure proceedings after Banks defaulted on his loan.

In early July 2016, Banks purchased an insurance policy for the church for $1.6 million.

On July 14, a church member reported to Conway police that an “unknown person” was supposedly sleeping in the church. The incident report states the report was made for insurance purposes, in the event of a fire.

On July 25, one day after the fire, a Conway police officer tried to reach Banks to get a statement about the fire and who had access to the church. Banks would not return any of the phone calls. Lionel Lofton, Banks’ attorney, later told the officer that Banks would not be meeting with police.

On Jan. 12, 2017, Lofton contacted the officer and said he had very important information regarding the fire. According to a report done by the attorney’s investigator, a woman claimed there were text messages between a dentist and an unknown person that showed the dentist offered to pay $10,000 to the unknown person to burn down the church.

When the officer investigated the claims and got a warrant for the dentist’s phone, there were no calls or text messages between him and the unknown person.

According to the affidavit, there were dozens of calls between the woman making the claims and Banks on two different cell phones.

Police say the entire claim was fabricated in an effort to cast the blame for the fire onto the dentist.

On March 1, 2017, police searched Banks’ home and cars. Computers, cell phones and several hundred documents were seized, including a “rough draft” of the investigative report provided to his attorney.

There were also notebooks where Banks had “written several dozen questions that would possible be asked by law enforcement during the course of an arson investigation.”

The woman admitted to police that she gave them false information regarding the text messages because she was in love with Banks.

Banks was arrested on May 24.

….

Banks is also known as Reggie Staggers, according to an affidavit with Banks’ arrest warrants.

Update

WMBF News reports:

A Georgetown pastor accused of burning down a Conway church last summer is now facing federal health care fraud charges.

According to a press release from U.S. Attorney Beth Drake, Cameron Banks, 32, was charged in a seven-count federal indictment connected to an alleged scheme to submit fraudulent loan applications for dental services.

The maximum penalty the suspect could receive for each count is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Francisco Moran Found Guilty of Sex Crimes

pastor francisco moran

In April of 2015, Francisco Moran, pastor of The Good Samaritan Church in Old Lyme, Connecticut, was arrested and charged with “sexually assaulting a juvenile and an adult female who were members of his church.” Today, Moran was found guilty on all counts.

The New Haven Register reports:

On Thursday, Francisco Moran, 59, of Clinton was found guilty of all charges following a criminal trial in which he was accused of sexual assault.

Moran, a Pastor with The Good Samaritan Church in Old Lyme was found guilty of second degree sexual assault, two counts of fourth degree sexual assault, three counts of risk of injury to a minor and two counts of coercion.

….

Upon reaching the guilty verdict, the court ordered Moran to forfeit his passport and he was remanded into custody of the Department of Corrections.

Moran is being held on $2 million bond and at this time a date for his sentencing is unknown.

 

Black Collar Crime: Former Youth Pastor Charlie Hamrick Charged With Forty Counts of Child Sex Abuse

charlie hamrick

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 April, Charlie Hamrick, a former youth pastor at Pine Forest United Methodist Church and high school football coach in Pensacola,Florida,  was arrested and charged with forty counts of child sexual abuse.

The Boston Herald reports:

A Florida high school assistant football coach and youth pastor, who has been charged with more than 40 counts of child sex abuse, may have abused more victims, authorities say.

“We have identified an additional eight victims,” Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan tells PEOPLE.

The new victim tally came about after the sheriff’s office held a press conference last week to announce the arrest of 54-year-old Charlie Mabern Hamrick, who is accused of molesting young boys as far back as 1997.

“Anytime he had contact or was in a position that could almost be looked at as a target rich environment for someone of that proclivity, we wanted to make sure our community knew,” says Morgan.

The abuse allegedly occurred while Hamrick worked as a karate instructor, an assistant football coach at Tate High School in Pensacola, and as a Sunday school teacher and youth pastor at two local churches.

“Those are perfect venues if you are of that mindset,” says Morgan. “It is a steady stream of victims. They don’t wear certain clothes and they don’t look a certain way. Pedophiles come in all shapes and sizes.”

Morgan says he is doubtful more charges will be filed because the statute of limitations has expired on the eight cases.

“We are interviewing those victims and taking their reports and sworn testimony and providing that to the state attorney even though they won’t be filed on to the best of my knowledge,” Morgan says.

One of the alleged victims is a member of the armed services. “He made a call and he is currently on active duty and he passed along to us his contact and what it amounted to,” Morgan says.

Morgan says investigators are also looking into allegations that Hamrick gave unlicensed physical exams to Tate High School football players.

….

Police began investigating Hamrick last fall after three victims came forward claiming he allegedly exposed himself and inappropriately touched them while they were riding four-wheelers on his property and fishing in his pond, according to the Pensacola News Journal.

Another victim told police that Hamrick abused him several times when he was between the ages of 8 and 11. The abuse allegedly occurred at Hamrick’s home when his family was there, but they were unaware of the abuse, the paper reports.

Hamrick was charged in March with 40 counts of child abuse including sexual assault on a victim younger than 12, providing obscene material to minors, lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim younger than 12, and lewd and lascivious behavior on a victim age 12 to 16.

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Prosecutors later dropped many of the charges against Hamrick, choosing to focus on the crimes that could result in life in prison for the defendant.

North Escambia reports:

Charlie Hamrick, 54,  was originally charged with over 40 criminal counts, but now faces 10 charges — six counts of sexual battery on a child under 12, one court of  giving obscene material to a minor and three counts of lewd and lascivious molestation. He remains in the Escambia County Jail without bond.

Thirty of the charges dropped by state were sexual battery on a child under 12 in a case that reaches back to 1997 when the alleged victim was as young as 8 years old. Six of the life felony charges in that case remain active.

“When spread over an extended period of time  sometimes it is hard to prove the exact specifics of each individual incident down to the what happened and exactly when,” Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille said, explaining why the charges spanning 1997 to 2000 were dropped.  “It is not unusual to limit the number of cases to cover all events.”

When law enforcement makes an arrest they do so on probably cause,” he said, “where we must prove each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.”

He said it can become more difficult as time passes for victims to remember specific events down to the time and place of each. Marcille stressed that eliminating such large number of charges in no way indicates that prosecutors do not believe they have a strong case against Hamrick.

“This does not mean that we believe there is a problem with any of the cases,” the assistant state attorney said.

If Hamrick is convicted on any one of the sexual battery on a child under 12 charges, he will face a required sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

….

Update

A November 28, 2017 Pensacola News Journal report states:

The alleged victim of former Tate High School assistant football coach Charlie Hamrick told a jury Tuesday that Hamrick began sexually abusing him as a child and that the abuse escalated over a period of years.

The victim, now 28, said Hamrick was a close family friend who abused him for years after the pair met at church. He said their two families grew so close he referred to Hamrick as his “uncle.”

Hamrick, 55, was arrested in March and charged with more than 40 counts of child sex offenses ranging from molestation to sexual assault over the course of 20 years from multiple victims. The state has since reduced some of those charges.

Some victims claimed Hamrick assaulted them through his work as a taekwondo instructor and others said he gave them unlicensed physicals while working at Tate High.

The trial that began Monday addresses one set of allegations pertaining to a then 8-year-old boy who said Hamrick touched him inappropriately during sleepovers and family trips from 1997 to about 2000.

Prosecutor Erin Ambrose told the jury during opening statements Tuesday morning that this case is built on secrets. She said the victim didn’t tell anyone the extent of what allegedly happened to him for 20 years because he thought what Hamrick did was not unusual.

The victim described instances in which Hamrick allegedly touched his genitals under a blanket while his wife and children were in the same room during sleepovers. He said other times Hamrick would move his own sleeping children from a pull-out couch in the playroom at his house to perform sex acts with the child.

The abuse ended when the victim was 11, he said, and his mom found him sitting on Hamrick’s lap on a boat at Pensacola Beach during a family trip and realized Hamrick was touching her son under his shorts.

“(She called my name) in a shriek that I still remember today,” the victim said.

The victim said he could tell she was angry and worried but he didn’t comprehend that the cause of that anger was the result of any action of his or Hamrick’s.

From then, the families stopped seeing each other outside of church. The parents told the victim what Hamrick had allegedly done was wrong, but they decided not to go to the police and instead prayed about it, thinking what happened at the beach was a one-time offense, Ambrose said. The victim testified that after his parents knew about the beach incident, he was scared and embarrassed so didn’t elaborate about what had allegedly happened to him in the years prior.

The victim said he didn’t interact with Hamrick again until about 2013 when he began volunteering with Tate High School. The victim said he took the position because he heard Hamrick was working on the coaching staff. He said he felt uncomfortable knowing Hamrick was around children as the freshman coach, and he thought his presence would remind Hamrick of the abuse and act as a deterrent.

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Hamrick was found guilty and sentenced to six life sentences.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor Benoni Enciso Charged With Sex Crimes — Twice

pastor benoni enciso

Benoni Enciso, youth pastor at Stutsmanville Chapel in Harbor Springs, Michigan, was charged in March 2017 with “six counts, including possession of child sexually abusive material, two counts of surveilling an unclothed person, two counts of using/installing an eavesdropping device, and using a computer to commit a crime.”

Justin Hicks, a writer for Mlive, reports:

A Northern Michigan man is facing felony charges after he was accused of recording two female teens showering at his Boyne City home.

Benoni Jonathan Enciso, 49, has been charged with six counts, including possession of child sexually abusive material, two counts of surveilling an unclothed person, two counts of using/installing an eavesdropping device, and using a computer to commit a crime.

He is being held at the Charlevoix County Jail on a $50,000 bond. He is due back in Charlevoix Circuit Court on March 17 for an arraignment, where he can enter a plea.

Enciso had a family come stay at his home for the weekend of February 18-19, according to Police Chief Jeff Gaither. He knew the family, having served as the teens’ youth pastor at Stutsmanville Chapel in Harbor Springs.

During the weekend stay, an 18-year-old female noticed a cell phone was recording her when she stepped out of the shower. Further investigation determined that the phone had also captured video of her 15-year-old sister, police said.

Gaither said the teens confronted the homeowner and learned he set up the phone to record. They then reported the incident to their parents, who notified police on Feb. 21.

Enciso was arrested later that day.

The Boyne City man was an administrator at the Harbor Springs church during the time of the incident. He has since been removed from the “Staff” section of the church’s website.

In a statement, the church said, “At the time of his hiring, Mr. Enciso was not listed on a sex offender registry, nor did he have a criminal record.

….

After pleading guilty to the aforementioned sex crimes, Enciso was arrested again and charged with similar crimes in another Michigan county.

Blayke Roznowski, a reporter for 9 and 10 News writes:

A former youth pastor who already admitted to child sex crimes in Charlevoix County was in court again for similar crimes in Emmet County.

9 & 10 News had the only camera in court as Benoni Enciso was arraigned on several charges for recording girls as they undressed when they stayed with him.

In Boyne City in February, a girl found an iPhone recording her in the bathroom when she visited her former youth pastor, and turned it into police.

Enciso pleaded guilty to those five child sex crime charges and is set to be sentenced next week in Charlevoix.

….

Wednesday in the Emmet County courtroom Judge James Erhart arraigned Benoni Enciso, also known as Jon, on more than 20 different child sex crime charges that includes both possessing and producing child sexually abusive material and using a computer to do so.

The court documents paint a disturbing picture.

“The Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office came across some other videos that they knew it didn’t happen in Charlevoix,” Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said.

That evidence was turned over to Emmet County in March.

They determined Enciso recorded four videos and made close to 150 images of four girls undressing at a Bay View home he was renting between July and September 2015.

“Apparently he was a friend and trusted and was familiar with the family,” Sheriff Wallin said. “It’s a serious violation and it was an invasion of privacy for both the victims and the families themselves.”

Court documents say the former youth coordinator of the Stutsmanville Chapel admitted to hiding an iPhone, taking video and enhancing the images for sexual purposes.

….

Update

Up North Live reports:

The former Emmet County youth pastor who was already sentenced to four years in prison was sentenced in a second county.

Benoni Enciso was sentenced Monday in Emmet County to 54 months to seven years on the four convictions of using a computer to commit a crime and two years to five years on the four convictions of capturing an image of an unclothed individual. The sentences for the computer crime will run consecutive to the sentences for capturing an image.

In Charlevoix County, Enciso was sentenced in May to up to four years in prison after admitting to taking videos of underage girls in the shower.

Enciso was the youth pastor at Stutsmanville Chapel in Harbor Springs.

Black Collar Crime: Lutheran Pastor Terry Herzberg Accused of Photographing Up Secretary’s Skirt

pastor terry herzberg

Terry Herzberg, pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Hackettstown, New Jersey, was charged today with “invasion of privacy and criminal attempt at invasion of privacy.” Gethsemane Lutheran is affiliated with the Missouri Synod — a Fundamentalist sect.

Peggy Wright, a staff writer for the Daily Record reports:

The former pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran Church was charged Thursday with invading the privacy of his secretary by secretly taking pictures and videos up her skirt while she was working.

After an 11-month investigation, town police on Thursday charged now-retired Rev. Terry Herzberg, 66, of Tannersville, Pa. with invasion of privacy and criminal attempt at invasion of privacy. Herzberg was charged after turning himself in at the Warren County courthouse in Belvidere, where he was expected to make a first appearance before a judge, according to a release from Hackettstown Sgt. Darren Tynan.

Herzberg is accused of attempting to photograph up the victim’s skirt while she was sitting at her desk between Nov. 5, 2013 and June 27 of last year. He also allegedly took videos up his secretary’s skirt on multiple occasions while she was sitting and standing, according to the release.

The alleged victim, whose identity is not being released by the Daily Record, first alerted police on June 27, 2016 that she had observed Herzberg – then the pastor at the church on E. Baldwin Street – taking photos of her intimate body parts while she was working.

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A search warrant was issued and electronics from the church and the reverend’s home were seized. While the investigation was pending, the victim, a Flanders resident, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court, Morristown in November 2016 against Herzberg and the church.

The lawsuit charges that the church violated the state’s Law Against Discrimination and that Herzberg’s conduct interfered with the secretary’s job performance and “created an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.”

The lawsuit said the woman left the job because she could not work in that environment.

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The victim’s lawsuit said she was hired in July 2010 to work as administrative assistant to Herzberg and the director of the church’s preschool, and that she often worked alone with Herzberg, who was her immediate supervisor and the highest-level employee of the church.

The lawsuit said that Herzberg routinely made sexually provocative comments about her appearance, clothing and weight and once gave her a card that said she was sexy.

In May 2016, the complaint said, Herzberg asked the woman to call up a document on her computer. He stood directly behind her and she noticed that he was holding an object over her head which he quickly stuffed into his pants pocket, the lawsuit said.

“When plaintiff returned her attention to the computer, she again perceived something above her, looked up and observed Herzberg taking photographs of her chest. Plaintiff became very upset and strongly objected to his behavior,” the lawsuit said.

On June 27 – the day the victim last worked at the church – she wore a skirt to work and while standing in her office felt Herzberg’s presence behind her. She turned, according to the lawsuit, and saw the pastor holding a camera and straightening himself up from behind her.

Moments later, the lawsuit said, Herzberg returned to the secretary’s office and she sensed his presence behind her. She turned around and spotted him holding a camera under her skirt taking pictures, the lawsuit said.

….

Working with police, the woman called the pastor and he allegedly admitted taking photographs underneath her skirt and doing the same to others, the lawsuit said.

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Jonathan Wehrle Charged With Embezzlement

jonathan wehrle

On Monday, Jonathan Wehrle, founding pastor of St. Martha Parish in Okemos, Michigan, was charged with embezzlement.

The Lansing State Journal reports:

An Okemos priest arrested Saturday on the 39th anniversary of his ordination was charged Monday afternoon with embezzlement from his church.

The Rev. Jonathan Wayne Wehrle, 66, was arrested Saturday at his home in Williamston. He was charged Monday with embezzlement of $100,000 or more in 55th District Court in Mason.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Magistrate Mark Blumer set bond at $5,000.

“I’ve known Father for almost 30 years, he’s not a thief and he is not an embezzler,” said Wehrle’s attorney, Lawrence Nolan. “This is a guy who dedicated his life to the Catholic Church.”

The Catholic Diocese of Lansing announced last week that Wehrle, the founding pastor of St. Martha Parish in Okemos, was placed on administrative leave May 9 during an investigation into “possible significant embezzlement” at the church.

A statement from the diocese said the possible embezzlement was uncovered by independent auditors and referred to police.

Detective First Lt. Thomas DeClercq, commander of the Michigan State Police 1st District special investigations section, said his unit has worked closely with the diocese to expedite imaging of computers so as not to interfere with school or administrative functions of the church.

DeClercq said the investigation into embezzlement at the church is ongoing and additional charges are anticipated.

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Today, The Lansing Journal reports that Jonathan Wehrle used $1.85 million to purchase and renovate his home. Beth LeBlanc writes:

Auditors believe an Okemos priest charged with embezzlement Monday spent about $1.85 million in parish funds on his home.

Check stubs and invoices indicate funds from St. Martha Parish in Okemos were spent on work and materials at Wehrle’s Noble Road home, according to testimony at a court hearing Monday.

The 10-acre Williamston property, according to county assessing records, includes an 11,345-square-foot home with a cash value of $1.48 million. The property also has three barns ranging from 1,792 to 2,304 square feet with a combined cash value of about $148,000.

Taxes on the property in 2016 were $25,106, according to county records.

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Black Collar Crime: The Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo Sex Abuse Scandal Continues

pastor mike holloway

Please read previous posts on this scandal: Black Collar Crime: Woman Claims Evangelical Pastor Mike Holloway Knew She Had Been Sexually Abused and Did Nothing and Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Mike Holloway Denies He Knew Anything About Woman’s Sex Abuse Claim and Black Collar Crime: Another Victim Comes Forward in Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo Sex Abuse Scandal

Today, The Kokomo Perspective released another episode in their ongoing coverage of the Temple Baptist Church sex scandal. Devin Zimmerman writes:

Donald Croddy first admitted to molesting his daughter, Dawn Price, in 1989 during a Department of Public Welfare child abuse investigation.

And, documents obtained by the Kokomo Perspective contradict claims by Temple Baptist Church leadership concerning whether Croddy admitted again to molesting his daughter in 1991.

In 1989 the Indiana Department of Public Welfare (the agency that would eventually become Child Protective Services) conducted an investigation at Temple Christian School. During that investigation, a 17-year-old Price admitted to a caseworker that she had been molested at a very young age by her father. In a subsequent interview with Croddy, he admitted to a caseworker that he had “fondled” his young daughter.

This information was obtained from a DPW 311 form, which Price had to procure because such documents are confidential. Price said she was shocked to learn that her father admitted to a caseworker he had molested her, and while she said certain aspects of the report weren’t accurate, she also expressed dismay at the fact that no further action ever came from the investigation.

“When I got it, it was sealed. I … opened it while I was driving and immediately saw, ‘Mr. Croddy admitted,’ and I had to pull over because I was shaking so hard and crying so hard,” said Price, who is now 45. “I couldn’t believe he admitted to it, and they did absolutely nothing. They didn’t even come back to talk to me again. They just let me go home with him. That just blows my mind. There was no follow up, no nothing … It was referred to the prosecutor and still nothing.”

According to the DPW 311 form, caseworkers conducted their investigation of alleged child abuse on Nov. 15, 1989, after receiving a referral in September of that year where it was alleged Price had been molested by her adopted father when she was approximately 3 to 4 years old. Price noted that this isn’t correct. She wasn’t certain who made the referral, and that information remains confidential.

As a result of the referral, a caseworker interviewed Price at Temple Christian School. In that interview, “Dawn admitted to the caseworker that indeed she had been molested at a very young age by her father. She stated at this point in time she feels that she could use some counselling to deal with some of the emotional issues that are currently present. She stated that she is no longer afraid of her dad and the abuse did not continue.”

By Price’s own admission, the portion about not being afraid of her father was a lie. According to her, Croddy was actually at the school when the interview took place.

“I was always afraid of my dad. I mean, I don’t know. I hate to admit it, but up until I started going to counseling a year-and-a-half ago, almost two years ago, I was still terrified of my dad,” said Price. “It was more of a petrified, don’t want to do anything. It was just instilled in me. He is going to lash out at you if you do anything wrong.

“At that point in time, which also blows my mind, he was there. So, anything I said, I didn’t know if they would tell him. Like I said before, I was in self-preservation mode. Don’t do anything that could cause me to get beat like Danny (Price’s brother). Like I said before, I didn’t even remember telling them that it happened. Reading that also kind of surprised me, that I actually told them.”

According to the DPW 311 form, “Mr. Croddy admitted to the allegations and stated that he had fondled his daughter approximately 10 years ago, but nothing has occurred since. Caseworker referred Mr. Croddy to counselling, stating that Dawn was requesting having someone to talk to.”

This, said Price, was inaccurate. She claimed that the alleged molestation had been more recent than her father stated and elevated to more than being “fondled.” While the form also indicated she would be referred to counseling, Price also noted she never received any aid.

“I was 17 (at the time of the interview), so he had stopped five years prior,” said Price. “So he doubled the years, first of all, and secondly, I think he, I don’t know, he was trying to make it as little as possible so he would get in trouble as less as possible. It says, ‘He admitted to the allegations and stated that he fondled his daughter.’ He did a hell of a lot more than that.

….

On April 19, Holloway penned a letter that was shared via Facebook. In that letter, he wrote, “In February 2017, Dawn posted a video to Facebook making additional accusations against her father, claiming Don had admitted his behavior to me during the 1991 meeting. This accusation is completely false and an attack on both the truth and my character. Given the allegations made in Dawn’s video, I sat down with Don and our church deacons for an in-depth discussion. After this discussion, I asked that he resign as a member of our church.”

However, the Kokomo Perspective recently was given a document that was compiled by the church. This document includes notes about allegations made against the church by Price, actions taken by the church, and other similar information.

Within the document is an account of the conflict prior to Price’s wedding in 1991, which appears to be compiled by information from Tami Breed, who is noted to be Temple Baptist Church’s secretary.

“Approximately, Aug. 19, 1991, prior to her scheduled wedding at TBC, Dawn informed her fiancé (Andrew Thornton) that Don had molested her as a kid,” read the document. “Andrew was very upset and possibly threatened to kill Don (not clear if a threat was verbalized). It was during this ‘blowup’ that Don admitted that he had molested Dawn as a child 14 years earlier (age 5). Following this confrontation, Dr. Holloway instructed Tami Breed to get him CLA’s (Christian Law Association) phone number, which she did. He then contacted CLA for advice on how to handle this information and was told to have Don removed from all ministries that involve children. That was done immediately. Additionally, Dr. Holloway informed Tami Breed to keep an eye out for any inappropriate behavior.”

….

Additionally, it was shown within the document that a meeting between Croddy, Holloway, and church deacons was scheduled after Price released a video in February detailing her accusations against her father.

The document reads, “Sunday, February 26 – Dr. Holloway met for one hour with deacons and Don Croddy and asked many questions; Don Croddy stated that 80% of accusations on the video were false but did admit to:

1 – ‘touchy-feely’ incident when Dawn was five (1975 – lasted for 3 mos.)

2 – had same experiences with 3 neighborhood girls (1985 – he used to bring them to church; they were 11-12 years of age)

3 – no molestations since then.”

According to the document, the meeting resulted in Croddy’s removal from the church.

You can read the entire article here.

Temple Baptist Church Abuse Survivors Facebook Page

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Kevin Grimes Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Sex Crimes

pastor kevin grimes

Kevin Grimes, pastor of DaySpring Assembly of God in Spencer, Iowa and director of the Spencer Dream Center — an unregulated ministry,  was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for having “sex with people he was counseling.”

The Des Moines Register reports:

A former pastor in northwest Iowa has been given five years in prison for having sex with people he was counseling.

Former DaySpring Assembly of God pastor Kevin Grimes was sentenced Monday in Clay County District Court.

He’d pleaded guilty to two felony and one misdemeanor count of sexual exploitation by a counselor.

Prosecutors dropped three other counts in exchange for Grimes’ pleas. The 52-year-old also must register as a sex offender.

Grimes had worked as chief executive officer of the Spencer Dream Center, which provides social services to the community. Prosecutors allege Grimes engaged in sexual conduct with some clients while providing mental health services to them.

Grimes was the subject of a Register Reader’s Watchdog investigation in May 2016 after Alex Jacobsen, a close friend, attempted suicide while participating in Grimes’ unregulated faith-based treatment program. Not long afterward, authorities confirmed Grimes was under criminal investigation, accused of sexually exploiting others he had counseled, and Grimes resigned.

In August 2016, Lee Rood, a writer for the Des Moines Register, reported:

Clay County authorities this week charged a pastor who started a controversial discipleship program in Spencer with five counts of felony sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist.

Kevin M. Grimes, 51, an Assembly of God minister, was the subject of a Register Reader’s Watchdog investigation in May after Alex Jacobsen, a close friend, attempted suicide while participating in Grimes’ unregulated faith-based treatment program. Not long afterward, authorities confirmed Grimes was under criminal investigation, accused of sexually exploiting others he had counseled, and Grimes resigned.

Jacobsen’s family brought the allegations to authorities’ attention.

Grimes has since been dismissed from the Assemblies of God church as a pastor, according to Tom Jacobs, district superintendent of the Iowa Ministry Network for the church.

“We’re just very saddened by all of these events,” Jacobs said. “We’re concerned for everybody involved in the situation and praying for everybody who’s affected.”

Grimes came to Spencer from California to pastor at DaySpring Assembly of God Church and started a new drug treatment program earlier this year at the nonprofit Spencer Dream Center, which he and local donors created downtown to help people in need.

….

Jacobsen’s family approached the Reader’s Watchdog, wondering why faith-based treatment programs are not subject to any regulation in Iowa.

The discipleship program Grimes started in January required that Jacobsen, who was 26 and suffered from mental illness, go off powerful mood-altering drugs before being admitted. Ten days later, after showing obvious signs of withdrawal, his family said, he attempted suicide with a box cutter he found in a hallway.

Paramedics said Jacobsen, a University of Iowa graduate, would have bled to death if he had not been found by Hanges shortly after.

Jacobsen’s family also questioned the relationship Grimes forged with the troubled young man and text messages Grimes sent to him. After the attempted suicide, the family made contact with others who said Grimes was sexually exploiting young men, and put them in touch with Iowa’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

….

In September 2016, Russ Mitchell, a writer for The Daily Reporter, reported:

A fourth person has come forward and an additional felony charge was filed Thursday night involving a former Spencer pastor accused of trying to sexually exploit vulnerable individuals under his care.

Kevin Grimes now faces four Class D felony counts and two aggravated misdemeanor counts of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist. Grimes was director of the Spencer Dream Center and pastor at DaySpring Assembly of God Church as allegations of inappropriate conduct began to surface.

Special Agent Trevor Modlin of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation initially said the 51-year-old “became a friend and counselor to three individuals with whom he developed sexual arousals stemming from his work as a counselor.” The agent also said Grimes followed a pattern of grooming the individuals “by initiating jokes and conversations, which were sexual in nature, providing photographs that were sexual in nature to two individuals and engaging in touching of one victim’s waistline, upper thigh and buttocks,” according to the initial criminal complaint.

“As a member of the clergy, senior pastor of the church and CEO of the Dream Center, he provided or purported to provide mental health services to emotionally dependent individuals which he knew or had reason to know were significantly impaired in the ability to withhold consent to sexual conduct,” Modlin said.

….

Update

A November 20, 2017 Dickinson County News report states:

Former Spencer pastor Kevin Grimes was granted an early release and left the Newton Correctional Facility on Monday morning, according to records officials at the Iowa Department of Corrections.

District Court Judge Don E. Courtney ordered the release Friday, after hearing from Clay County Attorney Kristi Busse and defense attorney Aaron Hamrock.

Grimes was originally sentenced to five years in prison on May 15. Previous time served and compliance incentives gave Grimes a tentative discharge date of Oct. 4, 2019, according to Iowa Department of Corrections records.

Courtney said he factored in Grimes’ family and financial circumstances as well as the pastor’s prior criminal record and social history when reconsidering the sentence.

“The court finds that the defendant’s term of incarceration shall be reconsidered and the defendant shall be immediately released from custody and placed on probation,” Courtney said, in an order sent to Newton on Friday. “All other provisions of the court’s May 15 judgement and sentence are to remain in full force and effect.”

….

One of the victims who testified at Grimes’ sentencing hearing expressed opposition to the former pastor’s release.

“Knowing him, he’s lying about being sorry,” he told Courtney in an a Nov. 3 victim impact note to the judge. “If he kept this going his whole life, you think he’s going to be sorry in four months? It would be irresponsible to allow him out at this time. He’s not sorry.”

Under Friday’s amended sentence, Grimes has five days to report to the probation office in Sheldon. He will have to register with the Iowa Sex Offender Registry and Courtney ordered Grimes to attend and complete a sex offender treatment program.

“That program may be completed in the state of Iowa or the state of California,” Courtney ruled.

….

 

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Church Daycare Worker Charged With Abuse

ashleigh guin

Ashleigh Guin, a worker at a daycare (Bethel Wee Care) operated by Bethel Baptist Church in Odenville, Alabama, was arrested last Wednesday and charged with abusing a child.

WIAT-42 reports:

A worker at a church daycare in Moody is charged with abusing a child, according to police.

The incident occurred May 3 at Bethel Baptist Church.

Ashleigh Brooke Guin, 25, was arrested by Moody Police Wednesday morning. Investigators said the 3-year-old girl’s mother called police after she saw bruises and scratches on her daughter.

Investigators looked at the child’s injuries and surveillance video from the church.

After discussions with the district attorney’s office, a warrant was issued for Guin’s arrest. Parents at the day care said a note was sent home Wednesday.

….

Moody Police told CBS 42 they received the video from the child’s family. Some parents wondered if the church would have even reported the incident to investigators.

The church’s pastor, Dr. Josh Burnham told CBS 42 that he could not make any comments. Burnham added that parents have been kept updated about the situation and that the church continues to cooperate with investigators.

….

CBS 42 sent a reporter to Guin’s house for her side of the story. A man at the door said he would have to discuss the request with a lawyer.

Parents and Police told CBS 42 that Guin had been fired, but the church’s pastor said he could not make any comments.

Guin is out of jail on bond.

WBRC reports:

A woman was arrested after video shows a daycare worker apparently grabbing a child by the arm and slinging her back down to the floor.

Her parents took a picture of the child’s arms showing bruises and marks. It all allegedly happened at a daycare housed in Bethel Baptist Church in Moody.

Video obtained by WBRC also shows the minutes leading up to the main incident, where the same daycare worker apparently led the child back to another part of the room by the arm. The girl appears to grab at it afterward.

“My clients assumed that the daycare facility that they put their children in would do no harm,” said Ezra Jordan, who represents the child’s family in any potential civil matters stemming from the encounter.  “My client will leave no stone unturned and they will do whatever it takes to make sure this happens to no other child.”

Police later arrested Ashleigh Brook Guin and charged her with willful abuse of a child. She’s since been released on a $2,500 bond.

Guin was unable to be reached for comment and it’s unclear if she has an attorney.

The video obtained by WBRC later shows the caregiver apparently saying something to a colleague. That woman then walks over to check on the girl.

According to a police report, the other woman in the video told officers Guin asked her to “look at the child’s arm.”  She also stated that it appeared to her, Guin grabbed the child with “more force than was necessary.”

….

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Douglas Richmond Charged With Sexual Assault

pastor douglas richmond

On Friday, Douglas Richmond, a pastor at Fox River Christian Church in Waukesha, Wisconsin, was charged with “sexual assault of a student by school staff.”

The Kenosha News reports:

Douglas A. Richmond, 41, of Burlington, was charged with sexual assault of a student by school staff in Kenosha County and in Racine County with sexual assault of a child by a person who works or volunteers with children. He is in custody in Racine County, held on $2,500 bond.

After his court appearance Friday afternoon, detectives in Racine County learned of another victim who said she had a sexual relationship with Richmond while he was a teacher at Indian Trail High School and Academy. Additional charges of sexual assault by a teacher are possible in Racine County for the second person who came forward.

….

According to the Kenosha criminal complaint, Richmond was a physics teacher at Tremper during the 2009-10 school year. A former student reported to Kenosha Police that she was a senior at Tremper that year and that while she was a student she and Richmond agreed to “meet up.” She told investigators that beginning in October 2009 she and Richmond met outside of school and began what she characterized as a consensual sexual relationship. She was 17 years old at the time.

The Kenosha County criminal complaint states that the former student told investigators that she and Richmond had sex at her home at least 20 times. The Racine County criminal complaint states that they also had sex at his mother’s home in Burlington.

The complaint also states that Richmond shared sexual photographs and videos of himself with the student.

According to the Kenosha County criminal complaint, the two continued to meet after she graduated from high school. The complaint states that the last time she saw Richmond was in 2012 or 2013.

A press release from the Racine County Sheriff’s Department states that the second person who came forward said some of the sexual encounters with Richmond happened in 2011 in Kenosha and at least one in Racine County.

The complaint states that Richmond denied to an investigator that he ever had a sexual relationship with a student.

His most recent employment was as a pastor at Fox River Christian Church in its music and IT departments.

 

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Daniel Nel Charged With Murder of His Three-Month-Old Son

pastor daniel nel

Daniel Nel, associate pastor of Rockyview Alliance Church in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, was charged Friday with murder of his three-month-old son.

Global News reports:

Police have charged a Calgary pastor in connection to the death of his three-month-old son back in 2015.

Cyrus Nel was found in medical distress in his family’s home in the 600 block of Taradale Drive N.E. at around 9 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31.

Emergency crews rushed the boy to hospital but he died a day later.

In a Friday news conference, Insp. Don Coleman said the child’s father, 31-year-old Daniel Nel, had been charged with second-degree murder following a lengthy investigation involving consultation with a number of pediatric specialists.

“In consultation with the Crown, we believe the threshold for second-degree murder has been met,” Coleman said.

Coleman said the evidence police had “didn’t support” a charge of first-degree murder.

“It takes time to put the information together. There’s some judicial constraints we’re faced with around things like R. vs. Jordan, so we try to make sure that the investigation is as complete as possible prior to charges [being laid].”

Nel worked as a pastor at the Rockyview Alliance Church, but was put on administrative leave after police announced in April they were treating Cyrus’ death as a homicide and the church district learned Nel had been brought in by police for questioning.

Western Canadian District (Alberta) of the Christian and Missionary Alliance spokesperson Doug Balzer said Nel’s licence to act as a minister was suspended as of Friday.

“On Friday, May 12, we learned that Dan had been charged with second-degree murder,” Balzer said in a statement.

“Because of this development and the gravity of the charge, Dan will no longer be able to perform ministry duties for the foreseeable future and therefore on May 12 we suspended his licence to act as a minister. We remain in prayer for all involved in this situation.”

….

Nel’s bio on the church’s website states:

Origninally [sic] from South Africa, Dan moved to Canada in 1997 and has lived in Alberta for the last 11 years.

Dan’s heart truly lies in his calling to create music for the church and to lead people in meaningful times of spirit filled worship. Dan has had the opportunity over the last few years to record an album and share his music in many settings. Dan loves being creative, spontaneous and loves inspiring people. When Dan is not at work you will find him spending time with his wife Leah and their small pony (very large dog) named Bruce (Brutis Maximus).

“It is my desire to serve God through music and to serve and disciple people in the community. The Gospel message and the great commision [sic] is everything, without it I would be lost.”

Dan has been on staff at Rockyview since August of 2013.