Tag Archive: Child Abuse

Black Collar Crime: Baptist Pastor John Yelton Charged With Child Abuse

pastor john yelton

John Yelton, a Baptist pastor and traveling preacher, was arrested earlier this year and charged with child abuse. Yelton did not appear for his court appearance and was on the lam for months until he was apprehended this week in Panama City, Florida.

Earlier this year, a WSOC-9 report stated:

A Charlotte-area pastor is accused of using his work as a preacher to target vulnerable women and abuse them.

Investigative reporter Paul Boyd found seven women who said there’s another side to John Yelton.

YouTube videos of the preacher showed he is very energetic behind the pulpit, and Channel 9 confirmed that he spent time at a church in Gastonia, formerly known as Canaan Land Baptist Church.

Yelton said he’s traveled throughout North Carolina, preaching “the word of God.”

But April Justice and the other women said this preacher is actually a predator.

“It was a nightmare,” Justice said.

Justice said she was approached by Yelton on Facebook a year ago. She said his page had photos showing he was an ordained pastor.

“He says, ‘I’m a pastor,’ and I was, like, OK. And he said, ‘How would you feel like being a pastor’s wife?'” Justice said.

Justice believes he used his preaching background to earn her trust.

“It made me trust him a lot more than it would an average guy,” Justice said.

They married three months later.

“He asked me to marry him at the Bible book store in Hickory,” Justice said.

The wedding in rural North Carolina was picture perfect.

Justice thought Yelton was an answer to her prayers, but three weeks after the wedding,she said his “true colors” started to show.

She said he abused her verbally and physically. A few months later, she said she walked in on him hitting her 9-year-old daughter.

“Hit her. Kicked her. She had bruises on her arms, legs, face and everything,” Justice said.

April called police and said she took these photos of the bruising.

Yelton was arrested and charged with child abuse, false imprisonment and communicating threats.

Justice obtained a protective order and quickly discovered other women through social media who told similar stories about the pastor.

“I thought it was my fault. Until I found out he’d done it to all of them, and then I was, like, wow. This guy’s a monster,’” Justice said.

A Whistleblower 9 investigation connected seven different women to Yelton, including another ex-wife. All of the women said he told them that they would make a great preacher’s wife.

Sarah Hopper said she became involved with Yelton more than a decade ago when she was only 17 years old.

“I was young, and I was stupid,” Hopper said.

They met through the former Canaan Land Baptist Church in Gastonia. She said Yelton was involved with the church’s youth group at the time.

“When you get with him, it’s like the devil’s come out, and you can’t get away,” Hopper said.

She said they moved in together when she turned 18. Yelton is 6 years older.

“As he got drunk, the violence started,” Hopper said.

She said the abuse continued when she became pregnant.

She said she finally left him a few years after giving birth to their daughter and has full custody of the child.

“He’s not a preacher. Preacher’s don’t act like this,” Hopper said.

Boyd tracked Yelton down the day of a child abuse hearing in Catawba County.

He denied using his preaching background to pick up women and take advantage of them.

“God knows I didn’t. That’s the only person I have to answer to is God,” Yelton said.

….

Today, the Panama City News Herald reports:

A former North Carolina pastor on the run from child abuse charges for months has been tracked down in Panama City by his bondsman, according to official reports.

John Yelton, 36, faces charges of child abuse, false imprisonment and communicating threats after his arrest. He is accused of using his position as a North Carolina preacher to target women and then abuse them, officials reported.

Bay County court records also indicate Yelton pleaded no contest in July to a local domestic battery charge and was sentenced to a year of probation.

….

Yelton denied all of the charges but left town shortly after, skipping out on $6,500 bond. After learning of his disappearance, a bail bondsman tracked Yelton to Panama City, where he was working at a local manufacturing job. The bail bondsman took Yelton into custody and transported him back to North Carolina.

Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Daniel McCormack Still Considered a Violent Sex Offender, Refused Release

daniel mccormack

Last week, Judge Dennis Porter ruled that convicted sex offender and Catholic priest Daniel McCormack is still a sexually violent person and should not be released from Illinois Department of Human Services SVP Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville, Illinois.

Chicago-5 reported:

Daniel McCormack, a former priest convicted of molesting children in his Chicago parish, was deemed to still be a sexually violent person by a Cook County judge and will be held indefinitely.

The decision came down on Friday afternoon from Judge Dennis Porter, and means that McCormack will remain at the Illinois Department of Human Services SVP Treatment and Detention Facility in Rushville, IL.

“Daniel McCormack has a history of repeated sexual abuse against children that was especially heinous given his status as a priest,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. “I appreciate Judge Porter’s decision that prevents Daniel McCormack from potentially harming other children.”

McCormack will remain in the facility until at least Nov. 27 when a dispositional hearing will take place.

McCormack has been held in mental health facilities since 2009, when he was released from prison after serving a five-year sentence for sexually abusing five boys while he was serving as a pastor at St. Agatha’s Church, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

McCormack, who has been accused of abusing dozens of young boys in civil lawsuits, was seeking to be released from a facility dedicated to housing and treating sexually violent offenders.

Raymond Wood, an expert on statistical evaluations on the likelihood that sex offenders will repeat their crimes, testified Thursday that “actuarial models” suggested that McCormack would be a “minimal risk” to abuse children if he were released from the facility.

“My wife complains that I’ll say as I read [files] ‘This is a really bad guy,’” Wood said. “But as a professional, I want to be engaging in the best professional standard that I can.”

Wood took the stand a day after a psychiatrist had testified for the prosecution, stating that McCormack was likely to victimize other children if released without court-ordered supervision, citing a long history of McCormack groping younger men and boys dating back to before his ordination and continuing even after he was arrested in 2005.

Assistant Attorney General Joelle Marasco questioned whether Wood had factored in the large number of victims, and the fact the priest continued to molest multiple boys even though he’d been confronted by parents, then arrested, and told by supervisors that he was not to have contact with children or even continue his work as a teacher and basketball coach.

Wood was the third person to evaluate McCormack’s risk factors for harming more children, though the ex-priest has refused to answer questions citing pending civil and criminal cases against him, leaving his evaluators with only reports from Chicago Police investigations and an internal review by the Chicago archdiocese.

Before he was charged criminally, McCormack was sent by the church to a mental hospital for sex offenders in Maryland, where he denied being sexually attracted to children.

….

 

 

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Rose Amadasun Gets Probation for Beating Church Children With a Belt and Wires

rose amadasun

Rose Amadasun, pastor of Shine Forth Evangelistic Ministry (no web presence) in London, England, received probation for beating church children with a belt and wires.

The Croydon Guardian reports:

A South Norwood pastor who would blindfold children before hitting them with belts and wires has avoided jail.

Rose Amadasun, 49, of Beauchamp Road, was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months at Croydon Crown Court on August 9.

She had admitted five counts of child cruelty at a previous hearing.

On Saturday, August 2, 2015 police were called by the manager of South Norwood Leisure Centre stating that two members of the public had informed her they had witnessed the female leader of a church group hitting children with a belt.

Officers spoke to the members of the public who stated they had seen a group of children being assaulted by a woman with a belt and shouting “Jesus” as she did so.

An investigation by detectives from the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences Command revealed that Amadasun had been abusing children she came into contact with through her work for a number of years.

As well as blindfolding the children and beating them, she was found to also shake them when they made a noise and force them to fast for a number of days at a time.

….

Detective Constable Giles Weeden, the investigating officer, said: “This was a complex enquiry that was often met with resistance as the congregation closed ranks to protect their religious leader.

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Black Collar Crime: Catholic Priest Felix Colosimo and Syracuse Diocese Sued Over Sexual Abuse Claims

felix colosimo

Greg Mason, a reporter for the Observer-Dispatch, writes:

A former Utica-area priest and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse each are facing a $25 million lawsuit from a man who claims the priest sexually abused him as a child.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in Connecticut by California man Matthew Strzepak, accuses former priest Felix Colosimo of molesting Strzepak from 1987 to 1990. Strzepak was between 12 to 15 years old when the acts reportedly were committed, according to the lawsuit.

In a statement Friday, the diocese revealed it had stripped Colosimo, who was retired by then, of his priestly duties in 2014 when it found Strzepak’s accusation credible. The diocese stated the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office was informed of the allegation.

Colosimo served locally in the past at St. Peter’s Church in North Utica, St. Leo’s Church in Holland Patent, St. Anthony of Padua Church in East Utica and Our Lady of the Rosary in New Hartford. Now age 78, Colosimo said he retired as a priest at Our Lady of the Rosary three years ago for reasons unrelated to the abuse allegations, according to a Syracuse.com report.

When reached Saturday, Colosimo declined to comment in detail about the allegations against him.

“Again, same what I said from the very beginning, it’s not true,” he said. “The allegations are false.”

Strzepak told Syracuse.com that the abuse began in 1978 or 1979 when he was 4 years old, but New York state’s statute of limitations expired for those claims.

….

Strzepak told Syracuse.com that most of the abuse occurred in the rectory of St. Leo’s Church in Holland Patent, while some occurred at St. Peter’s Church. According to the report, Colosimo threatened Strzepak with violence if he told anyone.

The lawsuit indicates the abuse occurred in various locations in the Northeast, including Connecticut.

Colosimo raped the 12-year-old Strzepak in Connecticut in the fall of 1987, according to the lawsuit. Strzepak alleges the abuse continued until 1990, while he claims another individual — called John Doe in the court papers — also was sexually abused.

This abuse often would occur with Strzepak and Doe at the same time, with many interactions videotaped, according to the lawsuit. Doe is stated to have committed suicide sometime thereafter.

In his lawsuit, Strzepak claims he suffered serious and permanent injuries, both physical and emotional, that were exacerbated “by lack of timely treatment.” He stated this includes panic attacks, emotional distress, anxiety, frustration, disassociation, post-traumatic stress disorder and permanent psychological scarring.

In addition to the $25 million being sought from both Colosimo and the diocese, Strzepak is seeking special damages for medical expenses, past and future lost wages and other costs, according to the lawsuit.

Strzepak submitted his allegations to the diocese in writing in 2013, noting that the allegations were found credible a year later, according to the lawsuit.

In March 2016, the diocese reportedly agreed to pay for six counseling sessions for Strzepak in return for all of the treatment notes and records from his counselor. Whereas the lawsuit states counseling notes are used for insight by the diocese regarding potential legal liabilities, Strzepak indicated in the court papers that he also submitted a video recording — one depicting him and Doe shirtless — to the diocese in 2014, but the diocese has not turned over the video to law enforcement and the video’s whereabouts are unknown.

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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 Torace Weaver Murders Foster Son, Thinks He is the Victim

pastor torace weaver

Last Friday, Torace Weaver, pastor of King of Glory Ministries Church in Dayton, Ohio, was sentenced to eighteen years to life for the murder of his two-year-old foster son.

WHIO-7 reports:

A Dayton pastor and his wife were ordered to prison Friday for the murder and abuse of their 2-year-old foster son, Stanley Thomas III, who died Nov. 18, 2015.

Torace Weaver, 38, was sentenced to 18 years to life for the murder and endangerment of Thomas. He was awarded with 253 days of jail-time credit.

Shureka Weaver, 40, was sentenced to three years in prison for child endangerment. She earned 18 days of jail-time credit.

Both were found guilty last month by a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury. A packed courtroom gallery watched Friday’s hearing.

Reading from the pre-sentence investigation report, Judge Mary Katherine Huffman said: “When asked about the victim’s family, Mr. Weaver said, ‘I am the victim,’ ” the judge said. “That is very disturbing to me, sir, that you categorize yourself as a victim in this matter.”

Huffman said the stories Torace Weaver told to police on video were “preposterous” and at no time did they explain the 20 separate blows to Stanley’s head of the serious burns to the boy’s arm and backside.

“This incident wasn’t intentional,” Torace Weaver said, apologizing to his church, family, Dayton police and Montgomery County Children Services. “Looking back up on the burns, yes, I should have taken him to the hospital. … And I’m just saying I’m sorry.”

Prosecutors said the foster child suffered a fractured skull, bruises, scars and burns. Initially, Weaver told police the boy fell off a table. Later, he said they had been playing “Superman” when the 2-year-old slipped and hit his head against a concrete wall.

….

“The case itself was heart-wrenching. It was a very difficult case,” said Anthony VanNoy, Torace Weaver’s attorney. “Your dealing with the most fragile of life — a 2-year-old child — and a person who has helped so many people in his capacity as a pastor.”

King of Glory’s website still lists Weaver as their pastor. His bio is as follows:

Pastor Torace Weaver was born October 19, 1978 in Hattiesburg, MS to Tonnie and Brenda Floyd. He is the only son lovingly surounded by four sisters. Of 40 grandchildren, he is the oldest grandchil of Mother Lizzie (Weaver) Hall.
At the age of five (5), Pastor Weaver was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. At that time, he was a member of New Life Apostolic Church, in Hattiesburg. His move for the Lord drew his mother and sisters to church. He displayed the ability to lead others to Christ as just a small child.
In 1984, Pastor Weaver became a member of Magee Temple COGIC, also in Hattiesburg. While there, he received teaching and training for ministry under the auspices of the late Superintendent A.R. Magee. He was also a member of the praise team, choir and usher board. Pastor Weaver has always has a love for serving in the church.

Pastor Weaver, in 1997, moved to Dayton, Oh. As a member of Mt. Zion COGIC, he was under the leadership of Supt. Carl B. Norton. He served a choir director, praise team leader and youth pastor while attending Deliverance Temple Ministries inc., where Apostle Shelia Morrow served as pastor. He was an humble servant and also served on the usher and missions boards.
On February 21, 2008, God allowed Pastor Weaver to birth King of Glory Ministries Inc. For several months, Pastor Weaver and his daughter would be the only two in the building having church service as if there were hundreds of others members there in attendance with them. With a substantial membership today, Pastor Weaver continues to open the doors for Sunday morning worship, as well as Thursday evening services. He believes in living by faith and preached to empty chairs believing God would bring the people and He has done just that with room for many more.

Pastor Weaver was ordained an Elder and Pastor on February 8, 2009. King of Glory COGIC Ministries is one of many churches in the Cornerstone District, (Superintendent Louis Bradford). The district serves as proud members of the Ohio Northwest Jurisdiction under the leadership of Bishop Clifford L. Kimbrough Jr., Prelate. Pastor Weaver now serves as Chairman of the Cornerstone District.

An anointed man of God, Pastor Weaver’s mission is to win souls to Christ, set the captive free from the clinches of hell, to mend broken hearts and to help individuals become delivered from oppression. He strives to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. In six years of ministry, Pastor Weaver happily leads over 200 members. He knows who made it all possible and of this, he says, “To God be the Glory.

Pastor Weaver attended Dayton Job Corp. and Sinclair Community College. He studied nursing and has been at Kettering Medical hospital serving as a Orthopedic Tech for the past 15 years. He is married to his first love, Shureka (NaTisha) Johnson-Weaver. He is the father of two children, Gabriella Weaver and his son, Torace Weaver Jr. (T.J.).

His expectation for his family, church and community is to grow higher and delve deeper in the Lord.

I suspect Weaver’s “expectations” have dramatically changed since he was found guilty and sentenced to eighteen years to life in prison.

Black Collar Crime: Another Victim Comes Forward in Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo Sex Abuse Scandal

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.

Another victim has come forward in the ongoing Temple Baptist Church of Kokomo, Indiana sexual abuse scandal.

The Kokomo Perspective reports:

Another woman alleging she was molested by Donald Croddy stepped forward last week. She claims she was encouraged to stay at the Croddy household by Temple Baptist Church Pastor Mike Holloway post 1991.

Jamie, allowing the Perspective to publish her first name, spoke last week after she said she read the account of Dawn Price, who previously alleged she was molested by her father, Donald D. Croddy, at a young age. According to Jamie, now 36 years old and a Kokomo resident, reading Price’s story brought back memories of her own alleged run in with Croddy.

“I saw Don Croddy’s name,” said Jamie. “Everything just kind of hit me. From 1992 to 1994 I was staying at his house on the weekends because the Holloways and (the Croddys) and my mom thought, because I wanted to be a member of the church, they just thought that would be a good way because I would need to be attending church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday afternoon, and any other time they requested me to be there … The Croddys were generous enough to do it. My mom was OK with it because they were a nice church family.”

According to Jamie, while staying with the Croddys off and on for that two-year period, she was allowed to sleep in a small room on the main floor of the Croddy household. She described details about the room – such as its hardwood floor, off-white color, twin bed, and location within the house – in a manner that matched a separate description by Price. It’s these details that Price said struck her, as the pair had not met prior to last week, while Jamie was making a report at the Kokomo Police Department.

….

Jamie said that while she was staying with the Croddys, Price’s father made inappropriate advances on her. This, she said, included forced touching.

“He would forcibly hug me. He would like grab me, and hug me, and smoosh my chest into him,” said Jamie. “He would then lower his hand onto my thigh and butt and not let me go.”

Jamie also alleges Croddy would attempt to walk in on her as she changed at their house.

The situation, Jamie claimed, reached a head when she awoke one night with Price’s father allegedly in the twin bed she slept in at the Croddy household on Judson Road.

“He came in there in the middle of the night,” said Jamie. “I wore nightgowns, you know really long ones that had the buttons. I woke up with his hand in my shirt … and I screamed. He told his wife I just had a nightmare.”

It’s at that point, she said, she requested to meet with Holloway. At the time, she said she would have been between the ages of 12 and 14. According to Jamie, she said she told Holloway and his wife about what allegedly was  going on at the Croddy household.

“I felt uncomfortable. I talked to Mike Holloway and his wife because you were never allowed to talk with him alone [the Billy Graham rule],” said Jamie. “That was just the rule of church. You weren’t supposed to be with boys alone. Matter of fact, you had to sit a Bible length away in a pew from a boy.

“I told them about some of these things because there were also times (Croddy) would open the door when he knew I was getting undressed. I was pretty much told I wasn’t being a good enough Christian.”

Afterward, Jamie said she never told anyone about her experiences, including her then-single mother. After riding the church’s buses to services since 1985, beginning at the age of 5, Jamie said she stopped attending Temple Baptist Church.

….

When asked about Jamie’s experience, the leadership of Temple Baptist Church denied the allegation. Because of Jamie’s decision to withhold her last name, the Perspective could not provide a last name to the church because of the nature of her alleged ordeal.

“Without a last name, we cannot provide facts pertaining to a certain member of the church and what interactions this individual may or may not have had with Pastor Holloway,” said Jim Willoughby, an associate pastor at Temple Baptist Church.

“However, the church can state with absolute certainty that Pastor Holloway never encouraged any children to stay at the Croddy home after accusations made by Price in 1991. Additionally, if any church member – child or adult – were to come to the church and claim inappropriate behavior against them, the claim would receive immediate and thorough review by church leadership, including Pastor Holloway. Temple Baptist Church does not and has never tolerated sexual abuse.”

….

You can read the Devin Zimmerman’s latest in depth article here.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Leader Benjamin Tweedt Charged With Sex Crimes

benjamin tweedt

Benjamin Tweedt, a youth leader for Parkview Church in Iowa City, Iowa was arrested yesterday and charged with “one count of sexual abuse third degree, two counts of lascivious acts with a child, three counts of indecent contact with a child, and two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.”

ABC-9 reports:

32-year-old Benjamin Craig Tweedt, of North Liberty is charged with one count of sexual abuse third degree, two counts of lascivious acts with a child, three counts of indecent contact with a child, and two counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.

According to police, it is alleged that Tweedt had multiple one-on-one sessions as a youth church leader with four victims over 10 years. Some of the sessions occurred on church retreats or in victims’ bedrooms. Parkview Church removed Tweedt from their student ministry as soon as they were aware of the situation.

“We’re grieving for the families of the victims that have been involved in this situation” said Doug Schillinger, the lead pastor at Parkview Church.

Schillinger said he wants the truth to be exposed, justice carried out and compassion extended to the victims and their families. Church leaders told the congregation what happened, who was responsible and what they were doing about it. The lead pastor said when he first heard of the abuse, he was shocked because it does not reflect their values or policies at all.

“Again, of the hundreds of volunteers in our school districts, teachers that do it right, that even in spite of good policies there’s one that could go off and it’s very troubling to me” said Schillinger.

Coralville and North Liberty Police have been working together on the case. So far, there’s no evidence to suggest that other people knew the abuse was happening. North Liberty Police Chief Diane Venenga said the victims were very brave to come forward.

Parkview Church released the following statement:

In early February we were made aware of incidents that occurred involving a volunteer in the junior high ministries prior to 2012 and immediately contacted state and local authorities. We also notified the church community about the situation. Parkview has cooperated with law enforcement and will continue to do so, and we ask that any questions be directed toward these authorities. Our desire is to see truth exposed, justice executed, and compassion expressed to those who have been impacted. We care deeply for students and families in our community. We ask that you respect the privacy of all who are involved at this time. Thank you.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Juan Gomez Convicted of Sexual Battery

pastor juan gomez

Juan Gomez, former pastor of Iglesia De Dios (Church of God) in Wimauma, Florida, was convicted today of “sexual battery upon a minor between the ages of 12 and 18 and unlawful sexual activity with a minor.” The Bradenton Herald reports:

A former Wimauma pastor has been found guilty in the 2015 sexual battery of a 17-year-old boy during a hunting trip.

Juan Gomez, 53, was convicted by a jury Thursday afternoon of sexual battery upon a minor between the ages of 12 and 18 and unlawful sexual activity with a minor. The jurors deliberated for just under an hour at the conclusion of a four-day trial.

Gomez, who is facing up to life in prison, will be sentenced on June 16.

The assault first came to light July 21, 2015, after investigators received information Gomez sexually assaulted the boy earlier that month at a hunting ranch in northern Manatee County.

The victim was very thankful on Thursday after the verdict was read, according to Assistant State Attorney Brian Chambers.
“The biggest fear that these victims have is that they won’t be believed, and to be believed by this community, for the jury to recognize the heinous act committed upon him while the defendant was entrusted with his care, makes that courageous act of coming forward worthwhile,” Chambers said afterward.

The incident was not isolated, however. The jury heard from another victim who said he was first sexually battered by Gomez in 1990 at a church camp in another county in Florida, and later again during a college visit in Tennessee in 1994.

“He waited for 25 years for justice of that,” Chambers said. “This case is a highlight for what happens, because he wasn’t listened to 25 years ago it only allowed the perpetrator to have another day and another victim.”

Black Collar Crime: Presbyterian Pastor Walter Chuquimia Charged With Sexual Battery

walter chuquimia

Walter Chuquimia, pastor of Beth-El Farmworker Ministry in Wimauma, Florida was arrested yesterday and charged with three counts of sexual battery. Chuquimia allegedly sexually abused a girl for six years, beginning when the girl was eleven years old.  Fox-13 reports:

Walter Chuquimia, 59, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office after detectives said they found Chuquimia raped a 17-year-old on April 24, 2017.

During their investigation, detectives found the suspect has sexually battered the victim several times dating back to 2011.

HCSO said Chuquimia was the pastor at Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc. during part of this time. Detectives said Chuquimia admitted to several of the offenses and was arrested and booked on April 24, 2017.

He was charged with three counts of sexual battery.

Detectives have not identified other victims, however, anyone with information concerning Chuquimia is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 813-247-8200.

According to Beth-El Farmworker Ministry, Inc.’s Facebook page, the church’s focus is giving assistance to farm workers and their extended family members through worship with the Hispanic community.

Chuquimia’s bio on Beth-El Farmworker Ministry’s website states:

Rev. Walter F. Chuquimia is a native of Bolivia, South America, and is a child born in a non-Catholic household.  His grandfather was a descendant of the Inca Empire and the first Bolivian native ordained onto the ministry.   Pastor Walter has two brothers and a sister graduated from Theological Seminaries in the United States. He remains in touch with his mother, brothers and a sister living in his native Bolivia.   In Bolivia he had earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education, and though in rural area elementary schools.   Walter attended Universidad Adventista de Centroamerica (Central American Adventist University) in Alajuela, Costa Rica. He worked as Bible Teacher and Literature Evangelist in several Central American Countries. In the United States he graduated from McCormick theological Seminary with Mater of Divinity Degree.  Walter was ordained in 1996 at his hometown church, Valley Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale, Arizona, Grand Canyon Presbytery.

Walter played professional soccer for Alajuela Football Club, Costa Rica.  In United States encouraged by elders of his first congregation he had learn to play golf and racquetball, his daily routine includes outdoor walking or biking.   Walter has an excellent command of the English and Spanish language, an effective public speaker and skilled translator from English to Spanish and vice versa. He is sensitive and respectful of the long-standing traditions of the church and community; open enough to a dialogue that can invigorate our worship and service to the Lord. Formal education received in South America, Central America, Puerto Rico and in the United States of America.

Walter is married to Lorraine, raising together a daughter and son, and is also a very proud father of Kelly Adelina Chuquimia (Arizona) and Sally Maria Chuquima  (Pennsylvania), whose mother is also a pastor.

Rev. Walter Chuquimia is the pastor of the worshiping community at Beth-El Mission.

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Tim Omotoso Accused of Sexual Molesting Young Women

tim omotoso

Tim Omotoso, pastor of multi-branch Jesus Dominion International Church in Durban, South Africa, has been accused of sexually molesting young women. As of the writing of this post, Omotoso has not been arrested or charged with any crime.[Please see updates below.] He remains under investigation.  The Herald Live reports:

A young Port Elizabeth woman has claimed she is among a group of victims allegedly molested by a popular Durban pastor who is being investigated by the Hawks for suspected sex crimes.

Social media has been abuzz with the claims against the widely celebrated pastor in the wake of a TV feature in which the allegations were made by a number of women who have had contact with him during his ministerial work.

The 25-year-old Port Elizabeth woman alleges she was molested at the age of 14 during an incident in Durban. She alleges she was summoned into an office where the pastor rubbed himself against her.

While police are not looking for the 58-year-old pastor as yet, the Hawks say they have been investigating a number of alleged sexual violence cases against him for months now.

The news comes in the wake of a special television feature on the pastor recently.

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Speaking about the alleged incident that occurred when she was a teenager, the Port Elizabeth woman said: “There was talk among the girls regarding ‘the rod of Moses’, but I did not know what it meant.

“But one day I innocently remarked during music rehearsals that I also wanted this rod of Moses.

“Immediately, he [the pastor] summoned me to his office.”

The woman claimed she had been asked there if she wanted the “rod of Moses” and she responded that she no longer did.

“He [the pastor] came closer to me, saying it was nice,” she said.

“He hugged me and rubbed [against] me with his lower body … I felt very uncomfortable and began to sob.”

The woman said the pastor had asked her what she wanted from God and she had replied that she needed to be blessed.

She alleged that he had handed her R1 000, which she refused, but he had insisted that she take the money and give it to a relative.

The woman claimed that the pastor targeted females, particularly from disadvantaged backgrounds, to whom he promised a better life.

She said the majority of his alleged victims were attracted to his church because of the “miracles” he claimed to perform.

“He loves girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. He creates a ploy to be a father figure to them,” she said.

She claimed the pastor would preach a sermon about sex and would ask “me to stand up, saying look how beautiful I look”.

When a reporter visited the ministry’s Port Elizabeth church yesterday, a number of people were inside, praying.

Most of the congregants refused to speak, except one woman who had joined the church in 2002.

Asked about the allegations, she said: “We can’t speak about what the pastor is accused of. It is not up to us to judge.”

Another congregant, when asked for the pastor’s cellphone number, said: “You can’t call him. He is a man of God.”

But she said the allegations made in the TV feature were rubbish.

“Where is the evidence? They must show us the evidence.”

She said the claims were orchestrated by other pastors within the church who wanted to oust the pastor at the centre of the allegations.

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Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities chairwoman Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said churches were supposed to be a safe space.

“We have a serious problem of rape culture in this country and if it is happening in church, we have a much bigger problem.”

She said the commission had finalised its report into the commercialisation of religion and abuse of people’s belief systems.

“We will brief parliament on the report over two days in June,” Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said.

“We need a peer review mechanism to put an end to this.

“When pastors do something wrong, they can be held accountable and removed from the register.”

She said among their recommendations was the vetting of pastors and traditional healers.

“Right now, we could have a pastor with a sexual violence background leading a church, or a Sunday school teacher who just wants access to children.”

According to Omotoso’s website:

Tim Omotoso Global Outreach (T.O.G.O) is an Apostolic and Prophetic ministry designed under Trinitarian auspices to propagate the gospel of Jesus Christ to this generation with signs following. As result of Tim Omotoso’s obedience to the high calling of God, the ministry has been able to transform the lives of countless people around the globe. Through global crusades, ministrations, Church services and TV ministry, the unadulterated Word of God is preached to all. T.O.G.O is a ministry of great wisdom, revelation, power, prayer and praise without compromise. It is the umbrella to the church arm, of Jesus Dominion International (JDI); Youth Empowerment Project and Help the Helpless. T.O.G.O not only believes in winning billions of souls into the kingdom of God, but also challenges believers to rise up as Sons of God and utilize the authority and divine power given to them through Christ Jesus.

Tim Omotoso is a Prophet and as part of his unique call he holds meetings entitled “Holy Ghost Clinic” these “clinics” are live counselling sessions which reveal the mysteries that hold keys to the success of individuals. The root causes of issues and problems are also diagnosed. These meetings are an exposition of the wiles of the enemy in the life of believers. People have been healed, restored, delivered and received solutions in meetings such as “Holy Ghost Clinic,” “House of Jacob,” and many more. Tim Omotoso is the founder of ADBN (Ancient of Day Broadcasting Network) and has written a Prayer Bonanza book which contains powerful and targeted prayer points, he also writes daily devotionals annually. His television broadcast is entitled “Just as I am.” He is happily married to Taiwo and they are blessed with three Children, Victoria, John and Victor.

Update

Sunday World reports: (link no longer active)

Controversial Nigerian pastor Tim Omotoso has hired prominent Port Elizabeth defence attorney Alwyn Griebenow to represent him in the face of allegations that he sexually molested young girls at his home in Umhlanga‚ Durban.

Griebenow confirmed that he was Omotoso’s attorney and that he and defence advocate Terry Price will be meeting with the Hawks on Thursday afternoon in Port Elizabeth. The Hawks are investigating the allegations against Omotoso.

Omotoso‚ of the Jesus Dominion International Church in Durban‚ is accused of molesting more than 30 young girls on the pretext of rescuing them from drugs.

The Nigerian evangelist came under scrutiny after his church featured on current affairs programme Special Assignment on Sunday. The programme spoke to women who claimed that they were lured into performing sexual favours for the pastor.

Update #2

The Herald Live reports:

Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso was arrested by the Hawks Human Trafficking unit in Port Elizabeth on Thursday on a charge of alleged human trafficking‚ the elite police unit confirmed.

Omotoso was arrested shortly after arriving at the Port Elizabeth international airport by the Hawks and members of the South African Police Service’s Tactical Response Team (TRT) this afternoon [20/04/17].

“The 58-year-old pastor allegedly trafficked young women and girls from various branches of his church to a house in uMhlanga‚ Kwazulu-Natal‚ where he allegedly exploited them sexually‚” Hawks spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Netshiunda said.

Update #3

Video Link

Update #4

The City Press reports:

Hundreds of worshippers from Jesus Domination International church, where Timothy Omotoso is the head pastor and prophet, filled the Port Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

They came in support of Omotoso, who was nabbed dramatically by the Hawks with a heavy contingent of the Tactical Response Team (TRT unit), shortly after he landed at the local airport with his three escorts on Thursday afternoon.

He has been accused of sexually abusing women who worked at the churches he managed in South Africa.

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Omotoso’s supporters came wearing purple-banded gold medals around their necks, holding placards with messages of support for him.

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An unidentified woman inside the court said they believed that Omotoso’s exposé was an inside job.

“The people who are responsible for this are unruly members of the church that do not want to be changed by the man of God,” she said.

“If Omotoso was a sexual offender, why didn’t he sleep with the multitudes of international prostitutes that have been coming in and out of his church?” she said.

She said all the prophets across the world were fasting for Omotoso.

“God will show them wonders, the blood is at work.”

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A member of the Hawks discreetly confirmed to City Press that Omotoso was not planning to hand himself over on Thursday.

“We found him in possession of return air tickets for four people,” said the member.

“It is clear that he had no intention of handing himself over as we were expecting him to.”

Netshiunda also confirmed that if they had not applied their own instincts and ambushed Omotoso, he would have slipped away.

“We were misled into believing that his flight was delayed,” said Netshiunda.

“When we reached the airport his flight was on schedule and he attempted to escape, but only ended up in the toilet, where we found him locked in the cubicle,” he said.

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His Port Elizabeth lawyer is Alwyn Griebenow, who also represents Christopher Panayiotou – who has been charged with the murder and conspiracy to murder his wife, Jayde, two years ago.

An application for bail was made by Griebenow on behalf of his client, who was remanded until May 3, when an official bail application will be formally heard in Court 22.

The state, represented by Zelda Swanepoel, stated that more evidence was to be compiled from the different provinces where Omotoso is alleged to have committed the alleged crimes.

The remand was met with deep sighs of disappointment and sobs from his supporters.

“Daddy! We love you Daddy,” sobbed the worshippers, as Omotoso was led out of court by the TRT unit.

 

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Pastor Steven Waller Charged With Sexual Battery of a Minor

steven waller

Steven Waller, pastor of Dover First Church of the Nazarene in Dover, Tennessee, was charged today with “aggravated sexual battery involving a minor.” Fox-17 Nashville reports:

The Stewart County Sheriff’s Office said a man was charged after having sexual contact with a girl while she was sleeping.

Steven Waller, 51, is charged with aggravated sexual battery involving a minor. Waller is a pastor at the Dover First Church of the Nazarene.

Investigators said Waller admitted during an interview to having sexual contact with a girl under the age of 18 while she was sleeping. The day of the interview he was charged with aggravated sexual battery and bond was set at $75,000.

Waller’s bond was reduced to $60,000 during an appearance in General Sessions Court with conditions that he gets no new charges before his trial and that he has no contact with children under the age of 18, including the victim.

Dover Nazarene Facebook page