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Tag: Rape

Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor Robert Crouse Accused of Raping Mentally Disabled Children

pastor robert crouse

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.

Robert Crouse, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Columbia City, Indiana, stands accused of raping three mentally disabled children. Faith Baptist is a King James-only Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) congregation.

The Ink Free News reports:

Robert M. Crouse, 57, 835 W. Dogwood Drive, Columbia City, is charged with three counts of rape when the victim is mentally disabled or deficient, all level 3 felonies.

On Dec. 17, 2020, an officer met with a woman at Faith Baptist Church in Columbia City. The woman told the officer that Crouse admitted to having sex with three children and that she believed the incidents occurred in the church. In court documents, the children are also described as young adults with special needs.

A Columbia City detective spoke with Crouse about what occurred. Crouse said the children willingly participated in the acts with him and that they would all watch pornography at the church.

According to court documents, Crouse said they watched pornography as a group about two to three times a month for the past two years. He allegedly said the children performed sexual acts in front of him and also onto him. Crouse also said he engaged in the sexual activity with them as well.

Crouse told the detective he didn’t record any of the sexual acts; he said he had sexual intercourse with one of the children about 10 to 15 times. Crouse said no alcohol, drugs or weapons were used during the activities.

He also said he didn’t engage in any sexual activity with anyone else aside from the three children. When asked why, Crouse said it was because they were willing participants.

Crouse said the majority of the acts happened at his home but that some occurred at the church. He told the detective he spoke with the three individuals and asked for forgiveness.

….

In their interview, the first child said Crouse, who they referred to as “Pastor Bob,” hadn’t done anything sexual to them. The child reported having no idea if anything sexual had occurred between Crouse and the other two children. When told that Crouse had already confessed to committing the sexual acts on them, the child didn’t disclose any further information.

The second child said Crouse showed them pornography at the church and asked them to perform a sexual act on him. When the child told him no, Crouse allegedly smacked the child’s face. The child said Crouse would make them call him ‘master’ and if they didn’t, Crouse would smack them.

The child also recalled an instance where the woman walked in on Crouse and them naked while at Crouse’s home. Crouse told the woman to leave. The child discussed in detail their sexual encounters with Crouse and also told the interviewer about the third child’s sexual interactions with Crouse. They also said Crouse would make the three of them call him ‘master.’

The third child discussed being inappropriately touched by Crouse and elaborated on how Crouse engaged in sexual activity with them. They said they had to call Crouse ‘master’ and that Crouse would occasionally hit them.

On Dec. 28, 2020, the detective interviewed the woman who reported the incidents to officers. The woman said she never walked in on Crouse and the children having sexual intercourse. She said she had suspicions that something was going on with Crouse and the children but didn’t investigate to see if it was true.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Nanette Miles’ Civil Lawsuit Alleges IFB Preacher David Hyles Raped Her When She was a Teen

david-hyles-new-man

Nanette Miles, a former member of First Baptist Church in Hammond, Indiana, has filed a civil lawsuit against the church, Hyles-Anderson College, and David Hyles, the son of the late Jack Hyles.

NWI-Times reports:

A former Hammond resident claims in a federal lawsuit she was repeatedly raped as a young student more than four decades ago by the son of the then-pastor and president of the First Baptist Church of Hammond and Hyles-Anderson College.

Nanette Miles, who agreed to be named publicly for this article, said then-youth director David Hyles, who was son of then-Pastor Jack Hyles, called her into his office in September 1976 when she was 13. She alleges in the lawsuit she was given a drink and then blacked out.

She claims she woke up on the office floor while being raped by David Hyles.

Following the alleged attack, she was instructed to leave through the back door so she would not be seen by a secretary, the lawsuit claims. David Hyles said he would want to see her again, according the the lawsuit.

She was raped again by David Hyles in his office a week later, and he continued to rape her weekly “unless he was out of town on church business,” the lawsuit alleges. The sexual abuse allegedly continued for five years on church and college property.

“Defendants stole something innocent, sensitive and sacred from every minor they abused,” according to the lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Illinois by the Dallas, Texas, law firm of Forester Haynie.

….

The lawsuit is just the latest in a history of civil and criminal accusations of sexual abuse of underage girls by officials at the church, which was founded in 1887.

Joy Ryder, who now runs a support group for sex abuse victims, filed her own federal lawsuit earlier this year claiming David Hyles repeatedly raped her as a teenage girl in the late 1970s.

(Please see my post on Joy Ryder’s lawsuit.)

I have written numerous articles about David Hyles:

Serial Adulterer David Hyles Receives a Warm Longview Baptist Temple Welcome

UPDATED: Serial Adulterer David Hyles Has Been Restored

David Hyles Says “My Bad, Jesus”

Is All Forgiven for David Hyles?

Disgraced IFB Preacher David Hyles Helping “Fallen” Pastors Get Back on Their Horses

The David Hyles Saga

IFB Preacher David Hyles’ Latest Sex Scandal

I have also written a number of stories about his father, Jack Hyles:

The Legacy of Jack Hyles

Sexual Abuse and the Jack Hyles Rule: If You Didn’t See It, It Didn’t Happen

The Scandalous Life of Jack Hyles and Why it Still Matters

The Mesmerizing Appeal of Jack Hyles

1991 Current Affairs Report: Jack Hyles Stole My Wife

Jack Hyles Tells Unsubmissive Woman to Kill Herself

News Stories About IFB Preachers Jack and David Hyles

About Bruce Gerencser

Bruce Gerencser, 62, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 41 years. He and his wife have six grown children and twelve 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. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.

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Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Music Leader Edward Thompson Convicted of Sex Crimes

edward thompson

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.

Edward Thompson, a music ministry leader at Christ Fellowship Church in Eugene, Oregon, and a former member of Eugene Faith Center, was convicted of “repeated acts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of a child” that started when the victim was a toddler. Thompson was sentenced to life in prison.

KVAL-13 reports:

A jury found Edward Samuel Thompson of Eugene guilty after a week-long trial earlier this month.

The jury convicted Thompson on charges of: 4 counts of Rape in the First Degree,Sodomy in the First Degree, 5 counts of Sex Abuse in the First Degree.

Thompson was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to 125 years in prison.

Prosecutors say the charges stemmed from “repeated acts of rape, sodomy and sexual abuse of a child.”

“The abuse began when the victim was a toddler, spanning from 2012 to 2018,” the Lane County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “The District Attorney’s Office appreciates Presiding Judge Debra Vogt’s recognition of the seriousness in this matter and reflecting that in sentencing Mr. Thompson.”

Thompson had been a leader in Eugene church communities.

“At the time of his arrest, it was reported that Thompson was a long-term member and a music ministry leader at Christ Fellowship Church in Eugene and former member of Eugene Faith Center,” Eugene Police said.

In 2018, Thompson was arrested on federal child pornography charges. A FBI news release stated at the time:

FBI agents and Eugene Police officers arrested Edward Samuel Thompson, age 38, at his Eugene home on Tuesday, August 21, 2018, following the service of a federal search warrant. Agents filed a criminal complaint against Thompson, charging him with accessing, receiving, possessing, and distributing child pornography. The arrest was without incident.

At his initial appearance on Tuesday, August 21, a federal magistrate ordered Thompson held. He is currently lodged at the Springfield Municipal Jail.

Thompson is a long-time member and a music ministry leader at Christ Fellowship Church in Eugene and former member of Eugene Faith Center where he still plays on a volleyball team at the church. The FBI offers this advice to concerned community members:

Parents who have a child who has come in contact with Thompson should let that child know that Thompson has been arrested for inappropriate behavior. Parents should tell that child that if Thompson did, or said, anything inappropriate to the child to let the parents know. If a child discloses an incident that did happen to him or her or that the child observed an innappropriate incident happen to someone else, the parent should not ask the child detailed questions about the incident. Instead, please contact Eugene Police Detective Chris Mackey at (541) 682-5175 or call the FBI at (541) 343-5222.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor Richard Micks Sentenced to Life in Prison for Rape

richard mick

(Previous posts about Richard Mick: Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor Richard Micks Second Rape Trial Declared a Mistrial and Black Collar Crime: IFB Preacher Richard Mick has Rape Conviction Overturned and Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor Richard Mick Faces New Trial, Out on Bond and Black Collar Crime: IFB Pastor Richard Mick on Trial Again for Rape.)

The third time is a charm for the victims of Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) pastor Richard Mick. After two contentious mistrials, Mick’s third trial began last week, ending in a conviction on one count of rape and eight counts of gross sexual imposition. On Tuesday, the former pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Sandusky, Ohio was sentenced to life in prison. He will be eligible for parole in about ten years.

The Sandusky Register reported:

His [Mick’s] first trial, in 2016, ended in a conviction after his then-attorney K. Ronald Bailey refused to participate in the trial, citing grievances with decisions of the trial judge, Roger Binette. Earlier this year, Bailey received a one-year law license suspension for his conduct in the trial.

Mick received a life prison sentence, but in 2018 an appeals court overturned the conviction and granted him a new trial.

Mick’s second trial started in 2019 but it didn’t make it to a jury’s verdict. After several days of testimony, the defense announced to the trial judge, Tygh Tone, the prosecution didn’t give them a piece of evidence — a police report — during pre-trial discovery. Tone declared a mistrial.

After Mick’s sentencing, the Sandusky Reporter reported:

Visiting Judge John Haas sentenced Richard Mick, 59, formerly of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Sandusky, to life in prison plus three years.

Mick, of Castalia, was convicted by a jury last Friday on nine felony counts — one count of rape and eight counts of gross sexual imposition — following a weeklong trial in Erie County’s Court of Common Pleas. Those charges relate to two victims, both of whom were children at the time of the offenses.

If released from prison, he’ll also have to register as a sex offender. Mick’s attorney, Chris Maher, said Mick should be eligible for parole in about 10 years.

None of the victims made impact statements Tuesday in court, but their families did.

The brother of one victim told Mick that he “(doesn’t) believe anyone is born evil.”

“I don’t believe you were born wanting to commit these crimes,” the brother said. “I cannot imagine what kind of life led you to what you’d done. Let your victims have peace. Be honest to your friends and family about what you’ve done.”

The father of a different victim also spoke, telling the judge to keep Mick in prison as long as possible.

“He’s broken man’s laws, he’s broken God’s laws,” the father said. “We can only address man’s laws here.”

As has long been the case, Mick continues to have people believe he is innocent. One church member stated:

He is loved and will continue to be loved and supported. [she said, before turning to face Mick] I love you, pastor. You will always be my pastor.

Mick’s brother added his support:

That I’ve ever known, he’s never done any wrong. I don’t really know what else to say but he’s a good man.

Ah yes, Mick is a beloved pastor, a good man who has never done any wrong. Well, besides raping and sexually assaulting children. What’s a few minor indiscretions among friends, right?

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Black Collar Crime: Seventh Day Adventist Pastor Helio Ferreira Awaits Trial on Sex Crimes

Helio Santiago Ferreira

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 December 2019, Helio Santiago Ferreira, pastor of Grace Fellowship Seventh Day Adventist Church in Valdosta, Georgia. Ferreira was accused of rape, sodomy, and kidnapping, crimes that allegedly took place in Oregon.

KATU reported at the time:

Law enforcement officers arrested a 41-year-old pastor in Georgia who is wanted in connection to several sexual assault cases in Portland.

The Portland Police Bureau said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office arrested Helio Ferreira on Dec. 3 in Valdosta, Ga., where he’s a pastor in the community.

Ferreira is charged with two counts of first-degree sodomy, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, three counts of first-degree rape, one count of first-degree sexual assault, and one count of identity theft.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office says Ferreira is accused of sexually abusing three women in 2012, 2016, and 2018.

According to the indictment, Ferreira engaged in sexual intercourse with a victim who was incapable of consent either because of mental incapacitation or physical helplessness on or around Nov. 17, 2012.

On or around Sept. 18, 2016, Ferreira is accused of kidnapping a different woman and forcing her to engage in sexual intercourse and other sex crimes.

The indictment says on or about Sept. 7, 2018, Ferreira kidnapped a third woman and forced her to engage in sexual intercourse. It says he also committed identity theft involving the victim.

The indictment says Ferreira is a suspect in these three cases based on DNA evidence.

Ferreira has now been extradited to Oregon, and remains in jail awaiting an August 2020 trial.

bruce-gerencser-headshot

Bruce Gerencser, 64, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 43 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.

You can contact Bruce via email, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

Bruce Gerencser