Police arrested a man Wednesday on suspicion of sexually abusing two girls when he was a preacher at a Fort Worth church.
Hurst police reported that officers executed two felony arrest warrants on Jose Francisco Bernal, 52, at his residence in the 7200 block of Deville Drive in North Richland Hills. Bernal was in the Hurst Jail on Wednesday facing two counts of continuous sexual assault of a child. Bail was set at $50,000 for each charge, police said.
Two adult females made outcries of numerous sexual abuse incidents that occurred when they were both juveniles living in Hurst between 2007 and 2013, police said.
Investigators concluded that Bernal met the girls while he was their pastor at the Tabernaculo De Vida Pentecostal Church on West Dickson Street in Fort Worth.
Nikolay Kalka, a Pentecostal pastor, is on trial for sexually assaulting a girl in a swimming pool.
Cory Shaffer, a reporter for Cleveland.com, reports:
75-year-old Ukrainian-born pastor testified Tuesday that he did not grope a 10-year-old girl and hold her head under water at the Middleburg Heights Recreation Center pool.
Nikolay Kalka, of Parma Heights, carried his oxygen mask and tank to the stand and told jurors through a translator that the girl and her friend splashed him, so he grabbed her and held her head beneath the stream of a gushing fountain for nearly a full minute to teach the pair a lesson.
“I was doing it out of love because I wanted to show them what it was like to splash at people,” Kalka said through the translator.
He did not, he insisted, grope the girl.
“It couldn’t have even come to my mind to do such a thing,” he said. “I live my life a certain way. I’ve been a pastor.”
Prosecutors on Tuesday presented their entire case against Kalka, who faces more than a decade in prison if he is convicted of gross sexual imposition and kidnapping charges that say he touched the girl with a sexual motivation.
The girl and her friend, who each have turned 11 since the March 11 incident, testified that Kalka grabbed and squeezed the girl’s breast and vagina as she struggled to free herself from his grasp.
Grainy surveillance video of the incident showed the encounter, and that the friend grabbed the girl’s arm and tried to pull her free as Kalka continued to hold onto her.
“I was feeling really uncomfortable and unsafe, and really scared,” the girl told jurors after she broke down in tears earlier on the stand.
Kalka’s version of the story — that he had been fed up with the girls splashing him and his denial that he ever touched the girl’s vagina and breast — seemed to contradict his lawyer’s theory in opening statements.
Marein told jurors Tuesday morning that Kalka “probably did” touch the girl’s private parts. The video, which Marein said “speaks for itself,” clearly shows Kalka grabbing the girl and her struggling to get away. But Marein painted the encounter as “horseplay.”
“Could it have happened? Of course it could have,” Marein said. “Am I hear to say that she is a liar? No. I’m here to suggest to you that this was done without any sexual purpose whatsoever, that this was blown incredibly out of proportion and that this is completely inconsistent with the life that this man has led.”
Kalka, a Pentecostal pastor in his home country, came to the U.S. in 1990 to escape religious persecution under the Communist regime of the Soviet Union. He formed a small neighborhood church after settling in Cleveland.
But Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Jennifer Driscoll repeatedly pointed to the video, which showed that the girls swam up to him and splashed him in the pool’s whirlpool section. He splashed them back.
The girls later approached Kalka near a fountain in the kiddie pool and start splashing him again. The lifeguard on duty that day, Nathaniel French, testified that the girls looked happy and he thought they were horsing around with Kalka, who he thought may have been their grandfather.
Then Kalka grabbed the girl.
He forced her head under the stream of the fountain. He held her there for nearly a minute. The friend, after failing to rip the girl free, went to summon French.
Kafka let the girl go, walked into the pool’s steam room and sauna, then to the locker room before a police officer at the rec center arrested him.
Driscoll hammered Kalka on cross-examination. She asked if he felt her trying to get away.
“Yes, I could tell she was trying to get away, but I wanted her to get wet from the fountain,” Kalka said through the translator.
Driscoll, in a raised voice, asked if he would approve of a strange man grabbing his grandchild and holding them underwater against their will. When Kalka said he treated the girls as his own grandchildren, Driscoll asked if he ever held his own children against their will and groped them.
“Children when they see me, they just run to me,” a clearly flustered Kalka said.
Driscoll pointed out the girls were trying to run from him, not to him.
“No, they weren’t running away from me,” he replied. “I love them, they love me. And the little ones just run all over me and I have to listen to what they want.”
A Ukranian-born pastor who faced a potential life sentence for groping a 10-year-old girl at the Middleburg Heights Recreation Center pool this summer was instead sentenced to five years in prison on Thursday.
Dozens of 75-year-old Nikolay Kalka’s friends and family wailed after Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula sent the ailing man to prison for five years, and exchanged words with the judge over the sobs of Kalka’s wife and children.
“Twelve jurors found him guilty, not this court,” Sutula replied. “Watch the video. God saw.”
Kalka faced a potential mandatory life sentence with his first shot at parole in 10 years after a jury found him guilty last month of kidnapping the child with sexual motivation at the pool on May 11.
But Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley’s office asked Judge Kathleen Ann Sutula to sentence him instead on two counts of gross sexual imposition, which carried a maximum of five years in prison each.
Sutula ran the counts concurrent to one another, “only out of mercy, not because I don’t think you deserve the full 10 years,” she said.
Kalka will also have to register as a sex offender every six months for the next 25 years.
There is no such thing as “Christianity” — as in a singular group encompassing all Christians. The Bible says that there is ONE Lord, ONE faith, and ONE baptism, yet Christians have spent the last two thousand years trying to prove that their peculiar beliefs are the one, the only one, the one TRUE CHRISTIANITY®. Every Evangelical sect, every Evangelical pastor, every Evangelical church member thinks their beliefs are right. This kind of thinking is fueled by the belief that the Bible is an inspired, inerrant, infallible book, written through human instrumentality by God himself. It should come as no surprise that many Evangelicals, believing that they hold in their hands the very words of God, are cock-sure that what they believe is exactly what God meant when he had holy men of old write the this or that passage of Scripture. Armed with certainty, Evangelicals have no place for doubt. Doubt is of the devil! preachers say. I’m standing on the promises of God, praise Jesus! Just remember, it was SATAN who said to Adam and Eve, yea hath God said (yes, he spoke in King James English). God has spoken, end of story.
If, as Evangelicals says, God has inerrantly and infallibly spoken, why is it, then, that Evangelicals have such varied and contradictory beliefs? If, two thousand years after the purported resurrection of Jesus from the dead, all Christians had the same theological beliefs, I might at least pause to consider whether the claims of Christianity are true. Instead, there are countless Christianities, each with its own beliefs. Worse yet, there are countless Jesuses, with every Christian molding and shaping a Jesus in his or her own image. (Please read Does the Bible Contain Multiple Plans of Salvation? and Is There Only One Plan of Salvation?) Christians can’t even agree on the basics: salvation, baptism, and communion. If Christians can’t come to a consensus about what constitutes the one truth faith, why should anyone pay attention to them?
Let me illustrate this by answering the quandary Why Pentecostals speak in tongues, and Baptists don’t.
First, the Baptists.I grew up in the Baptist church so I am quite familiar with how Baptists view tongues-speaking. TONGUES-SPEAKING IS SATANIC, STRAIGHT FROM THE PIT OF HELL! There, end of discussion. I was taught, and later taught others, that speaking in tongues was a temporary sign gift given to Jesus’ disciples so they could spread the good news of the gospel to the ends of the earth. Once the canon of Scripture was completed, the need for tongues went away. Evidently, once Christians of the fourth century had for their reading pleasure all sixty-six books of the King James Bible, God no longer used tongues to speak to people.
The Pentecostals, on the other hand, believe that speaking in tongues is very much for today; that it is normative for spirit-filled Christians to speak in unknown languages. Several sects go even so far as to say that one of the evidences of salvation is speaking in tongues. Don’t speak in tongues? You aren’t saved! One Pentecostal man told me, upon hearing I was a Baptist preacher, Baptists wouldn’t know the Holy Spirit if he met them in the middle of the road. In other words, Baptists were blind to work and power of the H-o-l-y Ghost.
Years ago, I got into a heated discussion with a Pentecostal preacher over speaking in tongues. I gave him all the standard Baptist arguments and he gave me all the classic Pentecostal arguments. Back and forth we went, neither of us winning the day. I am sure we parted company each believing that he had been victorious. Ha! I showed him!
Such conflicts as the one mentioned above are quite common. Why do Pentecostals believe in speaking in tongues, but Baptists don’t? Both sides use the Bible as proof for their beliefs. GOD HATH SPOKEN, both sides say. If God has indeed spoken, why the contradictory beliefs? God seems quite schizophrenic, telling the Baptists one thing and the Pentecostals something different. Surely, if God and the Bible are as Evangelicals claim they are, there would only be one truth, not many.
The only way to adequately answer this question is to carefully examine the matter from an environmental and sociological perspective. (Please read Why Most Americans are Christian.) Look at the religious environments people grow up in and you will have a good idea why they believe as they do. Look at their tribal and social influences, and it becomes clear that Pentecostals speak in tongues and Baptists don’t because these were the beliefs they were exposed to. They believe what they do because they couldn’t believe otherwise. While not a hard and fast rule, most often Baptists beget Baptists and Pentecostals beget Pentecostals. While Evangelical adults certainly can and do change churches, most often then look for churches of “like” faith. When people change churches, they most often seek that which is familiar to them. Not always, of course. Sometimes, Baptists do become Pentecostal tongues-speakers and Pentecostals become starched, English-only Baptists. These, however, are exceptions to the rule.
Perhaps Christians will one day figure out exactly what is the one true faith. I doubt it, but as someone who believes in probabilities, it is possible, say .0001 percent, that God’s chosen ones will finally figure out exactly what it takes to be a member of their club. Until then, buy some popcorn, pull up a seat, and enjoy the show.
This is the one hundred and twelfth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a clip of Kanon the Preacher from when he was a “baby” preacher. It’s hard not to weep as you watch how these child preachers are indoctrinated and manipulated by parents, preachers, and Fundamentalist church members.
This is the one hundred and eleventh installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a clip of Kanon the Preacher.