Archive for the ‘Adultry’ Category

The Line-Up

February 3rd, 2011 Comments off

People make a lot of noise about the Catholic Church and its sex scandals as they rightly should for such abominable behavior, but there is a quiet outrage that is happening right under our noses on the other side of the aisle with Protestants. When it comes to misdeeds by the clergy, Protestants can hang with the worst of them, breaking their own rules and a few that missed the book. Murder, attempted murder and rape are some of the more heinous crimes, but the list goes from the horrendous to the absurdity of a preacher stealing a dildo in a house robbery.

The results that follow are taken directly from the news and reflect just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the sins of the “fathers.” Protestant preachers are every bit as noxious as Catholic priests are when it comes to child molesting and throw in a few twists, such as selling drugs and robbing banks.

I spent more time alphabetizing the crimes of Protestant clergy than collecting information. The following information is an amalgamation of my picking and choosing over a few days. A simple Google search will reveal a line-up of preachers, ministers and evangelists that fell a lot short of the law. How easy is it? Go to the Google search page and type in “Preacher convicted 2010” and pages of information will fill your computer screen. Try “Preacher arrested 2010.” The search is not difficult, but since there is no hierarchy for any religion outside of mainstream Protestantism, there is no trail to follow like the Catholic church that stretches all the way to Rome.

Since I collected all of these to go along with a book I’m writing and then changed my mind about using them I thought I would share them with you, but I am still writing the book.

Adultery and Divorce

Mega-Church Pastors Zachery and Riva Tims’ Divorce is Finalized after Zachery Admits to a Year-Long Adulterous Affair with a Stripper—Orlando—A husband and wife pastoral team is getting divorced after the husband admitted a yearlong adulterous affair with a stripper. Zachery and Riva Tims ended their 15-year-marriage in late July; two years after Zachery admitted the affair.

The couple started New Destiny Christian Center (NDCC) in a hotel ballroom in 1996 and grew the Orlando-area church to more than 7,500 members. But in October 2007, Zachery Tims admitted “an indiscretion” before the congregation and then stepped down from his position to seek counseling. He returned to the pulpit three months later, after counseling with a group of ministers. In a written statement to Charisma, Tims, 40, said he has been involved in counseling since the affair became public.

Many members left the independent church after Judy Nguyen posted details of her affair with the pastor on the Internet. In an e-mail interview with Charisma, Nguyen said she met Tims when he visited the men’s club in Paris where she worked. She said the long-distance affair lasted from August 2006 to October 2007. Riva Tims, 38, also left the church and filed for divorce in 2008. The couple share joint custody of their four children.

Riva Tims would not comment on the circumstances surrounding the divorce, founded Majestic Life Institute and opened Majestic Life Ministries church in Orlando. Much like NDCC, the church emphasizes outreach, with programs planned for children with special needs and youth gang prevention, as well as a job placement ministry for former inmates, drug addicts and alcoholics.[1],[2]

Pastor Steps Down after Admitting to Infidelity—A local minister has stepped down from his pulpit after admitting to infidelity. New Destiny Christian Center pastor, Dr. Zachary Tims, announced to his congregation that he had an outside relationship that compromised his marriage. In his absence, Tims’ wife Riva, who has a background in theology, will be standing in as pastor until the situation is resolved.[3]

Sex Scandal Mars Megachurch Founder’s Death–March 29, 2009—Atlanta—Archbishop Earl Paulk, an evangelical pastor whose leadership of an Atlanta-area megachurch ended in a sex scandal has died. Paulk (no relation to John Paulk) was sentenced to 10 years probation after lying under oath about a sexual affair and fined $1,000 on a single felony count. A paternity test revealed Paulk was the father of his nephew, who is now leader of the church. The former church leader was at the center of a sex scandal in 2007 that ended with the revelation that he slept with his brother’s wife and fathered a child by her. D.E. Paulk, who for years was known publicly as Earl Paulk’s nephew. D.E. Paulk is now the head pastor of Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church.[4],[5]

Armed Robbery

Minister Robs Bank—Georgia—A South Georgia minister who robbed a bank Friday afternoon remains in jail. Jim Creason told the officers who arrested him that he was financially desperate. The Sheriff’s office says they have more property crimes occur when the economy is down, but a psychologist says that it is not enough reason for someone to resort to crime.[6]


Former Pastor Takes Plea Deal in Church Burning Case—Orangeburg, SC—A former pastor received probation in connection with the suspected arson that gutted his Summerville church in April 2005. Harold Hunter and his wife Patricia each were charged with second-degree arson days after the early morning fire destroyed much of Bethel AME Church, which has since been rebuilt on its same location on North Main Street.[7]

Georgia Pastor Charged for Arson in Church Fire—Albany, GA—The pastor of an Albany, Ga., church has been charged with first degree arson in connection with a fire that did severe damage to the church, the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner’s office said. The Rev. Joseph Howard III and Curtis Lee Jones were charged with one count each of first degree arson in the Dec. 31 fire at Trinity Metropolitan Baptist Church, said Glenn Allen, a spokesman for Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine. The church’s offices and school were vandalized before the sanctuary was set on fire. Damages were estimated at $150,000 to $200,000.[8]

Evangelist Preacher Charged With Arson—Daphne, AL—A prominent Christian evangelist known around the world for his controversial writings about Islam and the Qur’an is in custody in the Baldwin County Correctional Center. Dr. Anish Shorrosh is charged with trying to burn down a condominium high-rise where he lived in Daphne. He says he is from the hometown of Jesus, and claims to have preached the gospel in 82 different countries. But now, Dr. Anis Shorrosh is accused of putting dozens of his Daphne neighbors in danger. Shorrosh was arrested, and is now facing charges of attempted arson.[9]


U.S. Preacher Says “Take Out” Chavez—Virginia—A Republican religious leader stated on television that the assassination of Venezuela’s democratically elected president, Hugo Chavez, would be a good thing. Pat Robertson, a TV evangelist and close friend of George W. Bush, said killing Chavez would be cheaper than starting a war to remove him.[10]

Attempted Murder

Organist Imprisoned on Sex Charges gets More Time for Murder Plot—New Haven, CN—Robert Nelson pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to seven more years, for a total of 22 years behind bars. Robert Nelson of Naugatuck, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting the three young girls he met at church. While he was serving the sentence at Cheshire Correctional Institution, state police learned of a murder plot against one of the girls. State police said Nelson tried to persuade a woman outside the prison to kill one of his victims.[11],[12]

Former Ardmore Minister Sentenced to Serve 25 Years—Ardmore, OK—A Stephens County judge ordered a former Ardmore minister to serve a 25-year sentence on attempted murder charges. Keith L. Lewis, who entered a blind guilty plea to charges he intended to kill his wife when he shot her in 2004, appeared before Associate District Judge Joe Enos. Enos ordered Lewis to serve 19 years of the sentence behind bars. The former pastor of Victory Temple Church was arrested after he shot at and wounded his wife. Lewis’ wife drove herself to the hospital with her husband in pursuit. Lewis was taken into custody by an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper after hospital employees foiled his attempt to accost his wife in the hospital parking lot. At his plea hearing Lewis admitted his intent had been to end his wife’s life when he fired two shots at her.[13] 


Weir Minister Arrested on Battery Counts—Pittsburg, KS—A Baptist minister was arrested on two counts of battery. Dane R. Uber was booked into the Cherokee County Jail for domestic battery and felony aggravated battery. He will be held without bond until he is allowed to appear before a judge in Cherokee County District Court. Uber is a minister at the First Baptist Church.[14]

Baptist Minister Arrested for Domestic Violence in Alpharetta—AlpharettaWhile the senior minister of First Baptist Church of Alpharetta faces charges stemming from his arrest in a domestic altercation at his home, members of his church have rallied to support him. Pastor Jeff D. Witcher was arrested at his home just before 1 a.m. Nov. 12 on charges that he allegedly threatened his wife while holding a shotgun and kept her from calling 911. He was charged with simple assault and obstruction of a 911 call. Witcher, Senior Minister of First Baptist Church of Alpharetta faces charges stemming from his arrest in a domestic altercation after allegedly threatening his wife with a shotgun.[15],[16]

Pastor Arrested for Domestic Assault—Chattanooga—In Chattanooga, TN, Bryan Mowery, pastor at Community Baptist Church, was arrested for domestic assault after he beat up his daughter, according to media reports. According to Bradley County Sheriff’s reports, Community Baptist church Pastor Bryan Mowery spanked the girl with a belt first—then threw her into a closet, kicked her and hit her in the face with his fist. Mowery reportedly also got a nine-millimeter handgun from his bedroom and fired it outside his home.[17]


Saginaw Minister Gets Probation, Time on Tether for Making Bootleg CDs, DVDs—Saginaw, MI—A Saginaw minister is able to return to working with young at-risk men while serving a jail sentence on tether. Cirven D. Merrill will serve six months on tether as well as two years of probation after his guilty plea to four counts of making bootleg CDs and DVDs. Merrill pleaded guilty to the charges in July. County Circuit Judge Fred L. Borchard sentenced him Wednesday. A plea agreement dismissed felony firearm charges. Merrill also will pay $1,000 in fines and costs, $180 in state mandated fees and $60 to the Victim Rights Fund.[18]

Car Theft

NLR Preacher Indicted in Theft of Car, $11,000—Little RockNine months after accepting a job as pastor of a North Little Rock church, Robert David Keith disappeared with $11,000 in church money and a Mercedes-Benz he bought in the church’s name, a federal indictment alleges. The indictment, released Thursday, also accuses Keith, a fugitive since early August, of absconding with $8,169 that he conned an insurance company into giving him for repairs on the car after he wrecked it.[19]

Child Neglect

Pastor Charged with Neglect—Gary—Carlton Franklin Davis, the former pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Gary, Indiana, was charged with “neglect after a son he fathered with a parishioner was hospitalized with burns across his lower body,” reported the Indianapolis Star. “Samuel Kendrick [the baby] arrived at Community Hospital in Munster on with deep burns across his legs, feet, groin and buttocks, apparently after having been immersed in very hot water, according to court records.” Davis had been fired by the New Hope church board in September “after the baby’s mother went public with allegations that he had fathered her child. It was the second time the married pastor had been publicly confronted with impregnating a parishioner. In 2002, a woman told church members during a Sunday service that Davis had impregnated her 16-year-old daughter.”[20]

South Georgia Preacher arrested for child cruelty—Albany, GA—An Albany Minister and the mother of a two-year-old boy are accused of scalding the child in a bathtub. Police charged both with first-degree child cruelty. 26-year old Justice McClendon, a traveling minister who preaches in South Georgia churches and 21-year old Christy Davis of Geneva, Alabama are in the Dougherty County Jail. The child’s grandparents in Early County reported the injuries. This is the Albany home where investigators say the boy was injured.[21]

Child Support

Back Child Support Sends Minster to Jail—Greenville, SC—A Greenville church music minister has been sentenced to six months in prison for failing to pay more than $394,000 in back child support for his 13 children. WYFF-TV in Greenville says a judge ordered Lyman Rea on Thursday to pay $37,000 before he is released. He was arrested Wednesday while preparing for an evening service at Second Baptist Church in Greenville.[22]

Crimes Against a Vulnerable Adult

Simpson County Preacher Arrested for Crimes Against a Vulnerable Adult—Jackson, MS—Investigators of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, arrested Gene Ware Amason on three counts of embezzlement, totaling $91,258. Amason was arrested at the church where he preaches.[23]

Domestic Violence

Billy Graham’s Daughter Arrested—Miami—The daughter of evangelist Billy Graham faces domestic violence charges after she reportedly tried to choke her husband outside of a Florida Kmart. Virginia Graham Foreman, spent a night in jail after New Smyrna Beach police said she physically abused her husband, Chad. She was charged with misdemeanor domestic abuse and released on her own recognizance. Witness David Hill of Edgewater told police that Virginia Foreman choked and pushed her husband.[24]


John T. Nelson, volunteer minister—Chicago, IL—with Salem Baptist Church in Chicago, was arrested on a drug charge after 7.3 grams of cocaine were allegedly found on his person during a traffic stop. On Friday, Craig Mable, minister at Shiloh Baptist Church in York, Pennsylvania, was arrested on a federal drug warrant. Authorities accuse Mable of delivering 50 grams of crack cocaine.[25]

North Charleston Pastor Arrested on Drug Charges in North Carolina—Charlotte, NCA Low country pastor is now facing drug charges in North Carolina. Brian Moore was arrested for felony drug possession and misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia near Charlotte, North Carolina. Moore is a pastor at the Life Center Cathedral Church in North Charleston. He also works for several other churches in North and South Carolina.[26]

Pastor is Accused of Selling Drugs from Church—Tulsa—A pastor has been jailed and charged with selling controlled drugs out of his church, authorities said. Frank Leach of Salina was charged Monday in Mayes County District Court with delivery of a controlled drug, unlawful use of a police radio and use of a weapon during the commission of a crime, records show. Leach, whose bail is set at $100,000, made an initial court appearance Monday via closed-circuit video before Special District Judge Gary Dean. Undersheriff Joe Garrett said Leach was arrested Friday after sheriff’s officials sent an informant into the Salina Community Church, where Leach sold him Xanax, a tranquilizer. Seized from Leach were 156 Xanax pills, a handgun and $5,173 in cash, Garrett said.[27]

Pastor Fined $1,000 for Marijuana Possession—Saginaw—Robert B. Conner Jr., an assistant pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Saginaw, Michigan, was fined $1,000 for possession of marijuana. Saginaw County Circuit Judge Lynda L. Heathscott ordered Conner to pay the money. Conner pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana. As part of a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop a charge of delivering marijuana.[28]

Drunk Driving

Minister Held on $750,000 Bail, Accused in a Drunk-Driving Fatal Crash—Kentucky—The Kentucky Enquirer is reporting that a Pentecostal minister is being held on $750,000 bail after being accused in a drunk-driving crash that killed a Northern Kentucky prosecutor. Daniel Keith Gabbard faces 20 years to life in prison if he is found guilty of wanton murder in the June 8 death of Doug Wright. Wright had served as the commonwealth attorney for Harrison, Nicholas, Pendleton and Robertson counties for three years. He was married with two children. Gabbard, an independent truck driver and pastor of Uptown Church in Over-the-Rhine, was driving his semi truck south on U.S. 27 near Butler when he crossed the center line and smashed head-on into prosecutor Doug Wright’s 1990 Buick Riviera, according to state police.[29]


Ex-Pastor Guilty, Clergyman Admits to Stealing $32G from Church Fund; will Serve Five Years of Probation, Must Pay Back Group—Queens—The Reverend Charles Betts Sr. will serve five years probation and must pay back the money to Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Jamaica, according to a plea deal reached with prosecutors in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens. The pastor admitted before Justice Barry Kron that he acted together with his administrative aide, Anna Lenora Kilpatrick, and her husband, Barry Kilpatrick, to embezzle a total of nearly $500,000 from the church between 1996 and 2004. They were each charged with grand larceny and falsifying business records, crimes punishable by up to 15 years in prison.[30]

Pastor Convicted of Embezzlement—Leaksville, NC—Thomas K. Dunn, office manager at Leaksville United Methodist Church, was sentenced to “36 months of supervised probation and 250 hours of community service and ordered to pay the church $2,400,” reported the Greensboro News-Record, after he pleaded guilty to embezzling $41,738 from the church. [31]

Pastor Convicted of Embezzlement—Sells Church to Buy a BMW—Manteca, CA—A church pastor pleaded guilty to charges of embezzlement and is now awaiting sentencing. Randall Radic reportedly sold the church that he preached at for almost ten years so that he could purchase a BMW. The church was sold for $525,000 dollars. Radic was also accused of forging ownership documents to obtain loans on his home, which is owned by the church. Prosecutors agreed to drop nine additional charges in exchange for Radic’s guilty plea. Radic now faces up to 18 months in prison and is scheduled for sentencing on March 16th. He remains jailed on $750,000 dollars bond.[32]

Preacher Guilty of Stealing $500,000 gets Probation—Queens—Rev. Charles Betts, who skirted jail with plea deal and a promise to pay back some money received probation after prosecutors, believing Betts less culpable, allowed him to plead guilty in exchange for probation. The former pastor of the Morning Star Baptist Church also agreed to sign a “confession of judgment” for $31,000, which will allow church members suing him to collect their money. Betts faced charges of stealing about $500,000 from the small Jamaica church over nine years. Morning Star is among the 20 percent of churches nationwide that has lost money to people entrusted to protect church finances.[33]

Former Episcopal Church Comptroller Surrenders—Baton Rouge, LA—The former comptroller for St. James Episcopal Church, accused of embezzling more than $700,000, surrendered to authorities accompanied by his attorney, police said. Stephen Clarke Van Sickle was booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count of felony theft by embezzlement, police spokesman Sgt. Don Kelly said. Van Sickle’s theft was discovered earlier in the year. Van Sickle admitted to stealing $2,900, repaid the church, then resigned his post, an arrest warrant says. He later admitted, under the advice of attorney Thomas Damico, to stealing other funds as well. Van Sickle admitted to taking the money for personal use “through a method primarily involving duplicate payments of payroll taxes,” the warrant says. The church first announced the misappropriation in an open letter dated June 24 in an issue of the church newsletter, “The Messenger.” The newsletter said the amount was at least $100,000. The church performed an audit, which revealed Van Sickle stole $723,031.54 from May 1999 to July 2004, the warrant says.[34]

Church Treasurer Faces More Embezzlement Charges—Cassopolis, In—Allen Fisk, the treasurer at Trinity Bible Church and village president of Cassopolis, Ind. who had previously been charged with embezzling $13,000 from the church, was charged with two additional counts related to the allegedly embezzled money, including paying his mortgage with stolen funds and defrauding the IRS.[35]

Pastor Arrested on Embezzlement Charges—Georgia—Ron Durham, pastor of Abundant Life Church in Bangor, Maine, was arrested in Georgia on charges of embezzling more than $100,000 from the church.[36]

Preacher’s Wife and “Friend” Jailed for Embezzlement—Decatur, Mi—Larry Eugene Prince, treasurer of Victory Baptist Church in Decatur, Mich., and Amy Jomarie Hester, wife of Kevin Hester, the church’s pastor, were sentenced to 11 days in jail, small fines, and restitution, for their respective roles in embezzling $8,000 from the church coffers. The Hester’s are now divorcing.[37]

Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing from Church—Waukesha—Judith Lynn Anderson, the business manager at First United Methodist Church of Waukesha, Wisconsin, was sentenced to two years in prison for stealing $253,000 in church funds.[38]

Failure to Register as Sex Offender 

Ex-Pastor Sentenced as Lapsed Sex Offender—San Fernando—An associate pastor of a San Fernando Valley chapel was sentenced to 32 months in prison on Tuesday for failing to register as a sex offender. Ilger, a former second-grade teacher, was convicted in 1988 of molesting four students in his San Luis Obispo classroom. After being released from jail, Ilger and his family moved to Los Angeles, where he took a position with Hope Chapel of the Valley in Canoga Park. “We’ve lived and learned a painful lesson,” the Rev. Jeff Fischer of Hope Chapel said outside court. Fischer has said he and about 30 church elders knew that Ilger had molested young girls before he was hired.[39] 

Protestant Minister Unregistered As Sex Offender In South Dakota—Rapid City, SD—The Rev. James A. Forsythe, a Protestant minister in South Dakota, has not registered as a sex offender as required by law. Forsythe pleaded guilty in 1989 to attempted indecent liberties with a child. A Johnson County district judge said Forsythe was a pedophile and ordered him to have no contact with teen-age boys—a restriction the judge later lifted. Forsythe told The Kansas City Star that he did not know he needed to register in South Dakota. He pleaded guilty in 1989 to attempting indecent liberties with a child. Since 2000, Forsythe has been minister of the Metropolitan Community Church of the Black Hills in Rapid City, S.D. The church is part of a growing denomination that serves predominantly gay and lesbian worshippers. Forsythe said he had never told the whole congregation of his past.[40] 

Convicted Sex Offender Removed as Pastor of Newark Church—Newark, NJ—A convicted sex offender who was named pastor of a city church several weeks ago has been removed from the post. Shiloh Baptist Church leaders had hired the Rev. Chavalis T. Williams in mid-March, even though they knew he had pleaded guilty in Florida to charges of child abuse and using children in a sexual performance.[41]

Faith Healing

Religious Sect Member Convicted of Murder in Starvation of Son—Taunton, MA—Jacques Robidoux was convicted of first-degree murder after he admitted he watched his son, Samuel, starve over 51 days without solid food and die three days shy of his first birthday. Robidoux showed no emotion as he was sentenced to an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole. The former leader of the defunct group The Body of Christ apparently believed it was God’s will. Prosecutors say Robidoux’s sister, Michelle Mingo, who was also in the sect, concocted the “prophecy” about withholding solid food out of jealousy. She allegedly said God told her that Robidoux’s wife, Karen, needed to overcome her vanity and go on a high-fat diet to gain weight. She also said Karen should take her son off food and give him only her own breast milk.[42]

Preacher Charged in Death of Disciple —Oregon—A preacher whose followers refuse medical care has been indicted on charges that his teachings killed a teen-age disciple with chronic kidney disease. The Rev. Hobart Freeman, leader of the Faith Assembly, said he would not hire a lawyer to fight charges that he induced the girl’s parents to commit reckless homicide, criminal recklessness and child neglect. ”We’ll trust the Lord to be our defense.”[43]

Minister gets 30 Months in Boy’s Exorcism Death—Milwaukee—A Milwaukee minister whose attempt to perform an exorcism ended in the death of an 8-year-old boy was sentenced Tuesday to 30 months in prison and 7 1/2 years of state supervision for the botched ritual last August. The sentence also bars Ray Anthony Hemphill, 46, a former maintenance worker with no religious schooling who conducted services in a strip-mall sanctuary, from attempting any more exorcisms during the next 10 years without formal training in the practice. During an hour-long session, the boy’s feet and hands were restrained by his mother and other church members who prayed intensely for his violent tendencies to cease, the pastor’s wife said. “He just passed away,” Pastor David Hemphill said of the boy. “God is a mysterious person, and if he wants to call a life back, he does.” Bishop David Hemphill, the convicted’s brother, said that church leaders were trying to heal an autistic 8-year-old boy when he inexplicably stopped breathing and died during a prayer service.[44]


Pastor Charged with Larceny and Forgery—Waterbury, CN—Victor Whitworth, pastor at Victory Temple of the Church of God in Christ in Waterbury, Conn., “was charged with first-degree larceny and third-degree forgery,” reported the Associated Press. Police said he forged his name on a check for $16,245, then used the money to participate in an e-mail scam that they said has cost victims millions of dollars. Participants pose as Nigerian government officials, then try to persuade people to send them money and bank account numbers. People are told in e-mails or letters that they can earn money by helping to funnel funds from Nigeria to the U.S.”[45]


Culpeper Preacher Pleads Guilty to Fraud—Culpepper, VA—A Culpeper, Virginia preacher will be singing out of a different hymnal as a result of pleading guilty to fraudulent workers’ compensation claims and Virginia state income tax evasion. The Virginia State Police Insurance Fraud Program received information that Charles V. Shifflett, a Culpeper preacher, was receiving workers’ compensation benefits while he was also receiving two paychecks in the amount of $700. When VSP Special Agent Dennis Dodson began working this case, he quickly found there was more to it than just the preacher receiving a few extra bucks. His investigation revealed these claims reached back to November 2000 and involved two separate workers’ comp claims with two different insurance companies. Not only was workers’ comp involved, but there were also discrepancies in how Shifflett and his wife, Janice Shifflet, reported their income to the Virginia Department of Taxation. Joint investigation with the VSP and the Department of Taxation uncovered the fact the Shifflet’s were manipulating the church pay roll, workers’ comp and their tax returns to benefit them financially. Shifflett received more than $27,000 in fraudulent workers’ comp benefits over a six-year period.[46]

Texas Preacher Convicted of White Collar Crime$500,000 Worth!—What Happened To Thou Shalt Not Steal? While I speak nationwide on white-collar crime, fraud and ethics—I must say you don’t see this one often. I had to take a second read. Reverend James Cornell Clark—a former Lubbock pastor –was convicted on 41 counts of various indictments charging him with various offenses related to defrauding the federal government of more than a half million dollars. Likewise, Clark was also found guilty in another trial of importing an alien for immoral purposes. Apparently, James Clark forced a Kenyan exchange student into prostitution. James Clark was heard on tape; telling the young woman that she would have to provide sexual favors in return for what he had done for her after bringing her to Lubbock from Kenya. Apparently, Clark had paid for the young woman’s living expenses and college tuition at South Plains College and was now expecting something in return. Sex and theft—Clark is working on breaking commandments in a big way! Specifically the jury convicted Clark on 23 counts of mail fraud, five counts of making false statements or entries, three counts of possession of false papers to defraud the U.S. and 10 counts of money laundering. The entities that were charged in the superseding indictment, Mt Vernon Faith-In-Action Outreach Project, Mt Vernon United Methodist Community Development, Trinity Christian Outreach Ministries, Mt Vernon United Methodist Church Community Outreach Corporation and Clark Evangelistic Outreach Ministries, Inc., were also all convicted on money laundering charges. I can’t begin to imagine how the members of Clark’s congregation must feel.[47]

Televangelist Sentenced for Passport Fraud—Houston—Edgar Lopez Bertrand, “a televangelist regarded as one of the most influential ministers in El Salvador, pleaded guilty to faking a passport for a girl he falsely claimed as his daughter.” Bertrand, a televangelist from El Salvador, was sentenced to two years probation for passport fraud.[48]

Pastor Convicted: “Preyed on those who prayed”—Roanoke—William Thomas Warren, a self-described “financial pastor” who preyed on those who prayed, cheated his faithful investors out of nearly $7 million, a federal judge determined. Convicted earlier of running a scam aimed at Christian investors, Warren now has assets of just $647,285 to be divided among his victims, Magistrate Judge Michael Urbanski found in a report filed in U.S. District Court in Roanoke. That means more than 100 people who were once promised a 40 percent return on their investments must now settle for 9 cents on the dollar.[49]

Pastor Sentenced to 310 Years in Prison for Fraud—Culpepper, VA—A pastor from Culpepper, VA, has been sentenced to 310 years in prison for insurance fraud, and faces a $50,000 fine. A pastor with the First Baptist Church, Rev. Charles Shifflett filed fraudulent documents in relation a workers’ compensation claim, made false claims on tax returns, and obtained money from the Calvary Baptist Church through misrepresentation. He pleaded guilty to 20 felony charges and one misdemeanor.[50]

Appeals Court Upholds Baptist Foundation Convictions—Phoenix, AR—Attorney General Terry Goddard announced that the Arizona Court of Appeals has upheld the convictions and sentences of former Baptist Foundation of Arizona executives William Crotts and Thomas Grabinski. In August 2006, a jury found Crotts, the foundation’s ex-president, and Grabinski, BFA’s ex-general counsel, guilty of fraud and illegally conducting an enterprise. The verdicts came at the end of a 10-month trial, the longest in state history. The Baptist Foundation’s failure was at the time the largest non-profit bankruptcy in the nation’s history. In September 2006, Crotts was sentenced to eight years in prison for fraud and seven years for illegally conducting an enterprise. Grabinski received a six-year term for fraud and five years for illegally conducting an enterprise. The sentences for both defendants will run concurrently. The judge also ordered each man to pay $159 million in restitution.[51]


Founder Fired from Church Leadership—Colorado (CNN)—Less than a day after being fired from leadership of the evangelical mega-church he founded, the Rev. Ted Haggard confessed Sunday to “sexual immorality” and called himself “a deceiver and a liar.” contributed to this report.[52] Haggard was the Pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado and was the president of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) from 2003 until November 2006. Haggard’s position allowed him occasional access to George W. Bush. In 2006, it was alleged that Haggard had been regularly visiting a male prostitute who also provided him with crystal methamphetamine.[53] In interviews over the past two days with KHOW talk radio, 9News and The Denver Post, Michael Forest Jones of Denver alleges he had sex on a monthly basis with Haggard over three years. Jones claimed Haggard used the name “Art,” admitted he was married and used meth before the two had sex.[54]

Anti-Gay Advocate at Focus Resigning—Orlando—The manager of Focus on the Family’s Homosexuality and Gender Department has resigned saying that he needed to focus more on his own family. John Paulk, a self-described former gay prostitute who for 17 years has spread the message that homosexuality is “preventable and treatable,” resigned from Focus on the Family.[55] In September 2000, Paulk was found and photographed in a Washington, D.C. gay bar, and accused by opponents of flirting with male patrons at the bar. Later questioned by Wayne Besen, Paulk denied being in the bar despite photographic proof to the contrary.[56] The incident received national headlines in newspapers and news magazines. Paulk remained in his position as manager of the Homosexuality and Gender Department until he left in 2003.[57] Paulk is a former leader of Focus on the Family‘s Love Won Out conference and former chairman of the board for Exodus International North America. His claimed shedding of homosexuality is also the subject of his autobiography Not Afraid to Change. Initially, Focus on the Family’s Dr. James Dobson sided with Paulk and supported his claims. Subsequently, Paulk, who himself had written about his habit of lying while he openly lived as a homosexual, confessed to being in the bar, but claimed he entered the establishment for reasons other than sexual pursuits. Paulk retained his Board seat for Exodus, however he did so while on probation. Paulk did not run again for chairman of the board of Exodus when his term expired.

Son of Homophobic Megachurch Pastor Arrested in Gay Sex Sting—Dallas—Megachurch pastor T.D. Jakes has said that he would never hire a sexually active gay person, has spoken out against same-sex marriage and has called homosexuality a “brokenness.” Now his son has been arrested in a sex sting after approaching law enforcement officers in a park and exposed himself to them.[58] Jermaine Jakes later posted $1,000 bail and was released, according to jail records. He is accused of exposing himself in front of an undercover Dallas police vice detective.[59]

Minister Claims Gay Sex Chat was Way to Bring Children to Christ—Miami—Talking sex in gay chat rooms and meeting teenage boys was just a way to bring young people to Jesus, says a South Florida youth minister arrested for luring children over the Internet, police say. The Broward Sheriff’s Office arrested Hewart Lee Bennett who is well known for his anti-gay stance. Police found him in a North Lauderdale neighborhood after reports that a suspicious person was prowling the area.[60] Police say Bennett told them he was in the area to talk to young people about coming to the Lord. He was specifically looking for a young man he’d met online, police say. Police say they found a 15-year-old boy, whose name is being withheld, who they spotted walking away from Bennett’s car. The boy told them Bennett asked for directions to his house and demanded he get in the car. The boy said he gave him a fake address and ran. The boy also told investigators he had communicated with Bennett in a gay chat room, where Bennett disguised himself as a young male, police say. According to police, Bennett solicited sex from 16-year-old boys while claiming that he did so to gain their trust and then teach them the love of Jesus.[61]

CME Bishop’s Criminal Charges are Dropped—Civil Case Still On—Ft. Worth—The Tarrant County district attorney’s office says it doesn’t have enough evidence for a conviction and is dropping sexual assault charges against anti-gay Christian Methodist Episcopal bishop in Dallas-Fort Worth is suspended after indicted on sexual assault charges involving a 46-year-old man. The victim is also a minister in the CME Church. Bishop Kenneth Wayne Carter was indicted last month, charged and released on $10,000 bail last week. Church officials announced Carter, 51, was suspended with pay until his criminal case is resolved. Carter, who is married with children, has preached a strict anti-gay message at Carter Metropolitan C.M.E. Church in Fort Worth for the past decade while apparently leading a double life. The licensed minister at a Dallas CME church alleges, “Carter sexually assaulted him last year when he went to Carter’s Arlington home to be interviewed for a driving job. The minister says he went to the interview despite his misgivings about Carter’s ‘homosexual tendencies.’ “The bishop maintains the sex was consensual and claims the minister “was the aggressor.” The victim has also filed a lawsuit against Carter, the Memphis-based Christian Methodist Episcopal Church and Senior Bishop William Graves. The Star-Telegram reports “the lawsuit on the accusations is set for trial next month” but plaintiff’s attorneys expect “the civil court case to be postponed until after the criminal case is tried.” Litigation means additional victims partners could be introduced, as well as more full details on Carter’s “homosexual tendencies.” Bishop Kenneth W. Carter was elected as the 55th Bishop of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in 2006. The church is an historic African-American denomination that dates to 1870 and was formerly known as the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church. It boasts approximately 800,000 members in the United States, Haiti, Jamaica, Ghana, Liberia & Nigeria. Some state chapters and churches, such as those in Massachusetts and Colorado, have backed gay rights. Carter has not only opposed gay rights, but he has preached against gays.[62]

Preacher and Teachers, Arrested—Knoxville—Two teachers and one preacher are among 40 people arrested in a Northeast Tennessee sex sting. WJHL also reported that Rev. Robert Riley was arrested and charged with Indecent exposure. The Chairman of the Deacons at First Baptist Church in Rogersville told WJHL that Riley resigned as pastor later in the week. Undercover police made the arrests in Man Cave, where police say homosexual activity takes place in Winged Deer Park.[63]

Anti-Gay Preacher Charged with Lewd Act—Deacon Jerome Pitchford, an anti-gay preacher for the Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ was arrested in a police sting operation aimed at men soliciting sex in a public park. Police say after church after church services on Sunday afternoon, Pitchford was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious behavior at Milwaukee’s Estabrook Park.[64]

District Heights Mayor Arrested in Sting—Baltimore—James L. Walls Jr., an antigay Associate minister of the Forestville New Redeemer Baptist Church and mayor of District Heights, Maryland, was arrested April 24th after allegedly offering an undercover male police officer $40 for sex in a known prostitution area, authorities said. Rev. Walls is a leading anti-gay spokesman in the area.[65]

Church Founder Steps Down Resigns After “Confessing” Homosexuality—Denver—2006, Paul Barnes is the founder and former senior minister of the evangelical church Grace Chapel in Douglas County, Colorado. He confessed his homosexual activity to the church board, and his resignation was accepted on 7 December 2006. He started the church in his basement and watched it reach a membership of 2,100 in his 28 years of leadership. This scandal was notable because it was similar to Ted Haggard’s, it occurred in the same state (Colorado) and around the same time (late 2006).In a taped confession, Barnes confessed to “struggling with homosexuality” since he was 5. He described praying for God to make it go away and also talked about failed attempts at counseling.[66]

Three Teachers and a Minister Arrested—Dallas, OR—Three Teachers and a Minister were arrested in a Polk County Sheriff’s Office undercover operation to address complaints of illegal sexual activity within the park. The complaints centered around public indecency. It also involved handling and displaying their genitals in the open and public masturbation. Police arrested eight men including Harry Nelson, a teacher at Parrish Middle School in Salem; Ronald Bridge, an elementary school teacher at Sunset Primary School in West Linn and John Backus, a professor at Western Oregon University. One of the other suspects is listed in the Salem phone book as Reverend Steven Adams.[67]

Another Anti-Gay Preacher Caught in Homosexual Scandal—Oklahoma CityRev. Lonnie W. Latham, a fierce anti-gay Christian who wants to “convert” gays to a heterosexual lifestyle, was busted for trying to suck a cop’s dick in Oklahoma City: The Rev. Lonnie W. Latham had supported a resolution calling on gays and lesbians to reject their “sinful, destructive lifestyle” before his Jan. 3, 2006, arrest outside the Habana Inn in Oklahoma City.[68] Before his arrest Rev. Latham was a member of the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention and preached against civil marriage rights for gays and supported a resolution calling on gays and lesbians to reject their “sinful, destructive lifestyle.” But Rev. Latham is not on trial for hypocrisy, unfortunately, or for sleazy and stupid behavior. He’s on trial for offering legal sex to a stranger, who happened to be a cop. If he’d made the same offer on the Internet or in a bar, rather than on a street corner, he would have gotten what he wanted without having to give up his pulpit—or his hypocrisy.[69]

Identity Theft

Baptist Minister Sentenced for Identity Theft—Williamsburg, PA—A Baptist minister in central Pennsylvania has been sentenced to one year in jail for stealing the identities of his church members. Raymond Clayton Sr. was also ordered to pay more than $28,000 in restitution at his sentencing Wednesday. Clayton is the former pastor of Grace Fellowship Church near Mount Carmel.[70]

Indecent Exposure

Ex-Minister Guilty of Exposure—Milwaukee—United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay youth minister, Kurt Danskin, pleaded no contest to a charge that he exposed himself to a 17-year-old boy who spent the night with him at his congregation-owned home. Danskin also was charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, in connection with allegations that he had sent the same boy sexually explicit e-mails.[71]

Big Stone Gap Pastor Charged with Indecent Exposure—Big Stone GapAccording to a Bristol Herald Courier report the pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Big Stone Gap is facing charges of indecent exposure. Police say Millard Clifton Tolbert was arrested after being caught on a video surveillance masturbating in the boys and men’s underwear isle of the Dollar General store in Appalachia.[72]


Couples Arrested on Kidnapping and Rape Charges—El Dorado—An El Dorado County Superior Court Judge approved $30 million bail for Phillip Garrido, pastor of God’s Desire church, saying he posed a danger to the public and was a flight risk. The judge kept Garrido’s wife, Nancy, on a no-bail hold in jail. Even if Garrido were to come up with the bail amount of $30 million, he would have to stay in jail because he remains on a no-bail parole hold for a previous conviction. The Garrido’s were arrested after a sharp-eyed campus police officer at UC Berkeley stopped Garrido who was on campus distributing religious materials with two young girls. The couple faces 29 charges of kidnapping and rape and is being held in El Dorado County Jail in the disappearance of Jaycee Dugard 18 years ago. Authorities believe the couple held Dugard in a ragged warren of tents and outbuildings behind their Antioch home and that Garrido fathered her two daughters there. Phillip Garrido was convicted of kidnapping and pleaded guilty to rape in a separate 1976 attack. He was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for the former and received a life sentence in Nevada state prison for the latter but served only 11 years.[73]

Atlanta Preacher Arrested Again, Accused of Hiding Child—Atlanta—A preacher who has served time in prison for telling his followers to whip their children has been arrested again. The Reverend Arthur Allen was arrested Saturday and charged with interference with child custody. According to jail records, Allen was later released on $10,000 bond. Allen gained notoriety for beating misbehaving children and for encouraging his congregation to marry their daughters at early adolescence because he said that would keep them from becoming sinners through premarital sex. In 2002, a Fulton County jury convicted Allen and four other church members of cruelty to children after two boys, then 10 and 7, showed up at school with welts and bruises. Allen served more than two years in prison in the case.[74]

Pastor Convicted of Kidnapping his Grandchildren—North Dakota—A pastor has been convicted of kidnapping six of his grandchildren and holding them for years while he indoctrinated them in his anti-Semitic beliefs. The jury recommended he get the maximum sentence of 30 years. Rev Gordon Winrod was convicted of kidnapping his grandchildren from their fathers in North Dakota in the mid-1990’s and hiding them on ranch for several years. Prosecutors said Winrod brainwashed the children. Authorities have linked Winrod and his church, Our Saviors Church, to the Christian Identity movement, which considers white Christians superior to nonwhites and Jews.[75]

Law Suits

Convicted Child Molester Longtime Pastor of Southern Baptist Churches–Miami—A Florida court sentenced longtime Southern Baptist Pastor Douglas Myers to seven years in prison for repeatedly molesting a parishioner’s grandson. Now Myers is headed to prison for molesting a child. Myers was charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious battery. Facing up to 45 years in prison, in exchange for pleading guilty to one of the charges, prosecutors agreed to let him serve seven years behind bars.[76]

Church Sued Over Molestation—New Port Richey, FL—The mother of a 5-year-old girl has filed a lawsuit against the Gospel Outreach Church of New Port Richey, alleging that her daughter was molested because church officials failed to screen the background of a church volunteer. Alfonso Morales pleaded guilty last month to molesting the girl on a church bus in May 2001. He also pleaded guilty to molesting a second 5-year-old girl in the church parking lot in November 2000. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Morales was previously convicted in New York of sexual battery on a child. He was released from prison in 1992 after serving five years.[77]


Minister Sentenced to Five Years, Named as ‘Sexual predator’—Topeka—A minister from Manhattan who pleaded guilty to molesting a teenager who was a member of his church has been sentenced to more than five years in prison, but had an additional 200 months (16.6 years) tacked on after he pleaded guilty to related charges in another county. Brian N. Savage, former pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Manhattan, stood trial in Riley County District Court on two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, two counts of criminal sodomy, two counts of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child and one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. Following that trial, he received the additional sentence in Pottawatomie County on two counts of indecent liberties with a child and one count of criminal sodomy.[78]

Area Pastor Sentenced in Sex Abuse Case—Tinley Park, IL—A local pastor was sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing two girls. Dennis Larry Shaw was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 16-year-old girl, according to the Will County state’s attorney’s office. A week later, Shaw was arrested on similar charges after a parishioner’s 12-year-old daughter alleged she was fondled by the pastor inside the church, prosecutors said.[79][80]

Another Preacher Sentenced on Sex Charges—Asheville—Baptist minister Roy Mace Honeycutt II was sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to molesting an 11-year-old boy. He was also charged with six counts of taking indecent liberties with two other boys who were younger than 16.[81]

Former West Valley Minister Sentenced—Phoenix—Jimmy Lee Heiskell was sentenced to 9 years in prison on charges of sexual molestation of a 14-year-old boy. Heiskell was charged with molestation and sexual conduct with a minor. Heiskell was the former minister at the West Valley Assembly of God Church in Goodyear, but his brother, who has been the church pastor for 16 years, said Heiskell was never an ordained minister.[82],[83]

SoCal Pastor Sentenced for Sexual Molestation of Two girls—San Fernando Valley—A former Sunland pastor was sentenced to 32 years in prison for sexually molesting two girls who attended his church in the San Fernando Valley. Joseph Gary Torres was convicted in San Fernando Superior Court on 11 counts, including continuous sexual abuse, oral copulation and sodomy by force. Prosecutors said Torres met the victims at his Sunland church, Iglesia Bautista Reformada, which is Spanish for Reformed Baptist Church. They said he molested a 12-year-old girl for six years, and sexually abused a 14-year-old girl.[84],[85],[86]

Wonderly Sentenced to 35 Years—Oklahoma City—Ryan Martin Wonderly, the youth minister at Bethany First Church of the Nazarene in Oklahoma City, was sentenced to 35 years in prison for molesting children in his church. Wonderly was charged with ten counts of indecent or lewd acts with a child under 16 and four counts of rape in the first degree by instrumentation.[87]

Man Who Prayed with Victims Guilty of Molestation—Savannah—After seven hours of deliberations, a Chatham County jury convicted a minister of child molestation, sexual battery and related charges. Prosecutors said James Simpson often prayed and read scriptures to the four girls he abused. Simpson faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years without the possibility of parole. Jurors convicted Simpson of all but one statutory rape charge that was part of a 19-count indictment. He was convicted of a single count of aggravated sexual battery, 10 counts of child molestation, three counts of aggravated child molestation and four counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes.[88]

Pastor Convicted on Sex Charges—Atlanta—Tommy Ray Holbrook Sr., pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, charged with two counts each of child molestation and statutory rape was convicted to a minimum of ten years in prison without parole. On at least two occasions, police said Holbrook had sex with a girl less than 16 years old. The incidents allegedly occurred in the church and at a nearby house.[89]

Pastor’s Son Sentenced to 17 Years for Molesting Children—Green Cove Springs, Fl—Joshua Palin, director of the Kid’s Palace, a day care center operated by Faith Ministries in Green Cove Springs, Florida, will go to prison for 17 years for molesting children he met there—about one-half of the sentence he could have received if he’d gone to trial. Palin pleaded no contest to four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation and three charges of lewd and lascivious battery—a plea the parents of the victims accepted to avoid having their children testify at a trial. The victims ranged in age from 6 to 14, and included both boys and girls. The remaining 18 charges of alleged molestation of children from the day-care center were dropped. Some of those charges carried a maximum of 30 years in prison. Palin’s sentence will be followed by 10 years of probation.[90],[91],[92]

Former Church Leader Sentenced—Redwood City, CA—Christopher Fouts, director of youth ministries at Peninsula Covenant Church in Redwood City, California, was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison. Fouts agreed to the sentence when he pleaded no contest to one count of committing a lewd act on a child under age 14 and one count of committing a lewd act on a child more than 10 years his junior. In return, prosecutors dropped three other felony charges of molestation and Fouts avoided the possibility of a 13-year sentence if convicted by a jury of the initial charges.[93]

Gospel Singer going to Jail for Molesting Students, Sisters—Philadelphia (AP)—A music teacher who made a name for himself as a gospel singer was sentenced to at least 33 years in prison for raping two former students and molesting three sisters. Otis Joseph had taught the two rape victims at a Philadelphia charter school. He took the other girls into his home when their mother, a member of his gospel group, needed emergency housing, Assistant District Attorney Leslie Gomez said. Joseph, a New Orleans native who recorded two CDs with the gospel group Zamar, cried during the sentencing and told supporters in the courtroom he was not a monster, Gomez said. He was convicted of 23 counts in two separate trials last year.[94]

Youth Minister Gets Probation for Disney World Grope—Orlando—A New York man pleaded guilty to molesting a young female swimmer at a Walt Disney World water park. Robert Chester Double Jr. pleaded guilty to one count of lewd and lascivious molestation and was sentenced to five years of sex offender Probation. Double was also prohibited from visiting any amusement park or water park. Investigators said Double, a youth minister at Willowbrook Christian Church, purposely collided with young girls in a wave pool, pulled their swimsuits aside and groped them at Typhoon Lagoon. A security worker said she saw Double grab at least three young girls and quickly swim away.[95],[96]

Minister Sentenced to 2-4 years in Prison, 5 years Probation—Grove Farm, PA—The Rev. David Valencia pleaded guilty yesterday in Common Pleas Court to sexual assault stemming from a series of incidents involving a high school junior he was counseling at church. Judge Donna Jo McDaniel sentenced Valencia to 2 to 4 years in prison and 5 years’ probation. He also must register as a sex offender. Valencia was an assistant pastor at Christ Church at Grove Farm. The pastor of Christ Church, the Rev. John Guest, said Valencia was dismissed because he was found to have pornography on an office computer after he was warned about similar incident months earlier.[97],[98],[99]

Disgraced Pastor gets Five Years in Prison—Stafford, VA—The Rev. George O. Lowe was sentenced in Stafford Circuit Court to 10 years in prison with half of it suspended on two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. Lowe had been in jail for three months after his bond was revoked when he pleaded guilty. Lowe was the pastor at Mount Hope Baptist Church in Stafford for 43 years until he was removed after being indicted. The victim said the abuse occurred at least 20 times.[100],[101]

Baptist Pastor Sentenced for Sex with 16 Year OldFort WorthThe former pastor of the Southwood Baptist Church was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication probation after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a church member. James “Jay” Virtue Robinson IV’s guilty plea means he must register as a sex offender for life. Robinson was arrested on accusations that he had a relationship with a teen church member that included sexual contact when the girl was 16. Robinson resigned from Southwood on the advice of attorneys.[102]

Youth Pastor Sentenced to 10 Years—Daytona—Chris Thomas Miller, youth pastor of Praise Assembly of God in Bunnell, Florida, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Miller was charged with six counts of child molestation involving two girls he befriended through his role in the church.[103]

Arizona Pastor Pleads Guilty to Molesting Florida BoyWinter Haven, Fl—A former Arizona church pastor pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a 6-year-old Florida boy. Robert Enersen entered his plea as part of a deal with prosecutors. He pleaded guilty to three counts of lewd molestation in exchange for 18 years in prison and 10 years probation. During the interview, Douglas Police Department detectives reported that Enersen spoke about abusing two other children in North Carolina and Michigan.[104],[105]

Ex-teacher Guilty of Molestation Charges Receives 14-year Sentence—Milpitas, CA—A secretary to a LDS Bishop admitted to sexually molesting four children and was sentenced to 14 years in prison. Craig Allen Harward pleaded guilty to three counts of lewd and lascivious acts on children under the age of 14, and no contest to a fourth count of the same charge.[106]

Former Church Music Director Sentenced—Rotterdam, NY—Malcomb Kogut, music director at Saint Gabriel’s Church in Rotterdam, was sentenced to three years in prison for having oral sex with a 15-year-old choirboy. Said Kogut: “I was blinded by a moment of temptation and weakness and I promise it will never happen again.”[107]

Sunday School Teacher Sentenced in Molestation—Norman, Ok—A Norman Sunday school teacher was sentenced to 20 years in prison for molesting a 7-year-old boy on multiple occasions. Darren L. Moore pleaded guilty to three counts of forcible sodomy and one count of indecent exhibition of obscene material to a minor. He was sentenced, with five years to serve and 15 years of supervised probation, on each count. Moore admitted to acts of forcible oral sodomy and to showing the boy pornographic images.[108]

Preacher Sentenced to 15 years on Molestation Charges—Hernando, MS—A former preacher was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Douglas Eugene Parker pleaded guilty to sexually molesting two teenage girls. Parker, who once served as the victims’ minister, pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of fondling. He will serve 15 years in prison for the sexual battery on the first indictment and had 15 years suspended on the second child fondling count.[109]

Elementary School Principal/Preacher Sentenced—La Mesa, CA—Dennis M. McKeown, a minister and elementary school principal, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting a boy he baby-sat over a two-year period. McKeown was a popular principal of the King-Chavez Academy of Excellence, a Barrio Logan charter school. He pleaded guilty to three counts of child molestation.[110]

Pastor Gets 90 Years for MolestationAnaheim—An Anaheim pastor, who videotaped himself molesting a 13-year-old parishioner in a church office, cried and clutched a Bible behind his back as he was led from a courtroom in handcuffs after pleading guilty to 34 felony sex counts. Raul Rosas Hernandez was sentenced by Superior Court Judge Francisco Briseno to 90 years in prison after he admitted molesting four girls and one boy over a 10-year span. Briseno said the sentence is tantamount to a life term because Hernandez must serve 85 percent of the 90 years before he becomes eligible for parole.[111]

Pastor pleads guilty to child molestation—Atlanta—Cherokee County Superior Court Judge, Jackson Harris, sentenced an area pastor to 30 years. He will serve 10 years in jail and the remainder on probation. Derek Gillett, pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Forsyth County, pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation.[112]

Warsaw Pastor Gets 6 Years for Sex with Boy—Warsaw, IN—A Warsaw pastor accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy more than five years was sentenced to serve six years of an eight-year sentence. Mark Allen Johnson faced one charge of child molesting, two charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and a charge of child solicitation, all felonies. Johnson was the senior pastor at Pentecostal Church of Refuge in Warsaw.[113]

Pastor Sentenced 11 Years for Molesting Young Girl—Tacoma—The pastor of the Gig Harbor Church of the Nazarene, was sentenced for molesting a 7-year-old girl. Pastor Stephen Kerr admitted to also molesting a 2-year-old. The judge sentenced Kerr to 11 1/2 years in prison.[114]

Former Pastor Sentenced to Prison—Joplin—Roy Curtis Huling, the former pastor of a Webb City church was sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually molesting a girl when she was between the ages of 9 and 11.[115]

Youth Pastor Sentenced for Molestation—Eureka, CA—A former youth pastor and teacher’s aide, Andrew Belant, was sentenced 86 years in prison after he was convicted of child molestation and possession of child pornography. Authorities say he abused four boys, aged nine through 13.[116],[117]

Convicted Sex Offender Named Pastor Removed—Newark—A convicted sex offender who was named pastor of a city church was removed from his post. Shiloh Baptist Church leaders hired convicted sex offender the Rev. Chavalis T. Williams even though they knew he had pleaded guilty in Florida to charges of child abuse and using children in a sexual performance.[118]

Jehovah’s Witness Leader Facing 16 Years in Prison—Visalia—A local Jehovah’s Witness congregation leader may face up to 16 years in prison on charges of sexually molesting a 12-year-old congregation member. Louis Anguiano served as an elder at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He is accused of continuous sexual abuse, over a two-year period, of a girl who attended the same congregation.[119]

Bible Teacher Gets 16 Years in Molestations—Salinas, CA—A former Salinas Bible class teacher was sentenced to 16 years in prison after admitting that he molested two boys. Wesley Craig Parnell pleaded no contest to four counts of lewd acts with a child and one count of oral copulation with a child under age 14. [120]

Preacher/Teacher Sentenced to 15 Years—Baton Rouge—The former minister of the Hightime Evangelistic Center in Baker, Benny McFarland, was sentenced 15 years in prison on two counts of aggravated crime against nature and one count of molestation of a juvenile. Each count carries a maximum of 15 years in prison, but as part of the plea, prosecutors agreed that McFarland’s sentences could run concurrently. McFarland, was also a science teacher at Prescott Middle School at the time he had sex with the boys. Earlier McFarland stopped his trial and pleaded guilty.[121]


Preacher Arrested and Convicted for Civil Rights Murders—Meridian, MS—After four decades, in Philadelphia, Mississippi, Edgar Ray Killen, a soft-spoken “country preacher” was convicted on manslaughter charges for the so-called “Mississippi Burning” killing of three civil rights workers in 1964. Killen had previously been found not guilty of violating civil rights laws in a federal court; a lone holdout juror said she “could not convict a preacher. On June 21, 1964, three young men (Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman) were investigating a burned church in Meridian when they were attacked by a large group of KKK and killed. After 40 years, Edgar Ray Killen, the man considered to be the leader and organizer of the attack, had his day in court.[122]

BTK Murderer Pleads Guilty—Wichita—Dennis Rader, the former president of Christ Lutheran Church in Park City, Kansas, pleaded guilty to killing ten women in the Wichita area. Rader confessed to being the serial killer called “BTK,” referring to his preferred method of killing: “Bind, Torture, Kill.” On the stand, Rader told the sordid story of killing and torture dating to 1974, and confessed to being Wichita’s BTK serial killer. He is to serve 10 consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole for more than 40 years.[123]

Jury finds Ex-Preacher Doug Porter Guilty of Murder—Fresno—A jury today found former country preacher Howard “Doug” Porter guilty of murder in the death of Frank Craig. The jury also found him guilty of attempted murder, theft from an elder by a caretaker and elder abuse causing death. Four years ago, when the Rev. Howard Douglas Porter eulogized a friend killed in a car crash in which Porter was driving, the victim’s friends and relatives were suspicious. They feared Porter deliberately planned the crash to get his hands on the multimillion-dollar trust fund of Frank Craig, an 85-year-old farmer. Authorities discovered enough evidence to confirm those fears. [124],[125],[126]

Preacher Sentenced to 65 Years in Prison—Waco—Matt Baker was sentenced to 65 years in prison. Baker said he believes he is innocent and that the jury has made a mistake in this decision. He was accused of killing his wife and trying to cover it up as a suicide. Jurors deliberated for two hours before imposing the sentence.[127] Initially, investigators said they believed Kari Baker’s death was suicide, but her family said it always suspected it was murder. Forensics experts said they found sleeping pills in Kari’s system and bruises around her face, suggesting she was smothered with a pillow. According to investigators, evidence was also found on Baker’s computer showing searches for overdose by sleeping pill and an online purchase of prescription medicine all done months before the alleged murder.[128],[129]

Bainbridge Preacher to be Re-Sentenced for Wife’s Murder—Seattle—A former preacher on Bainbridge Island who got a life sentence for drugging his wife, killing her and then setting a fire to cover up the crime will be re-sentenced after the state Supreme Court ruled that there were no aggravating circumstances in the murder. Nicholas Hacheney now faces a possible sentence of 20 to 26 years for first-degree murder. Hacheney previously received a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole after being convicted of aggravated first-degree murder in 2002. But the state Supreme Court vacated the life sentence after ruling that the fire was set after the murder, so it could not be an aggravating circumstance during the commission of the murder. He was convicted of drugging his wife, Dawn, then strangling her and setting the couple’s apartment ablaze to cover his tracks. Initially, the death was ruled as accidental, but the case was reopened four years later when Sandra Glass—a member of the church and Nicholas Hacheney’s former lover—told police he had admitted to drugging and strangling his wife before setting the fire.[130]

Ex-Pastor Sentenced to Life in Prison in Wife’s Murder—Birmingham—A Shelby County judge sentenced a former Vincent pastor to life in prison for the 2005 slaying of his wife. Circuit Judge Dan Reeves gave Timothy Dane Tillman the maximum sentence after a hearing in which Tillman pleaded for mercy and his former father-in-law asked that he never be allowed to walk free again. Tillman was found guilty of murdering Janet Lorita Tillman. She was killed in the home where she and Tillman lived with their two daughters.[131]

Reaves gets Life for Murder—Raleigh—Robert Lee Adams Reaves, a former pastor who called himself “the bishop,” was found guilty of the first-degree murder of an N.C. Central University student. Latrese Curtis, a student, was found stabbed, bloodied and lifeless on the edge of Interstate 540 in January 2008. Judge Don Stephens sentenced Reaves to life in prison without parole. Prosecutors contended that Reaves killed Curtis in a jealous rage after he followed her from his home that night, forced her car off the road and stabbed her dozens of times before leaving her body under the Rolesville exit sign on I-540.[132]

Youth Pastor Convicted of Slaying Pregnant Girlfriend—San Antonio—A Bexar County, Texas, jury convicted a former youth minister of capital murder in the death of his pregnant girlfriend. Jurors in the 226th District Court took about an hour and 15 minutes to find Adrian Estrada guilty of capital murder in the choking and stabbing death of Stephanie Sanchez. Estrada was accused of stabbing Sanchez, who was three months pregnant. Police said Sanchez’s father arrived at their home and found the victim lying on the floor near the front of the home, covered with blood but still breathing. Emergency medical technicians were unable to revive Sanchez. Estrada, a former youth pastor at El Sendero Assembly of God church, showed no emotion when the verdict was read.[133],[134]

Religious Sect Member Convicted of Murder in Starvation of Son—Taunton, MA—Jacques Robidoux was convicted of first-degree murder after he admitted he watched his son, Samuel, starve over 51 days without solid food and die three days shy of his first birthday. Robidoux showed no emotion as he was sentenced to an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole. The former leader of the defunct group The Body of Christ apparently believed it was God’s will. Prosecutors say Robidoux’s sister, Michelle Mingo, who was also in the sect, concocted the “prophecy” about withholding solid food out of jealousy. She allegedly said God told her that Robidoux’s wife, Karen, needed to overcome her vanity and go on a high-fat diet to gain weight. She also said Karen should take her son off food and give him only her own breast milk.[135]

Miller Guilty of Murder—Lawrence, KS—A jury deliberated six hours before finding a former Christian-school leader guilty of strangling his wife. The jury convicted Martin K. Miller of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Mary E. Miller. Prosecutors accused Miller of killing his wife because he wanted to continue an affair, but believed God frowns upon adultery. Miller is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years.[136],[137]


Preacher Charged with Taking Sexually Suggestive Photos—Baltimore—Gerald H. White, a deacon at Central Baptist Church in Montgomery County, Maryland, was charged with taking sexually suggestive photographs of young girls.[138]

Franklin Township Youth Minister Arrested by FBI on Child Pornography Charge—The youth minister for a township church stands accused in a federal complaint of downloading 134 images of child pornography to his personal computer. Robert Kevin Carlino was charged with knowingly receiving more than 10 graphic images of child pornography, “which had been downloaded to his computer, each of which had been transported in interstate commerce by means of computer.” Carlino—who had been the paid youth minister for the Malaga Assembly of God—was arrested at his residence by agents for the FBI.[139]

Texarkana Minister Arrested on Child Porn Charges—Texarkana—The associate pastor of a Texarkana church has been arrested on child pornography charges. Jerry Sawrie, an associated pastor at Richmond Road Baptist Church, is accused of viewing and possessing child pornography on his work computer. He has been arraigned and pleaded not guilty. Police said they found photos of male juveniles on Sawrie’s computer at a church publishing business.[140]

Ringgold Pastor Up on Sex Charges—Lafayette—Eddie Thomas, pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church in Ringgold, LA., was arrested and charged with indecent behavior with a juvenile, aggravated incest and pornography involving a juvenile.[141]

Church Child Care Worker Guilty on Porno Charges—Tuscaloosa, Al—Joseph Ruben Dickey pleaded guilty to charges of interstate travel with minors for illegal sexual activities, possession and interstate transportation of images of child pornography and conspiracy to produce child pornography. In a sentencing hearing Monday, U.S. District Judge Inge Johnson called Dickey the “epitome of a pedophile” and imposed the maximum sentence. Dickey was a former childcare worker at the First Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa. [142]

Ohio Sting Leads to Colorado Child Porn Conviction—Denver—Authorities say police from a small eastern Ohio town used an Internet sting to help prosecutors in Colorado to convict a former pastor and correctional officer on child porn charges. Elie Quinonez pleaded guilty was sentenced to a year in prison and five years’ probation. Federal prosecutors say Quinonez sent an Internet message to an undercover officer in New Waterford, Ohio, seeking photos of a fictional teenage daughter. Ohio police forwarded the screen name of the person requesting the photos. Colorado authorities later found more than 1,000 pornographic images and videos of children on Quinonez’ computer.[143]

Youth Pastor gets Six Years in Child-Porn Case—Yakima, WA—Youth pastor, Jim Cannel, was sentenced to six years in prison, to be followed by sex-offender registration and three years of probation after his release from prison. The sentence wasn’t the eight-plus years prosecutors wanted, but it was far more severe than the year and a day suggested by Cannel’s attorney. Technically, Cannel’s sentence was for possession of child pornography, the charge he pleaded guilty to earlier. Cannel came to the attention of authorities on Feb. 9, 2005, when an undercover Seattle police detective posing online as a 12-year-old boy named Tim encountered the pastor in a Yahoo! chat room called “men4boys.” After a series of chat-room sessions, Cannel sent a picture of his genitalia to “Tim” and said he wanted to arrange a meeting at a Seattle hotel. Days later, he was arrested at church. Authorities initially released Cannel, who fled the area by the time a federal grand jury in May 2005 indicted him on charges of receiving and distributing child pornography and obscene material. After being on the run for two months, Cannel was arrested by U.S. marshals at a party in his hometown of San Mateo, California.[144]

Music Director Admits Possessing Child Pornography—Trenton—A former church music director pleaded guilty to a one-count federal Indictment charging possession of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced. Phillip Maue entered his plea in Trenton before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler. Maue admitted that he knowingly possessed on his home computer hard drive more than three images of child pornography depicting children who were prepubescent minors and minors under the age of 12 in sexually explicit poses. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on one count of knowingly and willfully possessing at least three images of child pornography.[145]

Former Pastor Sentenced to 17 Years on Child Pornography Convictions—Dallas—The former Pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Royse City, Texas, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison, following his guilty plea to two child pornography offenses. The sentence was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks, Northern District of Texas; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted the investigation. Steve Richardson was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay, who also ordered a lifetime of supervised release and required Richardson to register as a sex offender. Richardson has been in federal custody since he was arrested by ICE agents on related charges in a federal criminal complaint.[146]

North GA Man gets 70 Years in Child Porno Case—Rome, GA—A Lafayette man was sentenced to 70 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to child pornography charges. James Bartholomew Huskey, the married son of a Trion, Georgia preacher and a tennis coach to teenage girls, pleaded guilty to charges that he used an under aged female to produce child pornography. U.S. Attorney David Nahmias said in a statement Huskey “deserved every day of the sentence for sexually abusing the child.” Huskey has abused this little nine-year-old girl since she was 5. When asked why she didn’t tell someone, She said, “I didn’t want to get him in trouble.” Huskey was arrested in his Lafayette, Georgia home and readily admitted to molesting the nine-year-old girl since she was five-years-old and even said he has sodomized her that very day.[147]


Former Pastor Convicted in Crawford County Sex Sting—The former pastor of two western Pennsylvania United Methodist churches was sentenced to between nine and nearly 24 months in jail for contacting an undercover agent posing as a minor over the Internet. The Rev. Steven McGuigan was sentenced to up to 24 months, minus one day, in Crawford County Court. He pleaded guilty in June. He was also given three years’ probation. Authorities say McGuigan discussed explicit sex with an undercover agent posing as a 13-year-old girl and that he displayed part of his nude body on a Web cam. McGuigan was suspended as pastor of two Conneautville area churches when the charges were filed in March.[148]

Pastor’s Refusal Cost 6 Months—Fort Wayne, IN—The fourth time won’t be the charm for a local minister accused of violating his probation. That was the warning Allen Superior Judge Kenneth Scheibenberger gave the Rev. James Fincher. Fincher appeared for a hearing to determine if his probation should be revoked, but ended up getting another six months on home detention after he continued to refuse to admit he was a sexual predator and to enroll in court-ordered counseling. A jury convicted Fincher of fondling a woman who came to his office to ask for a loan, reported the Fort Wayne News Sentinel. As part of his sentence, Fincher was required to attend the counseling. Recently, Fincher was handed an 18-month suspended sentence last month after being convicted of sexual battery now faces the possibility of going to prison after police said they found a sawed-off shotgun at his home. He was arrested after officers installing electronic monitoring equipment at his home found a Remington .12-gauge shotgun in a dresser drawer in his bedroom. [149],[150]


Christian Action League President Pleads Guilty to Aiding and Abetting Prostitution—Salisbury, NC—Former state lawmaker Coy C. Privette, a Cabarrus County commissioner and retired Baptist minister, pleaded guilty Wednesday to six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution. As a part of a plea deal, Privette can expunge his criminal record if he completes 48 hours of community service and serves a year of probation, said Rowan County District Attorney Bill Kenerly. Today Rev. Coy Privette, president of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, plead guilty to six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution. Privette made his plea in a Rowan County Courtroom as part of an arrangement with the prosecution. In a deal that is granted to first time offenders, Privette’s criminal record will be expunged if he completes 48 hours of community service and serves one year of probation. He must pay court costs and undergo a psychological evaluation. Privette had been charged with renting a hotel room and paying a Salisbury woman, Tiffany Denise Summers, 32, for sexual acts from May 4 through June 25. Coy Privette, 2007, Privette is a Baptist pastor, conservative activist, and politician in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Privette was president of the Christian Action League and a prominent figure in North Carolina moral battles. In 2007, Privette resigned as president of North Carolina’s Christian Action League and from the Board of Directors of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, following revelations July 19 that he has been charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution.[151]

A Preacher, a Prostitute & the Mayor—Detroit—Detroit’s chief city attorney is responding tonight in wake of our Action News investigation about a preacher, a prostitute and the mayor. John Johnson, chief of Detroit’s Law Department says he’s looking into re-filing charges against a now former associate pastor at Detroit’s Hartford Memorial Baptist Church. The preacher, Mangedwa Nyathi, was the subject of an Action News Investigation we broke here and on last night. Arrested for soliciting a hooker who turned out to be an undercover police decoy, charges against the minister were dropped after Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick reportedly intervened. The arresting officer tells Action News that a police lieutenant got calls from the offices of the mayor and the police chief telling her not to show up in court to testify against the preacher. Ultimately, the charges against him were dropped and he never faced a trial. Johnson, in charge of city prosecutors, told Action News late today that under the circumstances, he’ll meet with the arresting officer who is still willing to testify and see whether it’s appropriate to re-charge the defendant in this case.[152]

Preacher Arrested in Prostitution Sting—Hillyard—Rev. Phillip Haltom, pastor of the Trinity Presbyterian Church, was arrested in an undercover prostitution sting. Haltom was one of five men snared in an online prostitution bust last week.[153]

Lutheran Pastor Charged in Prostitution Sting–Charlotte–A Charlotte pastor was arrested Tuesday after police say he attempted to solicit sex from an undercover male officer near Park Road Park in south Charlotte. Robert Graff, pastor at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church for four years, was nabbed in an undercover sting at the park. Graff was released from jail on a written promise to appear in court. His first court appearance is scheduled for April 4.[154]

Pastor Charged with Prostitution Resigns From Church—Hummelstown, PA—A Hummelstown pastor charged with misdemeanor solicitation and prostitution charges resigned Saturday as senior pastor of the Zion Lutheran Church. A statement posted on the church’s Web site moments ago reads: “It is with sadness that Zion Lutheran Church accepts the resignation of Alan Wenrich as Senior Pastor, effective immediately. Dr. Wenrich, his family and the individuals affected by recent events, as well as the healing of our church, will be among the prayers of our congregation.” Wenrich was charged after a female parishioner accused him of offering money for sex. [155],[156]

Pastor Arrested in Prostitution Sting—Jacksonville, FL—The pastor of an Atlantic Beach church was arrested Wednesday as part of a prostitution sting. According to police, Jerry Murrell, pastor of Oceanside Church of Christ, was charged with soliciting for prostitution after he approached an undercover vice officer posing as a prostitute in the 1600 block of Mayport Road. The report said Murrell agreed to pay the woman $30 for intercourse. The arrest report indicates that police have an audio recording of the exchange.[157]

Oakland Pastor Arrested During Prostitution Sting—Oakland—An Oakland pastor was among 68 people arrested in a prostitution sting by Oakland police this week. Police say the Reverend Craig Ward, of the Brookins African Methodist Episcopal Church, flagged over a female undercover officer to his church-issued BMW just after 10:30 p-m Thursday and tried negotiating a 20-dollar oral sex act. It was Ward’s third arrest for soliciting a prostitute. Police say he also has served time for burglary and weapons convictions.[158]

Another Pastor Caught in Prostitution Sting—Chattanooga—The former pastor of the Ringgold United Methodist Church was one of nine men arrested during a Chattanooga prostitution sting. Pastor Steven Andrew Moore, who resigned from his position, was charged with patronizing prostitution within a mile and a half of a church or a school. Moore served as senior pastor at the Ringgold church for eight years, and was also chaplain for the Catoosa County Fire Department at the time he was cited. Police reportedly found a fire chaplain’s uniform in the back of his vehicle.[159]

Pastor Facing Prostitution Charges—Hummelstown, PA—A Dauphin County pastor and professional counselor has been arrested on prostitution charges, according to police. Hummelstown police said they filed a summons charging Pastor Alan C. Wenrich, Ph.D. with patronizing prostitutes and criminal solicitation following a joint investigation by their department, state police and the Dauphin County Criminal Investigation Division. The investigation began when a patient of Wenrich’s reported that he offered her money for sex, according to police. During the investigation, he gave the patient an undisclosed amount of money to have sex at a future date and time, police said.[160]

Pastor among Five Arrested Last Week—Hinsdale, IL—A Hinsdale pastor was one of the five men arrested in a prostitution sting in St. Charles. Phillip L. Haltom was charged with one count of solicitation of a sexual act when he and four others responded to a phony ad on Craig’s list and arranged to meet an undercover female police officer for sex. Haltom has served as the pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church for three years.[161]

Pastor Accused of Soliciting Prostitute—Dayton, OH—The pastor of a Dayton church is facing charges for allegedly picking up a prostitute. Prosecutors charged Pastor Randall Townsend of Dayton’s Bible Baptist Church with loitering to solicit prostitution and soliciting. According to police, detectives stopped Townsend after watching him pick up Michelle Sanger and observing suspicious activity in the car. Sanger is also charged with soliciting sex.[162]


Elder Sentenced to 15 Years—Atlanta—Samuel Rutledge, an elder at First Discipleship Church in Conyers, Georgia, was sentenced on statutory rape and aggravated child molestation charges. Rutledge was accused of molesting a 7-year-old relative in front of her 6-year-old brother. When Rutledge was charged, one of Rutledge’s three grown children, a stepdaughter, came forward to say she, too, was a victim.[163]

Former Pastor gets 15 Years for Rape—Rapid City—Saying he didn’t want another child to go through what Glenn Ford’s victim went through, 7th Circuit Judge Merton Tice Jr. sentenced the former youth pastor to 15 years in the South Dakota State Penitentiary. Tice suspended seven years of the sentence and ordered Ford to undergo a series of therapies recommended by Don Janz, a Rapid City psychologist who completed Ford’s sex offender evaluation. The judge ordered that Ford will not be able to have contact with any children under the age of 18, including his own children. Ford pleaded guilty to third-degree rape. The class 3 felony carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.[164]

Hosanna Pastor Sentenced to 4 Life Terms—Ponchatoula, LA (AP)—Louis Lamonica was sentenced to four life terms in state prison on charges of child rape stemming from the Hosanna Church child sex case. The former pastor of Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula and one of seven defendants in the Hosanna Church child sex case, was convicted on four counts of aggravated child rape. Each count carries a mandatory life prison term. Seven other people associated with Hosanna Church, including the minister and a sheriff’s deputy, are awaiting trial on charges of aggravated rape in a case that included accusations that children and animals were sexually abused. Authorities say as many as a dozen adults from Hosanna Church may have been involved in victimizing as many as 24 children, ranging in age from infants to teens. The investigation opened when a woman called from Columbus, Ohio, saying she had fled from Louisiana out of fear for her child after learning about the sex practices of some of the Hosanna Church’s members. Rape of a child under 13 carries a possible death sentence in Louisiana.[165]

Ex-minister pleads guilty to rape charges—Pittsburgh—Nathaniel Dobson, who was employed for 19 years as the senior pastor at Lebanon’s New Shiloh Baptist Church, was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to having sex with two girls, aged 14 and 15, at a local hotel.[166]

Choir Director Sentenced—PhiladelphiaIn Philadelphia, Otis Joseph, choir director at West Oak Lane Church of God, was found guilty of raping two girls and sentenced to 33 years in prison. One girl was raped from the time she was 11-years-old until she reported the attacks at age 15. The other was raped at age 14. Joseph has yet to face unrelated charges that he molested three sisters and had a relationship with a 15-year-old girl.[167]

Baptist Preacher and Wife Sentenced to 179 Years—Kingsport, TN—Baptist Preacher and wife get 179 years in prison for the rape and torture of their adoptive daughter, Esther Combs. The girl testified that Rev. Joe Combs and his wife, Evangeline ‘‘Vangie’’ Combs, beat, hanged and cut her. Combs and his wife, were charged in a multi-count indictment that alleges they abused Esther Combs during the 19 years she lived with them. The girl has since moved to another state and changed her name. They are accused of using various items to abuse their daughter, and Joe Combs is accused of raping her. Joe Combs was sentenced to 22 years for aggravated kidnapping, 5 years for aggravated assault, 2 year for aggravated perjury, 22 years for aggravated rape and seven counts of rape at 10 years for each of seven counts. The assault and perjury sentences run concurrently, while all other sentences run consecutively for an effective sentence of 114 years. Evangeline Combs was sentenced 22 years for aggravated kidnapping, 10 years for aggravated child abuse and 11 years each on the three other counts. All sentences run consecutively for an effective sentence of 65 years.[168],[169]

Church Volunteer Convicted Following Rape Allegations—PortlandA Portland man and former volunteer at New Beginning Christian Center, Derrick Mayberry, pleaded guilty to raping a 15 year old female and attempting to rape a 13 year old girl. Mayberry was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Mayberry was indicted by a grand on 26 counts of rape, sodomy and sex abuse. He was arrested earlier after the FBI issued a warrant and seized child pornography, weapons and other items from his home. [170],[171]

Former Youth Pastor Sentenced—Curtis Hudson, former associate pastor for youth at First United Methodist Church, was convicted on one count of rape of a child, three counts of rape and seven counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. He is accused of raping and having sexual contact with a preteen and two teenage boys. He is currently serving an 8-year sentence.[172]

Couple Arrested on Kidnapping and Rape Charges—El Dorado—An El Dorado County Superior Court Judge approved $30 million bail for Phillip Garrido, pastor of God’s Desire church, saying he posed a danger to the public and was a flight risk. The judge kept Garrido’s wife, Nancy, on a no-bail hold in jail. Even if Garrido were to come up with the bail amount of $30 million, he would have to stay in jail because he remains on a no-bail parole hold for a previous conviction. The Garrido’s were arrested after a sharp-eyed campus police officer at UC Berkeley stopped Garrido who was on campus distributing religious materials with two young girls. The couple faces 29 charges of kidnapping and rape and is being held in El Dorado County Jail in the disappearance of Jaycee Dugard 18 years ago. Authorities believe the couple held Dugard in a ragged warren of tents and outbuildings behind their Antioch home and that Garrido fathered her two daughters there. Phillip Garrido was convicted of kidnapping and pleaded guilty to rape in a separate 1976 attack. He was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for the former and received a life sentence in Nevada state prison for the latter but served only 11 years.[173]

Road Rage

Gun Toting Minister Avoids Jail—Cincinnati—A Cincinnati preacher convicted of waving a gun and threatening another driver won’t be going to jail. A Hamilton County judge on Thursday sentenced Thomas Howell to two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service on his conviction for aggravated menacing. Howell can’t possess any weapons while on probation and must give up his concealed weapon permit.[174]


Oral Roberts University President Resigns—Tulsa—Embattled Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts resigned Friday following nearly two months of allegations that he and his family misused university and ministry resources. In his resignation letter, Roberts states: “I love ORU with all my heart. I love the students, faculty, staff and administration and I want to see God’s best for all of them.” Roberts’ letter, sent to the Board of Regents, states his resignation was effective Friday. The board is meeting Monday and Tuesday to determine its search process for a new president, university spokesman Jeremy Burton said in a statement. Three university professors filed a lawsuit last month against Richard Roberts. They allege that he used the school’s aircraft for a $29,411 trip to the Bahamas and spent school money to buy horses for his children, according to John Swails, one of the plaintiffs.[175]


Ex-Pastor Convicted in Hedge Fund Scam—Colorado Springs—A former Colorado Springs pastor was convicted of securities fraud and theft in a hedge fund scam that bilked 400 investors out of more than $12 million. Douglas Alan Scott faces up to 24 years in prison when he is sentenced before 4th Judicial District Judge Patrick Kelly. The seven women and five men on the jury deliberated 3 1/2 hours before finding Scott guilty on both counts. Scott, former pastor of the now-defunct River of Life Church, helped recruit investors and at one time was managing partner for XL Capital Partners Inc. Springs-based XL operated two hedge funds that collected $24 million from investors, including several local churches and religious organizations. Colorado securities regulators won a court order in late 2004 placing the fund in receivership and freezing its assets.[176]

Jensen Beach Pastor, Wife Convicted of Mortgage Fraud Scheme—Tallahassee, FL—The state’s Attorney General announced that a Jensen Beach Pastor and his wife were convicted of mortgage fraud. Rodney McGill was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years’ probation, and his wife Shalonda was sentenced to 10 years behind bars and 10 years’ probation. Rodney McGill, who also was a popular radio show host, faces another charge of grand theft for continuing his criminal activity while in jail.[177],[178]

Perris Pastor Convicted in Ponzi Scheme—Los Angeles—A Perris [California] pastor and another man were convicted Friday in federal court of bilking more than 500 people out of more than $32 million in a fraudulent investment scheme. Robert Jennings and Henry Jones were convicted on mail fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud charges, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. Jones was also convicted on charges of money laundering and contempt of court. Jennings faces a maximum sentence of 180 years in federal prison. Jones faces up to 250 years. A third defendant, Arthur Simburg, previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.[179]

Pastor Bilks Local Church—Pittsburg—Danny Thomas, former pastor of the Son Rise Church in Unity Township, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to three years’ probation and 200 hours of community service and was ordered to pay restitution after pleading guilty to theft and bad check charges. State police at Greensburg said Thomas was taking out and defaulting on loans under the church’s name in 2003 and 2004 while he was pastor there. Police say he used the funding to obtain a 2000 Lincoln Navigator and 2004 Honda Pilot. He also was accused of defaulting on an agreement with the church to borrow $26,000 for a down payment on his residence.[180]

Pastor Arrested in Fake Check Scam—Clermont—Charles Hill, pastor at St. Mark AME Church in Clermont, Florida, was arrested for cashing tens of thousands of dollars in fake checks, reported WFTV News. Police said Hill “used fake checks to buy appliances, open bank accounts and even buy a car. Detectives said, in one instance, Hill deposited an $80,000 check at Bank of America and opened an account. Then, before anyone suspected the checks were fake, he bought a car at Chrysler. Detectives said Hill did the same thing at Rent Way. He walked in with a fake cashier check and bought merchandise and then pocketed the extra money. He apparently lived in a house rent-free. Hill was evicted after writing fake checks.”[181]

Sexual Abuse

Ex-youth Minister gets Life Sentence in Child Sex Assault—Longview, TX—A former Upshur County youth minister was sentenced to life in prison for aggravated sexual assault of a child, Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said. Kevin Othell Laferney, former youth minister at the First Baptist Church in Glenwood, was scheduled for trial, Byrd said, but Laferney changed his plea and accepted the life sentence. Originally, Laferney was arrested on charges of sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. He also was charged with two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. After getting out on bond, Laferney faked his death. U.S. Marshals arrested him at his home where he was living under the name Chance Chambers. Laferney also faced federal charges for crossing state lines to avoid prosecution and three sexual assault charges in Upshur County. Five victims confirmed Laferney assaulted them within the past ten years.[182],[183]

Minister Takes Plea Deal—Bakersfield, CA—A local Minister accused of child sex acts took a plea deal. Froilan Esparza Sanchez pleaded no contest to one count of lewd acts with a child younger than 14 years-old. His plea dismissed two other counts of the same charge. Sanchez is an ordained minister and a volunteer at New Life Apostolic Church in Southwest Bakersfield.[184]

Aldine Pastor Convicted of Sexual Abuse—Houston—A longtime pastor of a Pentecostal church in Aldine has been convicted of sexually abusing a teenage girl in his congregation ten years ago. The Reverend Curtis Bass of the International Pentecostal Church was sentenced to ten years in prison on two charges of indecency with a child. A woman, now 26-years-old, testified that he touched her breasts when she was 16-years-old. Deputy investigator Russell Ackley of the Harris County Sheriff’s Department says three women have lodged sexual abuse complaints against Bass. The former pastor later lost an appeal when the Fourteenth Court of Appeals upheld his lower court conviction.[185],[186],[187],[188]

N. C. Pastor Sentenced to 100 Years in Sex Abuse Case—Winston-Salem—A North Carolina pastor was sentenced to 100 years in prison after a jury convicted him of sex crimes involving two teen boys. During the sentencing, Judge Stuart Albright admonished Rodney Keith Boothe for using his church to gain the trust of the boys. The jury found Boothe guilty on 28 of 29 charges.[189] ,[190]

Former Church Leader Sentenced on Sex Abuse Charges—San Mateo—Former Redwood City church youth director charged with molesting two teenage boys and accused of abusing even more was sentenced three years in prison. Christopher Fouts also received an additional two-year sentence on one count but it is to be served concurrent with the three-year term. He must register as sex offender for life and pay restitution to the victims. Fouts pleaded no contest to one count of committing a lewd act on a child under age 14 and one count of committing a lewd act on a child more than 10 years his junior. In return, prosecutors dropped three other felony charges of molestation and Fouts avoided the possibility of a 13-year sentence if convicted by a jury of the initial charges. Fouts is also linked to at least two other victims but they are outside the jurisdiction of San Mateo County.[191]

Former Youth Pastor Pleads GuiltyDes Moines, IA—A former Clive youth pastor pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation as part of a plea agreement. Prosecutors said Mike Hintz had a sexual relationship with an underage member of his church. Under the plea agreement, Hintz was sentenced to two years probation, ordered to pay victim restitution, undergo a sex offender treatment program and be entered on the sex offender registry. Hintz, who is married with four children, is forbidden to have any contact with the victim or anyone else under the age of 18, with the exception of his own children. Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign initially surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.[192]

Ex-Church Volunteer Sentenced for Molesting Boys—Bartow, FL—A former volunteer at the First Baptist Church at the Mall was sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting three boys. Circuit Judge Donald Jacobsen also sentenced Marshal Seymour to 10 years’ probation. He declared Seymour to be a sex offender. [193],[194]

Pierce Convicted, gets 10 years—Benton, AK—David Pierce, the former music minister of Benton’s First Baptist Church, was convicted on four counts of sexual indecency with a child before Saline County Circuit Judge Grisham Philips. Pierce will serve 10 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections. Upon release from prison, Pierce will be required to register as a sex offender. The four felony counts involve three separate victims who were former members of Pure Energy youth choir at First Baptist, which Pierce directed. Pierce, who served as minister of music at First Baptist for 29 years, was terminated from the position. He is married and has three adult children and two grandchildren.[195],[196],[197]

Ex-missionary Sentenced, Failed to Meet Plea Terms—Las Vegas—A former missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was sentenced to 2—6 years in prison after a judge ruled he violated terms of a plea deal that called for him to complete counseling and community service. John Misseldine pleaded no contest to attempted lewdness with a child and coercion. Under the terms of that plea agreement, if Misseldine successfully completed five years probation, the counts would be dismissed and he would not have to register as a sex offender. The judge decreed Misseldine guilty of lewdness with a child under the age of 14 and coercion and ordered him to register and submit to monitoring as a sex offender.[198]

Youth Pastor Sentenced on 3 Sex Counts—Las Cruces—Marty A. Hynes was convicted of two counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and one count of attempted criminal sexual contact of a minor. Hynes was a youth pastor at the First Assembly of God church when the alleged incidents occurred.[199]

Religious Director Pleads Guilty—Hilltown, PA—The former director of a Telford religious training and community outreach organization pleaded guilty to a charge of corruption of minors, but was cleared of raping a 20-year-old woman after she withdrew a statement to police. In a case that jolted communities in the Indian Valley, the woman recently recanted an earlier statement accusing Michael Wolfe of raping her. Wolfe admitted in court that he had the woman perform a sex act on him in a parking lot while the two were returning from a religious event in Philadelphia when she was 16.[200]

Church Camp Director Sentenced to 30 Years—Deadwood, SD—Former church camp director Isaac Swan, convicted in Lawrence County of 20 felony sex crimes, was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Swan is the former director of Thunderhead Episcopal Church Camp. The crimes occurred at the camp.[201]

Preacher Convicted of Sex Crimes Arrested Again, Back to Prison—Fort Payne, AL—A DeKalb County preacher convicted of sex crimes eight years ago was arrested for allegedly abusing a child sexually. Billy Masters was charged with first-degree sexual abuse of a boy under 12. Charges against Masters were dropped, but his probation on the earlier conviction revoked which means Masters must now return to prison to serve out the rest of the time on the earlier sentence, about 15 years. Masters was convicted in 2001 on sodomy charges involving three boys, also under 12. Under Alabama law, Masters would not be eligible for parole until at least 85 percent of his sentence is served, or about 12 years. The DA’s office said it would oppose any move for early release based on factors such as age or health.[202],[203]

Former Pastor Sentenced for Sex Crime—Jay, OKA former Southern Baptist pastor in Oklahoma has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after confessing to sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl who attended his church. Joshua Spires, now of Odessa, Texas, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of lewd molestation that occurred while he was senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Jay, Oklahoma. Delaware County Judge Alicia Littlefield sentenced Spires to a 20-year prison sentence with 10 years suspended on each count to be served concurrently, meaning he would be eligible for parole in 8 1/2 years. If convicted by a jury, he could have been sentenced to up to 200 years in prison—the full 20 years for each count.[204]

Ex-Pastor Makes Plea Bargain—Bryan TX—A former Bryan pastor accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy was sentenced to two years of probation. The punishment was part of a plea agreement prosecutors and defense attorneys approved on the second day of Fred Ford’s sexual assault trial in Hale County. The one-time minister at New Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Bryan originally faced a felony charge of sexual assault but pleaded no contest to assault, a Class A misdemeanor. He is required to pay a $500 fine and court costs, seek sex offender counseling and have no more contact with his accuser, who is now 18. If Ford violates the terms of his probation, he could serve a year in jail. Ford was accused of sexually assaulting the boy, who he knew through the New Zion church, during a trip to Lubbock. The teen rode with Ford to visit his son, who also was a friend of the boy.[205]

Ex-pastor Sentenced over Sexual Relationship with Teen—Denver—Former Baptist youth pastor Michael Peters was sentenced to eight years of probation and ordered to register as a sex offender for having a relationship with a teenage girl at his church. Peters pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.[206]

Preacher Charged with Sexual Abuse of Girl Commits Suicide—Mobile—A part-time Southern Baptist preacher charged with first degree sexual abuse for allegedly fondling an 11-year-old girl was found dead in his home a week later. Rev. Stephen Lyle “Steve” Whittaker pastor of the Beaver Creek Baptist Church in Baker, surrendered to police after the girl’s mother reported her suspicions to authorities.[207]

Ex-Sisters Pastor Convicted on Abuse Charges—Bend, OR—After one full day of deliberation, a Deschutes County jury found a former Sisters pastor guilty on all six charges in the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl whose family worshiped at the church. The former pastor of Christ Church of New Beginnings was convicted of five counts of sex abuse and one count of unlawful sexual penetration. Hall now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of six years and three months in prison.[208]

Pastor Sentenced on 22 Counts of Sex Abuse—Brooklyn—Pastor Dieuvais Surin was sentenced to 10 1/3 to 40 years for his sexual abuse of an 11-year-old girl from his congregation at the Original Church of God of Prophecy in Brooklyn, NY. Surin was convicted on 22 felony counts of sexual abuse. Kings County Supreme Court records say Surin repeatedly molested and abused the young girl in various locations, such as his van, his apartment, and the church basement.[209],[210]

Area Pastor Pleads Guilty to Sex Charge—Idaho Falls, ID—Steven Michael Sheridan pleaded guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor count of enticing a child. The original charge was lewd conduct with a minor. He was accused of fondling a teenage boy over the course of several years while he was a pastor at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church. Prosecutors are recommending probation.[211]

Minister Pleads Guilty to Felony Charges, Plea Rejected!—Vermont—The Rev. Joseph A. Rinaldi pleaded guilty to five counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with three male children while he was pastor of the Newbury Bible Church and principal of the Newbury Christian School. “The crimes you committed are heinous crimes,” said Vermont District Court Judge Amy Davenport. “They are crimes that have left long lasting scars on their victims. And it is because of that, in the court’s view, the court cannot accept the plea agreement.” Rinaldi originally pleaded guilty to five counts of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child in exchange for a prison sentence of two years.[212]

Youth Minister Sentenced to Jail for Abusing Young Boys—Williamsburg, OH—A Clermont County youth minister was sentenced to jail for sexually abusing teenage boys who were under his supervision. Anthony Waters was sentenced to six months in the Clermont County jail and three more years under probation, supervised by Judge William Walker. Waters must also register himself as a sex offender with the county sheriff for at least the next 10 years, attend a sexual offender treatment program and stay away from the victims and their families during his probation.[213]

Pastor Sentenced to 15 Years in Child Abuse Case—Lake Wales, FL—William Benjamin Wells, pastor of Christian Harvest Ministries, was sentenced to at least 15 years in prison on two counts of molestation of a victim less than 12-years-old, two counts of sexual assault on a victim under 18 years of age, and one count of sexual battery on a victim under 12-years-old.[214]

Youth Minister Faces Sex Charges—Gastonia, SC—Marty Meadows pleaded guilty to 33 counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. He was sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison and is scheduled for release in October 2010. Meadows admitted molesting six to seven teenage girls he’d recruited for a Christian singing group in his capacity with the church. All of the girls were aged 12 to 15.[215],[216]

Local Minister Sentenced for Sex Abuse—Portland, OR (AP)—A minister at New Jerusalem Pentecostal Church in Cornelius, pleaded guilty to attempted sex abuse and attempted sodomy, and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 10 years’ probation. At the time of the incidents, Soto lived in Gaston, as did the girls, who were all younger than 10 and members of Soto’s church.[217],[218]

Former Pastor Pleads Guilty—Syracuse, NY—The former pastor at Liverpool Baptist Church now faces 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a young girl over the last four years. David Gardiner pleaded guilty to felony counts of first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree course of sexual conduct against a child. Gardiner is to be sentenced to five-year consecutive penalties on each of the charges, officials said. The investigation began when Gardiner’s wife contacted the Sheriff’s office. In addition to being the pastor at the Liverpool Baptist Church, Gardiner also taught Bible study and economics classes at the Baldwinsville Christian Academy; he was fired from the job in the wake of the sex abuse allegations.[219],[220],[221]

Sexual Assault

Brooklyn Pastor Busted—Brooklyn—A Brooklyn pastor was busted in his native Jamaica for having sex with a 15-year-old girl while a 14-year-old watched, authorities said yesterday. The Rev. Paul Lewis, founder of the Messengers for Christ Ministries World Healing Center, was held without bail on charges of carnal abuse and indecent assault, Jamaican police said. The Bedford-Stuyvesant evangelist was arrested Wednesday after witnesses saw him hanging out with the girls and then taking them to a hotel, police said. Lewis, who was on the island for a crusade at a local church, is accused of offering the girls between $30 and $60 for the romp. According to the NY Daily News, a 19-year-old Brooklyn woman filed a complaint claiming that Lewis, her former pastor, had raped her in a parking lot nearly a year before. She later returned to the police and recanted the allegation, saying that they had a consensual sexual relationship. The case was closed and no charges filed. In infomercials and on his Web site Lewis has pitched a “miracle olive oil soap” that he claimed cures diseases including AIDS and cancer and bring prosperity.[222]

Arlington Pastor Indicted amid Sex Allegations—Arlington—The pastor of an Arlington nondenominational church was indicted on charges of sexually assaulting three women from his congregation. The women say Terry L. Hornbuckle tried to entice them into sex by using his influence as minister of the Agape Christian Fellowship. Two of the women alleged Hornbuckle drugged them before sexually assaulting them. The assaults were alleged to have occurred in 2003 and 2004. Hornbuckle, of Colleyville, was arrested Friday on four counts of sexual assault. Two of the cases involve the same woman, according to court officials. Hornbuckle has denied the accusations and alleges the women are trying to extort money from him. “I am completely innocent of the charges I have been wrongfully accused of, and this is extortion plain and simple, which I won’t surrender to,” Hornbuckle said in a statement released through a New York public relations firm. Two of the women say Hornbuckle lured them to meet with him by offering cash gifts, according to court documents. The three women, two who were college age and one who was 17 at the time the assaults were alleged to have happened, filed civil lawsuits in December. “My clients are relieved that he’s no longer ministering to the girls of his church, that he’s no longer out there, that he can no longer threaten them,” said G. Lee Finley, the attorney representing all three women in lawsuits. One of Hornbuckle’s associates, Lisa Michaels, was also indicted on two counts of aggravated perjury in connection with the case. Hornbuckle and his wife, Renee, built a congregation that grew from 700 people in 1998 to 2,500 in 2004. Terry Hornbuckle, senior pastor at Agape Christian Fellowship in Arlington, Texas, was arrested for violating the terms of his release on a sexual assault charge. It was Hornbuckle’s fourth arrest in recent months, explained the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram: A grand jury indicted Terry Hornbuckle, the founder and pastor at Agape Christian Fellowship Church in Arlington, Texas, on charges of sexual assault, tampering with evidence and retaliation. According to the Dallas Morning News the indictment said Mr. Hornbuckle sexually assaulted two other women after giving them a substance that left them impaired… The grand jury also indicted him on a charge of tampering with evidence by attempting to persuade a prospective witness to withhold testimony or to lie to authorities. The retaliation charge involves an Agape employee who was threatened with termination from her job at the church, according to the indictment. Mr. Hornbuckle also was indicted on drug possession charges for 1 to 4 grams of methamphetamine police said they found inside his car during his first arrest in March.[223]

Former Maui Deacon Sentenced To Prison In Sex Assault Case—Honolulu—A judge sentenced a former deacon to prison in a case involving more than 60 counts of sexual assault on a young boy. James Ronald Gonsalves was sentenced to a year in jail and 20 years probation on 62 counts of sexually assaulting a boy over the course of three years. His victim was 12 when the crimes began and continued until June of last year at Gonsalves’ home. After Gonsalves is released from prison, he must serve three years of home confinement and is barred from contact with children.[224]

Pastor Charged with Sexual Assault—Lake Wales, FL—The pastor at the Church of the Nazarene has been charged with sexually assaulting a male 17-year-old youth leader three times in 2001. The Rev. Gene Francis was arrested Tuesday and charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor.[225]

Double Life Boy Molester gets 5 to 20—Philadelphia—Jay Bachman, a Sunday School teacher at the Annville (Pennsylvania) United Christian Church, was sentenced to state prison for five to 20 years for sexually assaulting four pre-teen boys over a four-year period.[226]

Baptist Pastor Sentenced for Sex CrimesDisgraced Baptist pastor Royden Wood has this morning been sentenced to one year in jail and three years’ probation. The former church minister was convicted of assault and sexual assault involving church members. Wood was convicted in April of nine assaults on three boys at the church’s alternative school in the 1980’s, and three sex-related charges involving two female church members who had breasts touched over their clothing. Six more sexual assault charges were laid in July.

Minister Sentenced to Prison on Sex Charges—Lyons, NY—Former Lyons Minister Sentenced to 1 1/3 -3 years in State Prison. The retired minister of the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Lyons was sentenced to 1 1/3 to 3 years in state prison on Tuesday (1/14). Grady O. Kemp Sr. pled guilty to a reduced crime of Course of Sexual Conduct Against a Child in the 2nd Degree-a Class D Felony on December 12, 2002, sparing the step-daughter from testifying. Kemp, when completing his prison term, must register as a sexual predator. He had been indicted by a Wayne County Grand Jury in July of last year, for one count of Sexual Mischief in the 1st Degree, 4 counts of Rape in the 2nd Degree, 2 counts of Rape in the 3rd Degree, 4 counts of Sex Abuse in the 2nd Degree, 2 counts of Sex Abuse in the 3rd Degree and one count of Sodomy in the 2nd Degree, involving a step daughter. Grady had been arrested on July 31, 2002. It is alleged that the sexual activity with a stepdaughter began when the girl was 9 years old and continued until she was 14. “He had sexual contact with the girl hundreds of times,” said Wayne County District Attorney, Rick Healy. The incidents came to light when the girl, now 16 years old, began fidgeting and praying. The next day the girl began crying and screaming at a family gathering and said she could not hold it back any longer. The girl’s mother and Kemp’s former wife, Lynda Kemp, said she and her daughter now live in Panama City, Florida. According to Healy, Grady had served as pastor of the church for almost 20 years. “He just retired last year and moved to Georgia,” said Healy. Grady still owned a house at 122 Ford Street in Newark, where the alleged crimes took place.[227]

School Teacher and Youth Pastor Gets 210 Years for Assaults on 3 Boys—Denver—A former Denver school teacher and Episcopal youth pastor accused of sexually assaulting at least two boys in his Denver home was sentenced to 210 years in prison. Donald Shissler pleaded guilty to the charges. There may be as many as 20 additional victims, detectives said. Police said they seized hundreds of pornographic pictures and videos from Shissler’s house when he was arrested. The judge remarked that Shissler is a sexual predator who clearly committed crimes against young boys for almost 18 years, including sexually assaulting a boy he adopted.[228]

Calif. Pastor Jailed for Drugging, Abusing 5 Girls—Moreno valley, CA—A California pastor was sentenced to life in prison for beating and drugging her five adopted daughters and locking them in a garage. Jessica Banks received consecutive life terms Friday after being convicted in July of sexually abusing two of her daughters and forcing all the sisters to go without food for days. Banks was arrested in 2005 after one emaciated girl was found lying outside a Moreno Valley business. Prosecutors say woman forced kids to live in a hidden room with no heating.[229]

Former Youth Pastor Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Having Sex with Child—Elkhorn, WI—A former youth pastor was sentenced Thursday to 10 years in prison on charges of sexually assaulting a child in the mid-1970’s. Russell J. Lesser of Bryson City, N.C., pleaded guilty to a felony charge of sexual intercourse with a child younger than 16. Two others charges were dismissed but read in. During his sentencing Thursday, Lesser asked for the court’s mercy and apologized to victim Laurie Asplund.[230]

Buckeye Pastor Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison in Sex CaseBuckeye, AZA Buckeye pastor that pleaded guilty to sexual conduct with a minor will serve two years in prison. Charles Carfrey, former pastor of the Lord’s House Church in Buckeye, also received lifetime probation. Previously, he was convicted in Oregon of sexually assaulting a minor and served five years with jail and probation time combined in 1988. [231]

Crossville Minister Sentenced—Crossville, TN—The senior pastor of the Bridge of Hope Church in Crossville pleaded guilty Monday to sexual battery by an authority figure and received the maximum two-year prison sentence allowed. Benji Dale Persinger, who is also serving a four-month split sentence out of Fentress County on a similar charge..[232], [233]

Pastor Pleads Guilty in Sex Crimes—Kalispell, MT—Gary Toavs, pastor of Evergreen Alliance Church, pleaded guilty on one count of sexual assault in the molestation of a 12-year-old girl. Toavs was originally charged with sexual offenses with two girls, ages 12 and 5. In exchange for his guilty plea, one of the charges was dropped. According to court documents, an investigation was launched when one of the girls told her mother that Toavs had touched her inappropriately. Toavs was accused of molesting and exposing himself to the girls. [234], [235]

Youth Minister Receives Probation, Cleric ‘Sorry’ for Sex with Teen Parishioner—Denver, CO—A youth minister that prosecutors said repeatedly had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old female member of his church over a period of five months was sentenced to eight years of probation. MacFranklin Alexander pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.[236]

Illinois Pastor Sentenced to 7 Years for Sexual Assault—Olney, IL—A former Illinois Southern Baptist pastor received a seven-year prison sentence March 31 for two counts of criminal sexual assault involving a teenage girl. Leslie Mason, former pastor of Olney Southern Baptist Church in southeastern Illinois, pled guilty to the felony counts as part of a deal with prosecutors to dismiss eight other counts involving two teenage girls. The pastor assaults began when the two women, now in their early 20’s, were 15 and 13 years old and continued for six years.[237]

Youth Minister Arrested on Sexual Battery Charge—Owasso, OKAn Owasso church youth minister has been arrested after being charged with sexual battery. It’s a follow-up to a story we first told you about two weeks ago. Sean David Whisenhunt was arrested Thursday by Owasso police. He’s accused of abusing a male teenager by inappropriately touching him.[238]

Former Youth Pastor Faked his Own Death—Great Falls, Mt—A former youth pastor accused of sexually assaulting a child in Texas was tracked down living here Tuesday, six months after he allegedly faked his own death. Kevin Othell Laferney is wanted in Upshur County, Texas, on four counts each of aggravated sexual assault of a child and bail jumping. According to the U.S. Marshals Service, he faked his death in February and disappeared before he was scheduled to appear in court.[239]

Youth minister arrested—First Baptist Church youth minister Joshua Neal Ponder was arrested Aug. 13 for sexual assault. Mabank police Chief Kyle McAfee has released that Ponder confessed to the charges on the 16-year-old male involved. The victim was not a local resident nor was he a member of First Baptist Church of Mabank.[240]

Abuse Arrest Prompts Resignation of Alabama Baptist Music Minister—A prominent Cooperative Baptist Fellowship church in Alabama has dismissed a popular minister of music under arrest on charges of child abuse and third degree sex offense stemming from events alleged to have occurred several years ago in Maryland. Police in Hoover, Ala., arrested Timothy Mann at his home Thursday morning, the Birmingham News reported Friday. Dennis Foust, pastor of Shades Crest Baptist Church in Birmingham, followed with a statement reporting that Mann’s employment as the church’s minister of music ended March 8, when he made church leaders aware of charges pending against him in Gaithersburg, Md.[241]

Youth Minister Charged with Sexual Assault—O’Fallon, Il—A youth minister at an O’Fallon, Illinois church has been charged with sexual assault. Terrance Jenkins was arrested last week, accused of assaulting an eight-year-old girl, police said. The incident happened in December 2007 in East St. Louis. Jenkins, a licensed minister, was a volunteer at the Faith United Baptist Church in O’Fallon for the past four years.[242]

Former Youth Group Leader faces Sex Charges, Images Allegedly Reveal Criminal Sexual Conduct—Detroit—On Wednesday, police arrested Timothy Wayne Myer, a former boy’s youth group leader at the First Baptist Church in Washington Township, Michigan, on 26 charges in connection with the sexual assault of children: Myers was arraigned Wednesday on three counts of child sexually abusive activity, a 20-year felony; three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a life felony; two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, a 15-year felony; four counts of distributing or promoting child sexually abusive activity, a seven-year felony; 10 counts of using computers to commit a crime, a seven-year felony; and four counts of possession of child sexually abusive material, a four-year felony, according to the Sheriff’s Department investigators discovered that in addition to being in possession of child sexually abusive material, Myers was also manufacturing the sexually abusive material with known male victims ages 8 and 10, the Sheriff’s Department said.[243]

Pastor Charged with Sexual Assault—Raleigh-Durham, NC—George Watson, a pastor and Union County, North Carolina School Board member, was charged with three counts of sexually assaulting a boy from the time he was 12 or 13 years old until the boy was a senior in high school. “The victim says Watson performed oral sex acts on him, against his will,” reported Fox Carolina TV.[244]

Bellmead Baptist Minister Arrested in Sexual Assault Case Involving Two Children—The pastor of Bellmead First Baptist Church was being held Wednesday in the McLennan County Jail on a charge of continuous sexual abuse of a child. William Frank Brown remained in the jail late Wednesday, held in lieu of $200,000 bond. Police said the case involved two victims. One of the children, who was 9 or 10 at the time, told a school counselor about the abuse, which began four years ago and continued for years, Waco police officer Steve Anderson said.[245]

Former youth minister arrested for sex abuse—A grand jury indicted Gordon Lunceford on 13 sex related charges, including six counts of 3rd degree rape, one count of first degree sexual abuse, five counts of third degree sodomy and one count of second degree sexual abuse. Kentucky State Police began investigating Lunceford last year after two victims came forward to say they were victimized in the early 1990’s. Lunceford was a youth minister at a church in Anderson County at the time. A church employee at First Baptist Church in Lawrenceburg says Lunceford was employed by that church until December of 1992 but would not comment on the allegations of abuse. Detectives say Lunceford has also been a youth minister at churches in Madison and Franklin counties. They have not been contacted by anybody as to possible misconduct during Lunceford’s time at those other churches, but say they are looking for anyone who may have been a victim to contact them.[246]


Marshall Minister Arrested for Sodomy—A pastor of a Marshall church was arrested on Saturday and charged with three counts of attempted statutory sodomy. Marshall Police arrested David Lyle Ballinger on Saturday after he was questioned on the allegations. Ballinger confessed to molesting two girls under the age of 14, according to a Marshall Police Department probable cause statement. Ballinger is being held in Saline County Jail on $250,000 cash-only bond. Marshall Police Chief Mike Donnell said on Monday this is the highest bail he has seen for this type of crime in his 15 years as the city’s police chief.[247]


Prestonwood Minister Caught in Sting—2008—This is one of the largest Southern Baptist churches in the nation. It’s the church pastored by former Southern Baptist president Jack Graham. It’s a church with a highly affluent and highly educated congregation. It’s a church with ample resources. The arrested minister, Joe Barron, was previously the pastor at Northrich Baptist Church in Richardson, Texas, and before that, he was at the First Baptist Church of Lewisville, Texas. Barron had two weeks’ worth of sexually explicit conversations with a person he believed to be a 13-year old girl. She turned out to be a police officer. According to police, Barron was arrested when he drove three hours to meet with his intended child-victim. He had a box of 10 condoms in his car, along with a web-camera and headset that police believe he was going to give to the girl. Police are now investigating whether Barron may have previously engaged in sexual contact with minors. Barron, one of the 40 ministers at Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the United States with 26,000 members, was arrested on May 15, 2008 for solicitation of a minor after driving from the Dallas area to Bryan, Texas, in order to allegedly engage in sexual relations with what he thought to be a 13 year-old girl he had met online. The “girl” turned out to be an undercover law enforcement official. A minister at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas has been charged with online solicitation of sex from a kid. Joe Barron, 2008, Joe Barron, one of the 40 ministers at Prestonwood Baptist Church, one of the largest churches in the United States with 26,000 members, was arrested on May 15, 2008 for solicitation of a minor after driving from the Dallas area to Bryan, Texas, in order to allegedly engage in sexual relations with what he thought to be a 13 year-old girl he had met online.[248]

Minister Arrested; Accused of Soliciting Sex Online—Murfreesboro, TN—A local youth minister is accused of soliciting sex from a minor online. Daniel Lowhorn was arrested by officers in Rutherford County on Thursday. The Herald-Citizen reported Lowhorn is a youth minister at Midway Baptist Church in Cookeville. He is now charged with 14 counts of exploitation. Lowhorn is free on bond and set to be in court next month.[249]

Preacher Texts Photo of His Penis to Teen Girl—Windsor, Pa—A fundamentalist minister is accused of kissing one teenage girl from his congregation and sending naked text message photos to another. Rev. Scott Allen Snyder of the New Beginnings Church is charged with two counts of corruption of minors by Pennsylvania State Police. Police allege that between April 1 and May 23, Snyder and a 14-year-old girl exchanged 1,272 text messages.[250]

Next “Great” African-American Preacher Arrested—Jacksonville, Fla. (ABP)—Once touted by Southern Baptist leaders as the nation’s next great African-American preacher, Darrell Gilyard was arrested Jan. 14 for sending lewd text messages to underage girls. Dogged for 20 years by dozens of allegations of extramarital sex with parishioners, Gilyard resigned Jan. 4 as pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, a 7,000-member megachurch in Jacksonville, Fla., that he has served for 15 years. It is the fifth church position that Gilyard has been forced to resign from over charges of sexual misconduct. Gilyard was charged with lewd and lascivious conduct. He will be arraigned Feb. 5. Police have been investigating a Nov. 29 complaint filed by a member of the congregation claiming Gilyard sent sexually explicit text messages to her daughter. At least one other girl allegedly received similar text messages. One of the mothers produced a journal detailing her daughter’s sexual relationship with the pastor, the police said. The girls are 14 and 16 years old, according to media reports.[251]

St. Joseph Minister Arrested for Trying to Entice Teens over Facebook—The minister of a St. Joseph Missouri Baptist Church is under arrest for trying to entice a 13-year-old over Facebook, the Clay County Sheriff said on Wednesday. Robert M. Black is charged with attempted statutory rape and attempted enticement of child over the Internet. According to prosecutors, Black allegedly contacted a 13-year-old girl, who was actually an undercover officer, to exchange sexually explicit photographs and set up a time to meet. Black allegedly used the name John Still for the online conversations and tried to make contact with teen girls through social networking sites like Facebook, authorities said. Bond for Black, who is the minister of the New Home Baptist Church in St. Joseph, was set at $100,000.[252]

Minister Arrested in Police-Run Internet Sting—Dayton, OH—A Trotwood minister, whose lawyer said he has been a “sex addict” since age 10, sought treatment rather than face trial in a Brookville police-run Internet sting that presented a virtual 14-year-old boy in a chat room. But a Montgomery County judge denied his plea for treatment Tuesday. Turner’s attorney, Dwight Brannon, wrote, “He had his first sexual experience with another male at the age of 19 while in college. Shortly after he began surfing the Web and his addiction slowly began to grow.” Turner had been pastor of Anchor Community Church for seven years when he was arrested last summer.[253]

Preacher Arrested for trying to Meet 13-year-old for Sex—Jackson, KY—Kentucky State Police have arrested John Edward Smith, a preacher at a church in Jackson, and charged him with unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual activities. Police say he used text messages in an attempt to lure a 13-year-old girl, whom he allegedly met through his position at the church, to meet him at a car lot in Winchester, where police say he was arrested. Smith was held on a $5,000 bond.[254]

Pastor Convicted of Soliciting Teenage Sex—PhiladelphiaA Philadelphia pastor who spent years using a bullhorn to rail at passers-by on college campuses about “fornicators,” “whores” and “sodomites” was convicted of soliciting sex from a teenager. Jurors deliberated for 3 1/2 hours before convicting the Rev. Craig Stephen White of criminal solicitation to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and related offenses. White faces a minimum of three years on the most serious charge, showed no reaction, and neither did his wife. Chester County Judge Anthony A. Sarcione revoked White’s $20,000 bail and sent him to Chester County Prison. White’s problem began when he asked a 14-year-old boy for directions. The boy said White also asked about strip clubs or adult book or video stores, asked him to get in and help the driver find the regular video store, and later came back and offered him $20 for taking part in sexual activity. White was known for traveling to college campuses and giving “fire and brimstone” speeches against homosexuality.[255],[256]

Statute of Limitations

Former Oregon Christian Coalition Leader Confesses to Molesting Relatives, but Statute of Limitations Ends Case—Salem—Lou Beres, former executive director of the Oregon Christian Coalition and former chair of the Multnomah County Republican Party, confessed to police that he sexually touched underage girls—including a young sister-in-law, according to a Gresham Police report. Allegations against Beres surfaced when three of his female relatives—two daughters and a sister-in-law—contacted the Child Abuse Hotline. The allegations were investigated, but no charges were filed; the statute of limitations had passed, the Multnomah County district attorney explained. At the time, Beres publicly denied any “criminal conduct,” and told the Oregonian, “I never molested anybody.” But the police report, by Gresham Detectives Lee Gosson and Mike McGowan says Beres admitted that he had “‘sinned’ in the past.” The report also stated Beres subsequently confessed to Detective McGowan over the phone admitting he had sexually touched his sister-in-law in the 1960’s when she was a teen, and two friends of his daughters.[257],[258]

Statute of Limitations Ends Case Against Oregon Christian Coalition Leader—Salem—The sex-abuse case against an ex-head of the Christian Coalition in Oregon was filed too late. A Multnomah County judge dismissed a lawsuit that charged Louis Beres with sexually abusing an underage female relative four decades ago. Circuit Judge John Wittmayer said the case against Beres could not proceed because it did not fall within the state’s statute of limitations. Louis Beres denied the accusations made by three female family members. The chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon said he will “withdraw from public life” until sexual abuse accusations made against him by three female family members have been resolved.[259]


Rev. William Blasingame Ripped off Church to Buy Botox?New YorkA former pastor in New York City is accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his parish to pay for plastic surgery, Botox injections and prescription drugs. The Rev. William Blasingame cited medical reasons when he resigned in January from St. Paul’s Memorial Episcopal Church on Staten Island. He is accused of stealing $84,537 over three years. The pastor is also accused of using money from the church’s maintenance fund to pay for club membership fees, car insurance and clothing. The money was earmarked for parishioners in need and the upkeep of church grounds. Blasingame could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted of second-degree grand larceny and possession of stolen property.[260]

Preacher Arrested for Breaking into Home, Stealing Sex Toy—Haywood County—Pastor Scott Murray working on behalf of the Pastoral Ministries and Outreach programs at New Covenant Church in Clyde for nearly a decade, is accused of grand theft dildo. Murray had turned himself in and resigned from his job. “This is just unreal.. I’m sorry for the pastor and his family,” says Linda Mason of Clyde. The church’s senior pastor, Nick Honerkamp, tells News 13 that he and his entire staff were shocked by the allegations. He says he is deeply grieving for the victim and praying for her, her family, and Scott Murray.[261]

Preacher Arrested Wearing Miniskirt, Pleads Guilty to DUI, Indecency, October 26, 2007 Johnson City, Tenn. (AP)—A Virginia preacher and radio announcer has pleaded guilty in Johnson City to public indecency and drunken driving charges. Thomas Dale Tester’s lawyer told the court yesterday his client didn’t remember specifics of the incident in July. Police say Tester was wearing a denim miniskirt and offered to have sex with arresting officers. Investigators say they found a half-empty bottle of vodka and an empty vial that had held prescription painkillers in Tester’s car.[262],[263],[264]

Missing N.Y. Pastor Found in Ohio Strip Club—Riverside, OH—Police say a pastor who was reported missing from his home in western New York has been found at an Ohio strip club. A police officer patrolling the K.C. Lounge parking lot Friday morning in the Dayton suburb of Riverside spotted out-of-state license plates on Craig Rhodenizer’s car. The FBI and New York authorities had been searching for Rhodenizer, who disappeared Wednesday after telling his wife he was getting his computer fixed at Best Buy. He is the pastor of a church in Lyndonville, N.Y.[265]

Church Votes to Keep Convicted Pastor—Fort Pierce, FL—Friendship Missionary Baptist church in Fort Pierce, Florida voted to retain its pastor, Kenneth Johnson, even though he was convicted in December 2002 of having sexual activity with a minor and sentenced about a year ago to 15 years in prison for having sex with a minor. He is free on a $100,000 appeal bond and continues to preach at church. Johnson and Friendship Missionary Baptist Church were named in a sex-abuse lawsuit.[266]

Pastor that Used Fear of Devil to Have Sex with Women Sentenced—National City, CA—Carlos Romero, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of violating the liberty of a person through the use of fear, intimidation or deceit and was sentenced to five years probation and 200 hours of community service. Romero used fear of the devil to force women in his congregation to have sex with him. Romero was also prevented by the judge from working again as a religious leader.[267],[268]

Pastor Convicted of Demanding Sex—Lubbock, TX—A federal jury has convicted a former Lubbock pastor accused of demanding sex from an African woman he sponsored with the promise of a college education. James Cornell Clark was found guilty Wednesday of importation of an alien for immoral purposes. Investigators say Clark met the woman in August 2005 while on a trip to Kenya. Prosecutors say Clark, after the woman arrived and was enrolled at South Plains College in Levelland, demanded she repay him by performing sexual favors. Defense attorney Helen Liggett challenged the woman’s testimony, saying she had sexually exploited herself to get a better life. Sentencing is pending for Clark, who faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.[269]


Lap Dance Proves Costly—Valley city, ND—A woman accused of blackmailing a North Dakota minister who paid her for nude dancing and sex has been sentenced to 90 days in jail. Bunny Byington of Moorhead was sentenced as part of a plea deal. The 46-year-old Byington pleaded guilty to coercion, for extorting money from the Rev. Mark Ostgarden of Valley City, N.D. Court documents say Ostgarden put $7,000 in cash in envelopes under Byington`s apartment door after she demanded the money to keep quiet about their affair. He refused her demand for another $18,000. Byington contacted his wife and church officials and sent the bishop a picture of Ostgarden wearing underwear and a T-shirt.[270]

Tax Evasion

“Dr. Dino” Sentenced to 10 Years—Pensacola—Evangelist Kent Hovind was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of tax fraud. The judge hearing the case also ordered Hovind to: Pay $640,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service, pay the prosecution’s court costs of $7,078 and serve three years parole once he is released from prison.[271] A 12-person jury deliberated for 21/2 hours before finding the couple guilty of all counts in their tax-fraud case. Hovind, founder of Creation Science Evangelism and Dinosaur Adventure Land in Pensacola, was found guilty of 58 counts, including failure to pay $845,000 in employee-related taxes. He faces a maximum of 288 years in prison. His wife, Jo Hovind, was charged and convicted in 44 of the counts involving evading bank-reporting requirements. She faces up to 225 years in prison.[272] A federal judge cleared the way for government seizure of the creationism theme park owned by the couple. A ruling by a U.S. District Judge states that the nine properties that make up Dinosaur Adventure Land as well as two bank accounts associated with the park will be used to satisfy $430,400 owed to the federal government.[273],[274] Hovind is a “Young Earth creationist,” that claimed the planet is less than 13,000 years old. He is most famous for creation science seminars, in which he argues for Young Earth creationism, using his self-formulated “Hovind Theory.” The scientific community rejects any form of creationism, including young Earth creationism. “Creationism in any of its forms, such as ‘intelligent design,’ is not based on facts, does not use any scientific reasoning and its contents are pathetically inadequate for science classes.”[275]] In 2006, Hovind had been charged with falsely declaring bankruptcy, making threats against federal officials, filing false complaints, failing to get necessary building permits, and various tax-related charges. He was convicted of 58 federal tax offenses and related charges, for which he is currently serving a 10-year sentence. Hovind probably isn’t a household name, but if you follow the creation/evolution debate, you’ve almost certainly heard of Hovind’s creationism ministry or his Florida theme park. It wasn’t Hovind’s creationism that got him arrested, however: In the indictment unsealed Thursday, a grand jury alleges that Kent Hovind failed to pay $473,818 in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on employees at his Creation Science Evangelism/Ministry between March 31, 2001, and Jan. 31, 2004. The indictment alleges Kent Hovind paid his employees in cash and labeled them “missionaries” to avoid payroll tax and FICA requirements. Hovind has maintained in the past that “as a minister of God, everything he owns belongs to God and he is not subject to paying taxes to the United States on money he receives for doing God’s work”—interesting theology, perhaps, but not the sort of attitude that will endear you to the IRS! In 2006, Hovind had been charged with falsely declaring bankruptcy, making threats against federal officials, filing false complaints, failing to get necessary building permits, and various tax-related charges. He was convicted of 58 federal tax offenses and related charges, for which he is currently serving a 10-year sentence. Hovind probably isn’t a household name, but if you follow the creation/evolution debate, you’ve almost certainly heard of Hovind’s creationism ministry or his Florida theme park. It wasn’t Hovind’s creationism that got him arrested, however: In the indictment unsealed Thursday, a grand jury alleges that Kent Hovind failed to pay $473,818 in federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes on employees at his Creation Science Evangelism/Ministry between March 31, 2001, and Jan. 31, 2004. The indictment alleges Kent Hovind paid his employees in cash and labeled them “missionaries” to avoid payroll tax and FICA requirements. Hovind has maintained in the past that “as a minister of God, everything he owns belongs to God and he is not subject to paying taxes to the United States on money he receives for doing God’s work”—interesting theology, perhaps, but not the sort of attitude that will endear you to the IRS! [276],[277],[278],[279]

Ex-Pastor Off to Halfway House—Cold spring, OH—After spending nearly two years in prison, the former pastor of First Baptist Church in Cold Spring must find employment and will live in a halfway house until his release in April. Larry Davis was transferred from a federal prison in Manchester, Ky., to the Talbert House in Cincinnati. Davis had pleaded guilty in 2005 to falsifying a loan application and income tax evasion. Authorities said he stole up to $730,000 from First Baptist Church to feed his gambling habit. Federal prosecutors said Davis used some of the church’s tithes to buy himself a used Porsche 911.[280]

Evangelist Alamo Convicted on 10 Sex Counts—Texarkana—Evangelist Tony Alamo was convicted on 10 sex counts. Tony Alamo, a one-time street preacher who built a multimillion-dollar ministry and became an outfitter of the stars, was convicted of taking girls as young as 9 across state lines. Tony Alamo—Headed a Santa Clarita commune. Convicted of tax evasion and until recently he resided in a halfway house in Texarkana.[281],[282] Evangelist Tony Alamo was convicted on 10 sex counts Friday. Tony Alamo, a one-time street preacher who built a multimillion-dollar ministry and became an outfitter of the stars, was convicted of taking girls as young as 9 across state lines. Convicted of tax evasion and until recently he resided in a halfway house in Texarkana.[283]

Grammy Winning Trumpeter Sentenced—Chattanooga—Grammy winning singer, trumpeter and CCM star Phil Driscoll was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for using his gospel music ministry in an income-tax evasion scheme. Driscoll was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to avoid paying income taxes and two additional counts of income tax evasion. An IRS agent testified at the trial that Driscoll and his wife improperly used his Mighty Horn Ministries to shield the money and evade $128,627 in taxes. He served one year and a day in a minimum-security prison, which began on March 13, 2007.


Pastor Steals $730,000, Buys Porsche—Cold Spring, OH—Larry Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church of Cold Spring, pleaded guilty to stealing up to $730,000 from First Baptist Church to feed his gambling habit. Federal prosecutors said Davis used some of the church’s tithes to buy himself a used Porsche 911. Davis had been pastor at First Baptist for 20 years and guided the church from 300 to 1,600 members. Davis also pleaded guilty to falsifying a loan and income tax evasion.[284]

Father and Son Pastors Sentenced to Prison in OC Church Theft—Yorba Linda, CA—Father and son pastors were each sentenced to two years in state prison for stealing $3.1 million in church funds to buy luxury cars, time shares and golf club memberships. Richard Wimberly Cunningham and Philip Ladd Cunningham pleaded guilty to felony grand theft and fraud charges. The father and son stole the money from Calvary Baptist Yorba Linda Church and School, where they both pastored.[285]

Former Pastor Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison for Theft—Cleveland—The Rev. Artis Caver, pastor of the Cleveland Harvest Missionary Baptist Church, was sentenced to 16 years in the penitentiary. The pastor, convicted of stealing nearly $400,000 from his former parish was found guilty of theft and forgery, three counts of perjury and 20 counts of money laundering dating back to 2000.[286]

Theft and Fraud

Pastor Arrested on Theft and Fraud Charges—Scottsdale, AR—Patrick A. Shetler, pastor of the Glass and Garden Community Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, was arrested on suspicion of felony theft and fraud for allegedly using about $60,000 in church funds for personal expenses. A few months before Rev. Shetler was arrested and accused of stealing from his Scottsdale church, he delivered a powerful sermon about one of the weaknesses in the American criminal justice system: leniency for thieves.[287]

Compton Preacher Purloins $800,000—Compton—Rev. Eugene Joshua Sims, pastor of Double Rock Baptist Church in Compton, is being held on $1.2 million bail and is charged with stealing $800,000. According to court records, Sims diverted church funds into a personal account. Sims, who served as pastor since 1998, faces charges of grand theft by embezzlement, money laundering and witness intimidation.[288]

Louisiana Evangelist Arrested—New Orleans—State Police arrested John Vaughn over the weekend. They say an investigation determined Vaughn illegally obtained a license to sell insurance in Louisiana. Vaughn allegedly used that license to sell a policy to a fake customer. They say he pocketed the commission. Vaughn faces the following charges:[289]

Minister Charged with Defrauding Church of a Quarter Million Dollars—ColumbiaA Columbia County minister has been arrested on charges of defrauding a church of more than a quarter million dollars. Another man is still being sought in the case. Samuel Darin Taylor, 61, of 275 S.E. Rosewood Circle in Lake City, was arrested Tuesday by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office on charges of money laundering, mortgage fraud, racketeering, conspiracy to commit grand theft, and scheming with intent to defraud. The alleged target of the crimes was a church at 1571 East Duval in Lake City, which had been known as the First Assembly of God and more recently has been the site of Community Mercy Center. [290], [291]

Pastor Captured After Defrauding Hurricane Charley Victims—Miami—Jack Ruff, the senior pastor at the Praise Tabernacle Church in Charlotte County, Florida who was the subject of arrest warrants charging him with defrauding dozens of Hurricane Charley victims out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, was captured in Livingston, Montana, where he was allegedly posing as a Hurricane Katrina evacuee from Louisiana.[292]

Pastor Sentenced to 3 Years for Tax Evasion, Fraud—Hagerstown, MD—A former Hagerstown pastor was sentenced to more than three years for tax evasion and bank fraud conspiracy. A federal judge also ordered Otis Ray Hope, who once served as pastor of the 2,000-member Montrose Baptist in Rockville, to pay restitution of more than $2.4 million. U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said Hope created false financial statements to defraud a bank into approving a $1.75 million loan, stole hundreds of thousands of dollars of tuition for himself and cheated on his taxes.[293]

Convicted Former President of National Baptist Convention Loses Election Bid—MemphisThe Rev. Henry Lyons, lost an election to lead the National Baptist Convention a decade after he was convicted of swindling more than $5.2 million from the organization’s corporate partners. Lyons served nearly five years in state prison. During the group’s meeting in Nashville, Tenn., the Tampa pastor emerged as one of two candidates for convention president.[294],[295]


Youth Pastor Sentenced for VoyeurismBradenton, FL—The parishioners wept silently in court Thursday as they watched Matthew Porter, their former youth pastor, handcuffed and taken to jail, where he will spend the next four months for secretly videotaping students in his Ellenton home. Porter pleaded no contest July 7 to nine counts of misdemeanor voyeurism. A year earlier, he resigned from Bethel Baptist Church after admitting he secretly videotaped his Bible study students, ages 12 to 16, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. The recordings, which took place over a period of two years, show the juveniles undressing and changing in the home, Assistant State Attorney Richard Cipriano told the judge.[296]

Pastor Convicted in Secret Videotaping Case—Greenville, NC—A former pastor facing trial for secretly videotaping women and children at his church entered a plea agreement with prosecutors. Leon Harris entered an Alford Plea to four counts sexual exploitation of a minor and placed on probation. The Alford Plea meant Harris did not admit guilt, but conceded. The agreement with the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office dropped 48 counts of felony secret peeping. Harris later filed a civil suit in Superior Court in July, claiming Rose Hill Free Will Baptist Church and the Central Convention of Free Will Baptists violated his contract when they fired him after he secretly videotaped women and children changing clothes in the church. Harris later dropped the suit. Previously, Harris was charged with secretly videotaping a woman on a Surf City, North Carolina beach. Before that case was processed he was charged with illegally videotaping 10 women and girls, six of the victims are adults, four are children according to WCNT News. “Police say all the video was taken inside the church.”[297], [298]

[1] 06 Nov 2007

[2] Mega-Church Pastors Zachery and Riva Tims’ Divorce is Finalized after Zachery Admits to a Year-Long Adulterous Affair with a Stripper, Black Christian News Network, August 20, 2009,,

[3] Sex Scandal Rocks Atlanta-Area Megachurch, November 20, 2007, Associated Press,,2933,312249,00.html

[4] Sex Scandal Rocks Atlanta-Area Megachurch, FOX, Associated Press, November 20, 2007,,2933,312249,00.html

[5] Ex-Megachurch Pastor Earl Paulk Dies in Atlanta Hospital, FOX, Associated Press, March 29, 2009,,2933,511324,00.html

[6] Music minister charged with armed bank robbery, August 14, 2008,

[7] Former pastor takes plea deal in church burning case, David Berman, Summerville Journal Scene, December 11, 2008,

[8] Georgia Pastor Charged for Arson in Church Fire, January 21, 2008,

[9] Anti Islamic Evangelist arrested on attempted arson charge, April 30, 2008, NBC15,

[10] U.S. preacher says “take out” Chavez – August 25, 2005,

[11] Connecticut Department of Corrections,

[12] Organist imprisoned on sex charges gets more time for murder plot, Newsday, December 12, 2007,–

[13] Former Ardmore minister sentenced to serve 25 years, Marsha Miller, The Daily Ardmoreite, June 17, 2005,

[14] Weir Minister Arrested On Battery Counts,, July 31, 2008,

[15] Baptist minister arrested for domestic violence in Alpharetta, Jason Wright,, November 15, 2007

[16] Baptist minister arrested for domestic violence in Alpharetta, Alpharetta and Roswell Revue & News, Jason Wright, November 15, 2007,|167023.112113|Baptist_minister_arrested_for_domestic_violence_in_Alpharetta

[17] Preacher Arrested, WDEF-TV News 12, June 15, 2005,

[18] Saginaw minister gets probation, time on tether for making bootleg CDs, DVDs, Stacey Henson, September 04, 2008,

[19] NLR preacher indicted in theft of car, $11,000,, October 8, 2005

[20] Pastor Charged with Neglect, The Indianapolis Star, August 28, 2005,

[21] South Georgia Preacher arrested for child cruelty, Mar 19, 2009, Jim Wallace,

[22] SC Minister arrested for back child support, Associated Press, Aug 15, 2008,

[23] Office of the Attorney General State of Mississippi, November 06 2007,

[24] Billy Graham’s daughter arrested, Witnesses say the evangelist’s daughter pushed and choked her husband in a store parking lot, St. Petersburg Times, July 9, 2005

[25] The Palm Beach Post, January 14, 2003, Minister’s Insurers Pay Man $600,000 to Settle Suit,,E&p_text_date-0=01/14/2003%20to%2001/14/2003)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(masters)&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

[26] North Charleston pastor arrested on drug charges in North Carolina, Harve Jacobs, WCSC-TV, Dec 12, 2009,

[27] Pastor is accused of selling drugs from church, June 6, 2007,

[28] Pastor Fined $1,000 for Marijuana Possession, The Saginaw News, June 28,

[29] Minister Arrested in Drunken Driving Auto Accident that Killed Prosecutor, June 14, 2009, Larry Jones,

[30] Ex-pastor guilty, Clergyman admits to stealing $32G from church fund; will serve five years of probation, must pay back group, HERBERT LOWE, Newsday, July 21, 2005,

[31] Former Church Employee Guilty of Embezzlement, Greensboro News & Record, July 26, 2005,,E&p_text_date-0=all&p_perpage=25&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no&p_text_search-0=Thomas+OR+Dunn

[32] Pastor Convicted of Embezzlement – Sells Church to Buy a BMW,, January 31, 2006,

[33] Preacher Guilty of Stealing $500,000 gets Probation, Scott Shifrel,,

[34] Former church comptroller surrenders, Damiane Ricks, The Advocate, August 3, 2005,

[35]Church Treasurer Faces More Embezzlement Charges, South Bend Tribune, August 22, 2005,


[37] Preacher’s Wife and Friend Jailed for Embezzlement, The Kalamazoo Gazette, July 15, 2005,

[38] Woman Pleads Guilty to Stealing from Church , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 12,2005,,920917

[39] Ex-pastor sentenced as lapsed sex offender, Associated Press, March 4, 2002,

[40] Ex-priest not on sex offender list, He says he did not know that he had to register, Judy L. Thomas, The Kansas City Star, May 4, 2000,

[41] Convicted Sex Offender Removed as Pastor of Newark Church, Newsday, May 7, 2003,

[42] Religious sect member convicted of murder in starvation of son, Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, June 14, 2002,

[43] Preacher Charged In Death of Disciple, October 19, 1984, New York Times,

[44] Minister gets 30 Months in Boy’s Exorcism Death, Derrick Nunnally, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 18, 2004,|PKPB&p_product=MSNP&p_theme=msnp&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&s_dispstring=ray%20hemphill%20AND%20date(2004)&p_field_date-0=YMD_date&p_params_date-0=date:B,E&p_text_date-0=2004&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(ray%20hemphill)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

[45] Pastor Charged with larceny and Forgery , The Associated Press, August, 2005,–pastorarrest0811aug10,0,5351149.story?coll=ny-region-apconnecticut

[46] Culpeper Preacher Pleads Guilty for Fraud, Jun 27, 2008,

[47] Chuck Gallagher, Business Ethics and Fraud Prevention Expert, January 31, 2008,

[48] Minister Gets Term and Fine for Fraud / Salvadoran Who Sought Passport for Girl Gets Credit for Time Served, Put on Supervision, Dale Lezon, Houston Chronicle, August 26, 2005,

[49] Investors won’t see much of money given to ‘pastor’, Laurence Hammack, The Roanoke Times, September 13, 2005,

[50] Pastor sentenced to 310 years in prison for fraud, July 2, 2008,

[51] Appeals Court Upholds Baptist Foundation Convictions, Office of Attorney General Terry Goddard,

[52] Evangelical confesses to ‘sexual immorality’ in letter, Eric Marrapodi,

[53] Mike Jones on Ted Haggard and Hypocrisy, Jul 7, 2007,

[54] Pastor takes leave amid allegations of gay sex, Eric Gorski, Felisa Cardona and Manny Gonzales, Denver Post,  November 11, 2006,

[55] Anti-Gay Advocate at Focus Resigning, The Colorado Springs Gazette, Dave Philipps, April 15, 2003,

[56] “Pray away the gay,” Gay & the Law, Wayne Besen, Truth Wins Out and Lambda Legal, 2008

[57] “Rejecting Gay Feelings, Some Strive To Change,” (Letter to the editor of the Columbus Dispatch), by Alan Chambers (President, Exodus International), June 23, 2006,

[58] Son of Homophobic Megachurch Pastor Arrested in Gay Sex Sting, John Wright,, February 12, 2009,

[59] Son of T.D. Jakes Posts Bail on Indecent Exposure Charge, Scott Goldstein, The Dallas Morning News, February 12, 2009,

[60] Police: Minister Claims Gay Sex Chat Was Way To Bring Children To Christ, Youth Minister Arrested, Andrew Pulskamp, October 22, 2003,

[61] The Florida Department of Law Enforcement issued a Sexual Offender / Predator Flyer as Bennett no longer resides at the last reported address given to the Florida Sexual Offender Registry,

[62] Anti-Gay CME Bishop Suspended Pending Lawsuit, Criminal Charges for Sexually Assaulting Minister Black mega-church pastors gone wild! 7/23/2008

[63] Tri-Cities TV Station Reports 2 Teachers, 1 Preacher Among 40 Arrested in E TN Sex Sting, WJHL-TV, October 4, 2007,

[64] Anti-Gay Preacher Charged With Lewd Act, Church Leader Allegedly Exposed Himself In Milwaukee Park, May 29, 2008,

[65] District Heights Mayor Arrested in Sting, Walls, 30, Offered $40 for Sex to Undercover Officer in the District, Police Say, Allison Klein and Odette Wiggins, Washington Post,

[66] Rev. Barnes, ex-church chart future, Denver Post, Eric Gorski, December 12, 2006,

[67] Undercover Operation in Polk County’s Holman Wayside Park Leads to Several Arrests for Public Indecency,, May 15, 2007,

[68] Yet-Another-Anti-Gay-Preacher-Caught in Homosexual Scandal,

[69] Preacher Arrested for Gay Sex Invitation Claims No Law Was Broken, Jon Ponder, Pensito Review, February.25, 2007,


[71] Ex-minister guilty of exposure, Marie Rohde and Lisa Sink, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 26, 2002,

[72] Big Stone Gap pastor charged with indecent exposure, February 17, 2009,,

[73] Phillip Garrido’s bail set at $30 million, will undergo psychiatric testing, Los Angeles Times, Maria L. La Ganga September 14, 2009,

[74] Atlanta Preacher Arrested Again, Accused of Hiding Child, Associated Press, October 15, 2007,

[75] Pastor convicted of kidnapping his grandchildren, The Independent, Doug Johnson, The Associated Press, February 1, 2001,

[76] Convicted Child Molester Longtime Pastor of Southern Baptist Churches, Bob Allen,, January 5, 2007,

[77] Church is sued over molestation, Cary Davis, St. Petersburg Times, June 25, 2002,

[78] Minister sentenced to five years, Chris Grenz, Topeka Capital-Journal, December 6, 2001,

[79] Area pastor sentenced in sex abuse cases, The: Lincoln Way Sun, June 18, 2003,,E&p_text_date-0=2/1/2003%20to%201/1/2009)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(“dennis%20larry%20shaw”)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

[80] Minister Again Charged with Molestation, Chris Hack, Daily Southtown, February 11, 2003,

[81] Minister Sentenced To 6 Years For Molesting Boy, WITN.COM, June 26, 2008

[82] Former Valley minister arrested, accused of molesting boy, Deborah Stocks, KTVK –TV, Phoenix, August 1, 2008,


[84] Pastor gets prison time for molesting 2 girls, San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press, August 7, 2008,

[85] Former Pastor Convicted of Molesting Two Girls, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, June 26, 2008,

[86] Former Pastor Sentenced For Molesting Two Girls, KCAL, August 7, 2008,

[87] Court of Criminal Appeals for the State of Oklahoma,

[88] Man Who Prayed with Victims Guilty of Molestation,,

[89] Pastor Convicted on Rape Charges, Georgia Department of Corrections, May 17, 2006,

[90] Pastor’s Son Sentenced to 17 Years for Molesting Children, News4Jax, June 13, 2006,

[91] Florida Department of Corrections,

[92] Ex-Day Care Director Sent to Prison for Molestations, St. Petersburg Times, Jun 15, 2006,

[93] Former Church Leader Sentenced, Michelle Durand, The San Mateo Daily Journal, June 09, 2006,

[94] Gospel Singer Going to Jail for Molesting Students, Sisters, WPVI-TV, June 26, 2006,

[95] Man gets probation for touching girl at water park, Miami Herald, December 3, 2009,

[96] Local Youth Minister Arrested on Molestation Charge at Disney World, July 8, 2009, Veronica R. Chiesi,

[97] Anglican priest guilty of sexual assaulting teen, Steve Levin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 13, 2005,

[98] Pastor convicted of soliciting sex from teenager, January 15, 2004,

[99] Pastor pleads guilty to child molestation, May 10, 2008, Cherokee Tribune,

[100] Minister given 5 years on molestation count, Disgraced pastor gets five years in prison, Keith Epps,, September 3, 2008,

[101] Minister given 5 years on molestation count, disgraced pastor gets five years in prison, Keith Epps, Fredricksburg.Com, September 3, 2008,

[102] Fort Worth Pastor gets Probation for Sex with Teen, The Associated Press, CBS11TV.COM, August 29, 2008,

[103] Youth Pastor Sentenced to 10 Years, Daytona Beach News-Journal, April 21, 2006,

[104] Florida Department of Law Enforcement – Sexual Offender / Predator Flyer,

[105] Arizona pastor pleads guilty to molesting Florida boy, The Gainesville Sun,, August 14, 2005,

[106] Ex-teacher guilty of molest charges 14-year sentence in Milpitas case, Suzanne Herel, San Francisco Chronicle, March 12, 2003,

[107] Former Church Music Director Sentenced, Fox 23, September 26, 2005, www.fox23news. com/news/local/ story.aspx?content_-7408- 4356-BC60-56 ADAB7BBEBE

[108] Sunday school teacher sentenced in molestation, The Norman Transcript, October 03, 2005,

[109] Preacher Sentenced to 15 years on molestation charges,, 2005,

[110] Minister/Principal Sentenced, On the Record, Bonnie M. Dumanis DA Case Files,

[111] Pastor gets 90 years for molestation, Larry Welborn, The Orange County Register, January 5, 2009,

[112] Pastor pleads guilty to child molestation, May 10, 2008, Cherokee Tribune,

[113] Warsaw Pastor Gets 6 Years for Sex with Boy, Becky Manley, The Journal Gazette, October 6, 2006|&p_product=JGNP&p_theme=jgnp&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&s_dispstring=Warsaw%20Pastor%20Gets%206%20Years%20for%20Sex%20with%20Boy%20AND%20date(all)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(Warsaw%20Pastor%20Gets%206%20Years%20for%20Sex%20with%20Boy)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

[114] Pastor sentenced for molesting young girl, KOMONEWS.COM, October 12, 2007,

[115] Former pastor sentenced to prison, Jeff Lehr, Joplin Globe, September 4, 2009,

[116] Former Eureka youth pastor sentenced for molestation, San Jose Mercury News, July 7, 2009,,+sentenced,+san+jose+mercury&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

[117] Former pastor Andrew Belant convicted of child molestation,, June 1, 2009,

[118] Convicted sex offender removed as pastor of Newark church, Newsday, May 7, 2003,

[119] . Visalian who was a Jehovah’s Witness leader accused by girl, 12, Cyndi Carcamo, The Fresno Bee, January 30, 2003,

[120] Bible Teacher to Get 16 Years in Molestations, Los Angeles Times, March 21, 2003,

[121] Baker minister to serve 15 years in molestation case, Adrian Angelette, The Advocate, April 23, 2005,

[122] Preacher Arrested for Civil Rights Murders, Jennifer Rosenberg,, About.Com, January 9, 2005,

[123] BTK Murderer Pleads Guilty, Wichita Eagle-Beacon, July 2, 2005,

[124] Jury finds ex-preacher Doug Porter guilty of murder, August 04, 2008, Jurors convicts him on all counts; Sentencing set for Sept. 2, Susan Herendeen, The Modesto Bee,

[125] Preacher Arrested in Alleged Murder Plot, Olivia Munoz, The Associated Press, November 30, 2006,

[126] Preacher Arrested in Alleged Murder Plot , Garance Burke, Associated Press,

[127] Preacher Sentenced to 65 Years in Prison, KXXV.Com, January 21, 2010

[128] Former Preacher Charged In Wife’s Death, Police: Sleeping Pills, Bruises Found On Wife’s Exhumed Body September 21, 2007,

[129] Preacher Arrested for Murdering Wife, News Channel 25, ABC, Mark Kurtz, October 1, 2007,

[130] Bainbridge preacher to be re-sentenced in May for wife’s murder, Nicholas Hacheney, March 9, 2008,

[131] Ex-Pastor Sentenced to Life In Prison In Wife’s Murder, Malcomb Daniels, The Birmingham News, December 14, 2009,

[132] Reaves gets life for murder, Anne Blythe,, October 10, 2009,

[133] Youth pastor convicted of slaying pregnant girlfriend, February 4, 2007,

[134] Former Youth Pastor Arrested In Pregnant Teen’s Fatal Stabbing, Estrada Charged With Capital Murder, December 13,

[135] Religious sect member convicted of murder in starvation of son, Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, June 14, 2002,

[136] Martin Miller murder conviction upheld, Lisa Horn, Lawrence Journal World & News, July 28, 2007,

[137] Miller guilty of murder, Eric Weslander, Lawrence Journal World & News, June 21, 2005

[138] The Washington Post, Crime & Justice, June 14, 2005,

[139] Franklin Township youth minister arrested by FBI on child pornography charge, John Barna, Gloucester County Times, March 27, 2009,

[140] Texarkana minister arrested on child porn charges, June 2, 2008,

[141] Pastor’s legal troubles expand, Police seize videotape alleged to show sex with child, Keri Kirby, The Times July 17, 2003,

[142] Pastor Convicted, November 18, 2006,

[143] Ohio sting leads to Colorado child porn conviction, WOUB Radio & Television, Associated Press, September 9, 2008,

[144] Youth Pastor Gets Six Years in Child-Porn Case, Chris Bristol, Yakima Herald-Republic, October 19, 2006,

[145] Spring Lake Man Admits Possessing Child Pornography, The United States Attorney’s Office , District of New Jersey, August 14, 2005,

[146] Former pastor sentenced to 17 years in prison on child pornography convictions, June 30, 2009, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,

[147]Ex-minister here charged in rape of minor in Pa., David Teibel, Tucson Citizen, May 31, 2003,

[148] Former pastor convicted in Crawford County sex sting, Pittsburgh Tribune Review, September 14, 2008

[149] Judge does not revoke minister’s probation, Mike Dooley, The News-Sentinel, August 13, 2005,

[150] Fincher gets 18 months, suspended, Mike Dooley, The News-Sentinel, April 20, 2005,

[151] CAL President Pleads Guilty to Aiding and Abetting Prostitution, August 22, 2007,

[152] A Preacher, A Prostitute & The Mayor, 7/17/2008,

[153] Arrest of pastor saddens church Flock concentrates onforgiveness, Chicago Tribune, Tara Malone, May 12, 2008,

[154] Lutheran Pastor charged in prostitution sting, Lisa Reyes, News 14, Charlotte, March 6, 2008,×165541

[155] Pastor Facing Prostitution Charges, ABC 27 News, January 30, 2009,

[156] Pastor charged with prostitution resigns from church, Lara Brenckle, The Patriot-News, January 31, 2009,

[157] Pastor Arrested In Prostitution Sting,

[158] Oakland Pastor Arrested During Prostitution Sting, September 25, 2005

[159] Former Ringgold Pastor Arrested, The, Judy Frank, June 14, 2007,

[160] Pastor Facing Prostitution Charges, ABC 27 News, January 30, 2009,

[161] Pastor among five arrested last week,Alexa Jenner and Joe Lacdan, Hinsdale Suburban Life, May 15, 2008,

[162] Pastor Accused Of Soliciting Prostitute, January 16, 2009,,

[163] Elder Sentenced to 15 Years, Georgia Department of Corrections, June 9, 2006,

[164] Former pastor gets 15 years for rape, Vicky Wicks, Rapid City Journal, March 1, 2005,

[165] Lamonica gets four life terms, Don Ellzey, Daily Star, October 22, 2008,

[166] Ex-minister pleads guilty to rape charges, Brooks Franklin, The Lebanon Democrat, June 9, 2005,

[167] Music teacher sentenced for abuse of 5 girls, Vernon Clark, The Philadelphia Inquirer, June 27, 2006,;col1

[168] Baptist Preacher and wife get 179 years in prison, Jack Kestner, Kingsport Times-News, April 25, 2000,

[169] Baptist Preacher and wife get 179 years in prison: Combs Trial, Lewis Loflin, Kingsport Times-News, April 6, 2002

[170] Church Volunteer Convicted Following Rape Allegations, Child Advocates United, December 11, 2003,

[171] KOIN TV, May 29, 2003) Church Worker, Coach Enters Plea In Sex Abuse Case Church volunteer, coach faces sex abuse charges

[172] Tennessee Felony Offender Information Lookup,

[173] Phillip Garrido’s bail set at $30 million, will undergo psychiatric testing, Los Angeles Times, Maria L. La Ganga September 14, 2009,

[174] Ohio preacher, 71, convicted in road rage case, Motorist claims he waved gun at her, AP News, Aug 05, 2008,

[175] Richard Roberts resigns as Oral Roberts University president, Ziva Branstetter, Tulsa World, November 24, 2007,

[176] Ex-Pastor Convicted in Hedge Fund Scam, Wayne Heilman, The Colorado Springs Gazette, Jan 12, 2008,

[177] Pastor, wife sentenced in mortgage fraud, South Florida Business Journal, September 9, 2009,

[178] Jensen Beach Pastor, Wife Convicted of Mortgage Fraud Scheme, Sandi Copes, Florida Attorney General’s Office, July 21, 2009

[179] Perris pastor convicted in Ponzi scheme,

[180] Ex-pastor seeks electronic devices, The Tribune-Review, January 11, 2006,

[181] Pastor Arrested For Cashing Thousands In Fake Checks,, September 21, 2005,

[182] Youth Minister Arrested for Sexual Assault,, Aug 22, 2007,

[183] Ex-youth Minister gets Life Sentence in Child Sex Assault, CHRISTINA LANE, Longview News-Journal, Publish April 30, 2008,

[184] Minister Takes Plea Deal, Bakersfield Now, July 16, 2006,

[185] Affirmed and Memorandum Opinion on Remand, Fourteenth Court of Appeals, June 18, 2009,

[186] Aldine pastor convicted of sexual abuse, Houston Star Telegraph/July 29, 2005, August 13, 2005,

[187] Aldine pastor convicted of sexual abuse,, August 13, 2005

[188] Aldine pastor convicted of sexual abuse, Houston Star Telegraph/July 29, 2005, August 13, 2005,

[189] Former Winston-Salem pastor sentenced to 100 years in sex-abuse case, Winston-Salem Journal, September 5, 2008

[190] N.C. pastor sentenced to 100 years in sex abuse case, WRAL.Com, September 7, 2008,

[191] Former church leader sentenced, The Daily Journal, June 10, 2006,

[192] Former Youth Pastor Pleads Guilty, KCCI News, March 8, 2005,

[193] Former Mobile Youth Pastor Arrested, Associated Press, November 04, 2007,

[194] Ex-Church Volunteer Sentenced for Molesting Boys, Scott Wheeler, The Ledger, April 20, 2009,

[195] Pierce convicted, gets 10 years, Benton Courier, August 27, 2009

[196] Former Church Music Director Arrested on More Charges, Ashley Blackstone, May 9, 2009,

[197] Benton Choir Minister Arrested for Alleged Sexual Indecency with a Child, 27 April, 2009, the Benton Courier,

[198] Ex-missionary sentenced, Ken Ritter, Associated Press, Desert News, January. 5, 2008,,5143,695241544,00.html


[200] Hilltown rape charge dismissed, Woman withdraws accusation against ex-outreach director, Pervaiz Shallwani, The Morning Call, April 25, 2006,

[201] Isaac Swan gets 30 years in prison for sexual crimes, Vicky Wicks, Rapid City Journal, June 9, 2005,

[202] DeKalb County preacher convicted of sex crimes arrested for sexually abusing boy, David P. Brewer, AlabamaLive.Com, May 22, 2009,

[203] Pastor going back to prison, Mark Harrison, The Times-Journal, November 3, 2009,

[204] Former Okla. pastor sentenced to 10 years for molestation, Bob Allen, Associated Baptist Press, October 26, 2009,

[205] Ex-pastor makes plea bargain, Holly Huffman, The Eagle, March 19, 2004,

[206] Ex-pastor sentenced over sexual relationship with teen, Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News, January 4, 2008,

[207] Minister Accused of Sex Abuse Commits Suicide, Bob Allen, EthicsDaily.Com,

[208] Ex-Sisters pastor convicted on abuse charges, KTVZ News, Oregon, February 2, 2007,

[209] Pedophile Pastor From Brooklyn Sentenced to 10 to 40 Years, Samuel Newhouse & Ryan Thompson, Brooklyn Eagle, September 29,2008,

[210] Pedophile Pastor from Brooklyn Sentenced to 10 to 40 Years, Samuel Newhouse & Ryan Thompson,The Brooklyn Eagle, September 29, 2008,

[211] Area Pastor Pleads Guilty to Sex Charge, August 29, 2003, 

[212] Minister Pleads Guilty To Felony Charges, Hank Buermeyer, The Caledonian-Record, June 27, 2002,

[213] Youth Minister Sentenced To Jail For Abusing Young Boys, Liz Foreman, 9News, November 19, 2002,

[214] Florida Department of Corrections, Inmate Population Information Detail, November 29, 2009,

[215] Youth Minister Faces Sex Charges, The Charlotte Observer, June, 14, 2002,

[216] Family’s lawsuit against church settled out of court, Michael Barrett, The Gaston Gazette, November 26, 2007,

[217] Local Minister Arrested for Sex Abuse, Teresa Bell and Pat Dooris, KGW News, May 9, 2002,

[218] Former Oregon pastor sued in sex abuse case, The Associated Press, The News-Review, March 6, 2008,

[219] Minister flees law after sex abuse charges, Democrat and Chronicle.Com, The Associated Press, May 1, 2002, http://

[220] Minister flees law after sex abuse charges, Democrat and Chronicle.Com, The Associated Press, May 1, 2002, http://

[221] Former Pastor Pleads Guilty; David Gardiner of Liverpool Admits He Sexually Abused Young Girl in Plea Bargain, Jim O’Hara, The Post-Standard,

[222] Brooklyn pastor, Dr. Paul Lewis, busted in Jamaica for teen sex rap, Alison Gendar, New York Daily News, June 20, 2009,

[223] Arlington pastor indicted amid sex allegations, Houston Chronicle/March 12, 2005,

[224] Former Maui Deacon Sentenced To Prison In Sex Assault Case, KITV News, July 20, 2006,

[225] Sarasota Herald-Tribune, June 4, 2003, Francis

[226] Double Life boy molester gets 5 to 20, The Daily News, Les Stewart, June 18, 2005,,E&p_text_date-0=1/1/2005%20to%201/1/2009)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(“jay%20bachman”)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

[227] Times of Wayne County, Jan. 27, 2003,

[228] 74-Year-Old Pedophile Gets 210 Years for Assaults on 3 Boys —Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News, July 17, 2007,

[229] Calif. pastor jailed for drugging, abusing 5 girls Associated Press, Sept. 19, 2009,

[230] Former Youth Pastor Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Having Sex with Child, Pedro Oliveira Jr., The Janesville Gazette, June 26, 2009,

[231] Buckeye pastor sentenced to 2 years in prison in sex case, Jackee Coe, The Arizona Republic, September, 11, 2009,

[232]Senior pastor of local church gets two-year sentence, Michael R. Moser,, April 19, 2007,

[233] Ex-pastor sentenced over sexual relationship with teen, Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News, Published January 4, 2008

[234] Montana Department of Justice, Sexual or Violent Offender Search Details,

[235] Pastor in Court on Sex Crimes, Daily Interlake, November 22, 2002,

[236] Youth Minister Receives Probation, Howard Pankratz, Denver Post Legal Affairs Writer, January 6, 2004,,E&p_text_date-0=01/01/2001%20to%2012/31/2007)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(“macfranklin”)&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

[237] Illinois pastor sentenced to 7 years for sexual assault, Michael Leathers, National Association of Church Business Administration, April 7, 2003,

[238] Youth Minister Arrested on Sexual Battery Charge, KTUL.Com, January 29, 2009,

[239] Former youth pastor faked his own death, August 22, 2007, Associated Press,

[240] Youth minister arrested, Nicole Hines, Cedar Creek Pilot, August 21, 2008,

[241] Abuse Arrest Prompts Resignation of Alabama Baptist Music Minister, Bob Allen, March 14, 2008,,

[242] Youth Minister Charged with Sexual Assault, 7/30/2008,

[243] Former Youth Group Leader Faces Sex Charges, Images Allegedly Reveal Criminal Sexual Conduct, June 15, 2005, Click On Detroit,

[244] Pastor Charged with Sexual Assault , FOX Carolina TV,

[245] Bellmead Baptist minister arrested in sexual assault case involving two children, Erin Quinn and Terri Jo Ryan, Tribune-Herald, April 2, 2009,

[246] Former youth minister arrested for sex abuse, July 2, 2009, WKYT, Lexington, KY,

[247] Marshall Minister Arrested for Sodomy, April 13, 2009, William Maetzold,

[248] Prestonwood Baptist minister arrested in sex sting, Tanya Eiserer and Sam Hodges, Dallas Morning News, May 17, 2008

[249] Minister Arrested; Accused Of Soliciting Sex Online, November 8, 2008,

[250] Cops: Preacher Texts Photo of His Penis to Teen Girl—August 14, 2008,,E&p_text_date-0=8/28/2008%20to%201/1/2009)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(“Rev.%20Scott%20Allen%20Snyder”)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no

[251] Update: Baptist pastor Gilyard arrested for sex messages to teens, Greg Warner, Associated Baptist Press, January 15, 2008,

[252] St. Joseph Minister Arrested for Trying to Entice Teens Over Facebook, Rebecca Sapakie, April 8, 2009, WDAF-TV,,0,4850951.story

[253] Minister admits to being ‘sex addict’, Rob Modic, Dayton Daily News, January 29, 2003,

[254] Preacher arrested for trying to meet 13-year old for sex, Wendy Enneking, WKYT.Com, June 27, 2009,

[255] Pastor convicted of soliciting sex from teenager, Times Leader, Associated Press, January 15, 2004,

[256] Pastor convicted of soliciting sex from teenager, Times Leader, Wilkes-Barre, PA, January 15, 2004,

[257] Former Oregon Christian Coalition Leader Confesses to Molesting Relatives, Matt Davis and Amy Jenniges, The Portland Mercury, August 10, 2006,

[258] Judge dismisses suit citing Christian leader, The Oregonian, October 11, 2005, September 9, 2006,

[259] Judge dismisses suit citing Christian leader, The Oregonian, October 11, 2005, September 9, 2006,

[260] Rev. William Blasingame Ripped Off CHURCH To Buy BOTOX?, Associated Press, April 8, 2009, The Huffinton Post,

[261] Preacher Arrested for Breaking into Home, Stealing Sex Toy, ABC News, August 10, 2008,

[262] Preacher Arrested Wearing Miniskirt, Pleads Guilty to DUI, Indecency,, October 26, 2007,

[263] Bristol, VA Baptist Pastor /WZAP Radio Gospel DJ Arrested, WYCB, October 26, 2007,

[264] Baptist minister charged with indecent exposure, The Advocate, October 26, 2007,

[265] Missing N.Y. Pastor Found At Ohio Strip Club, David Schoetz, March. 29, 2008,

[266] Church Votes to Keep Convicted Pastor, The Tribune, December 15, 2003,,1651,TCP_1107_2510157,00.html

[267] On the Record, Bonnie M. Dumanis, July/August 2005,

[268] Minister gets probation for sex ruse, Ray Huard, Union-Tribune , May 13, 2005

[269] Pastor Convicted of Demanding Sex, Chuck Gallagher, Ethics Speaker, Dec 13, 2007, The Associated Press,

[270] Lap Dance Proves Costly, KFYR-TV, October 19, 2009,

[271] Kent Hovind — Dr. Dino — sentenced to 10 years in prison, Michael Stewart, Pensacola News Journal, January 19, 2007,

[272] Kent Hovind, ‘Dr. Dino,’ guilty on all counts, Nicole Lozare, The Pensacola News Journal, Nov. 3, 2006,

[273] Judge clears way for dinosaur park to be seized, Mehret Tesfaye, Ethiopian Review, August 9, 2009,

[274] Judge clears way for creationist dinosaur park to be seized, Kris Wernowsky , Pensacola News Journal,

[275] The dangers of creationism in education, Guy Lengagne, Council of Europe, Committee on Culture, Science and Education, June 8, 2007,

[276] Creation Evangelist, Kent Hovind Arrested, Michael Stewart, Pensacola News Journal, July 14, 2006,

[277] Kent Hovind — Dr. Dino — sentenced to 10 years in prison, Michael Stewart, Pensacola News Journal, January 19, 2007,

[278] Kent Hovind, ‘Dr. Dino,’ guilty on all counts, Nicole Lozare, The Pensacola News Journal, Nov. 3, 2006,

[279] Judge clears way for dinosaur park to be seized, Mehret Tesfaye, Ethiopian Review, August 9, 2009,

[280] Halfway house is next for ex-pastor, Scott Wartman, Cincinnati Enquirer, February 6, 2008,

[281] Jurors convict Arkansas evangelist Tony Alamo on 10 counts of sex abuse , The Associated Press, July 24, 2009,

[282] Jurors convict Arkansas evangelist Tony Alamo on 10 counts of sex abuse, The Associated Press, July 24, 2009,

[283] Jurors convict Arkansas evangelist Tony Alamo on 10 counts of sex abuse , The Associated Press, July 24, 2009,

[284] Cold Spring pastor admits theft, Jim Hannah, Cincinnati Inquierer, October 7, 2005,

[285] Father and son pastors sentenced to prison in OC church theft, Tony Barboza, Los Angeles Times, June 12, 2009,

[286] Former Pastor Sentenced to 16 Years in Prison for Theft Offenses, Karl Turner, The Plain Dealer, May 01, 2008,

[287] Pastor accused in theft preached against leniency for thieves, Carol Sowers, The Arizona Republic, August 17, 2005

[288] Compton pastor suspected of embezzling more than $800,000 from church, Los Angeles Times, Alexandra Zavis, August 19, 2009,

[289] Louisiana Evangelist Arrested, Faces Fifteen Felony Charges in Multiple Parishes, Tyler Gamble, June 1, 2009,

[290] Lake City minister charged with stealing from church, Karen Voyles, The Gainsville Sun, July 15, 2009,

[291] Lake City minister charged with stealing from church, Karen Voyles, The Gainesville Sun, July 15, 2009,

[292] Pastor Captured After Defrauding Hurricane Charley Victims,, September 25, 2005,

[293] Pastor sentenced to 3 years for tax evasion, fraud, Scott McCabe, The Washington Examiner, August 5, 2009,

[294] The Rev. Henry Lyons wants to lead National Baptist Convention USA again, Sherri Day, St. Petersburg Times, February 5, 2009,

[295] Once-imprisoned Baptist Pastor Loses Election Bid, Associated Press, September 12, 2009,

[296] Youth Pastor Sentenced for Voyeurism,, August 22, 2008,

[297] SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 2008 Annual Report, 2008 Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases,

[298] Anti-Abortion Extremist Loses Appeal on Child Molestation Charges, Ms. Magazine, Feminist Wire Newsbriefs, July 28, 2005,

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