A Boston pastor facing child rape charges involving three different victims was arraigned over the phone in a hospital bed on Monday.
71-year-old Reverend George Swain, of the Greater Victory Temple in Mattapan, was originally set to appear in court in Dorchester.
Prosecutors allege that the abuse involved boys between the ages of 8 and 16, and that two of those victims were sexually assaulted inside the church.
The charges stem from allegations that date back to the late 90′s and early 2000′s.
Last week, Swain was indicted on child rape charges.
Prosecutors say Swain sexually abused three boys between the ages of 8 and 16 from 1997 to 2004.
The three victims, who are now in their 30s, were members of the church and trusted Swain, investigators say.
“Bishop Swain is accused of using his position of trust and authority to ingratiate himself to his victims and their families, grooming them in order to gain access to targets for his sexual abuse,” Suffolk County District Attorney Rollins said in a statement Thursday. “He allegedly preyed on his victims’ faith and used it as an entryway into their lives.”
“He was seen as a role model, and the victims’ families all looked up to him,” Assistant District Attorney Audrey Mark said in court last year.
Investigators allege Swain abused two of the boys at Greater Victory Temple and the third boy at his Dorchester home where the youngest child sometimes spent the night.
The abuse went on for years, prosecutors allege.
Greater Victory Temple is a Pentecostal church that has been part of the Boston community for 19 years, according to the church’s website.
In her statement, Rollins commended the strength and courage of the survivors who came forward in order to make sure Swain has to answer in court for his actions.
“It can be incredibly difficult to disclose childhood sexual abuse, whether as a child or as an adult survivor. The survivors who came forward to disclose abuse by Bishop Swain showed a tremendous amount of strength and bravery,” she said. “It can take decades for victims to make the decision to come forward about sexual abuse, as is what happened here.”
Bruce Gerencser, 65, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 44 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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