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Tag: The River Church Kimball

Black Collar Crime: Evangelical Youth Pastor William Wahl Charged With Criminal Sexual Conduct

william wahl

William Wahl, a youth pastor at The River Church in Kimball, Michigan, has been charged with two second degree counts of criminal sexual conduct, two fourth degree counts of criminal sexual conduct, one count of aggravated indecent exposure, one count of distributing explicit material of children, and one count of using a computer to commit a crime. As of the date of this post, four victims have been identified.

M-Live reports:

A former youth pastor at The River Church in Kimball Township has been arrested and charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct and three other felony charges.

Port Huron resident William Stefan Wahl, 27, is facing two second degree counts of criminal sexual conduct, two fourth degree counts of criminal sexual conduct, one count of aggravated indecent exposure, one count of distributing explicit material of children and one count of using a computer to commit a crime.

….

Police say an the investigation began in late 2021 after hearing allegations of sexual assault of a child by the youth pastor.

The investigation revealed that there were four victims alleging sexual abuse going back to 2014.

A Port Huron Times Herald report states Wahl was terminated last year as an employee by the church’s Board of Elders after the allegations came to light and filed a report with authorities.

The Church is pastored by Bill and Kim Wahl, and Matt Wahl is the associate pastor. I suspect William Wahl is related to them.

The Times Herald adds:

St. Clair County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cailin Wilson said the alleged incidents took place between 2014 and 2021, when Wahl was over 17 years old and with victims ranging from 10 to 17 years old. 

In response to the allegations, Bill Wahl, co-lead pastor of The River church, sent a press release dated Nov. 2, 2021, that stated The River Churches Board of Elders were made aware of a possible child abuse incident perpetrated by an employee against two minors. 

The board immediately began an investigation of the facts, assuring that all involved parents were notified. Within hours, the employee was terminated and the board filed a report with the proper authorities to investigate the matter, the press release said.

The Christian Post adds:

A 28-year-old youth pastor in Michigan has been charged with sexually assaulting four children and faces charges of indecent exposure and distributing explicit content.

William Stefan Wahl, who worked at the River Church in Kimball, was charged Friday with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct of a person younger than 13 and two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct of a person ages 13 to 16, according to court records

He was also charged with distributing obscene matter to children, aggravated indecent exposure and using computers to commit a crime.

Wahl refused to enter a plea as records indicate that he “stood mute” during his arraignment. 

Wahl is accused of sexually abusing four juvenile victims from the church, St. Clair County Sheriff Mat King was quoted as saying by The Port Huron Times Herald.

The sheriff’s office began investigating Wahl after it received a complaint of sexual assault of a child in late 2021. According to Fox 2, the investigation revealed that there were four victims involved — two of which were younger than 13 — and some of allegations dated back to 2014.

The Times Herald noted that the victims ranged in age from 10 to 17. There could be more victims, authorities believe.

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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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Bruce Gerencser