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Tag: Child Abuse

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.

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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.”

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

Bruce Gerencser