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Girl Forced To Apologize To Congregation After Being Raped By Prominent Church Member

by @ 3:18 pm on May 31, 2010. Filed under Dumbasses, In The News, Religion

No, seriously:

After being raped and impregnated by a fellow churchgoer more than twice her age, a 15-year-old Concord girl was forced by Trinity Baptist Church leaders to stand before the congregation to apologize before they helped whisk her out of state, according to the police.

While her pastor, Chuck Phelps, reported the alleged rape in 1997 to state youth officials, Concord police detectives were never able to find the victim. The victim said she was sent to another church member’s home in Colorado, where she was home-schooled and not allowed to have contact with others her age. It wasn’t until this past February that the victim, who is now 28, decided to come forward after reading about other similar cases, realizing for the first time it wasn’t her fault that she had been raped, she told the police.

The police arrested Ernest Willis, 51, of Gilford, last week in connection with the case, accusing him of raping the girl twice – once in the back seat of a car he was teaching her to drive in and again after showing up at her Concord home while her parents were away. He was charged with four felonies – two counts of rape and two counts of having sex with a minor, court records show.

In a statement to the police, the victim said Willis came to her home in the summer of 1997 without warning.

“He said he wanted to talk to me about something so I let him in the house,” she wrote. “He locked the door behind him and pushed me over to the couch. I had a dress on and he pulled it off. I pushed my hands against his shoulders and said ‘No,’ but he didn’t stop.”

At the time of the alleged rape, Phelps was in touch with the police, who told him to contact the Division for Children, Youth and Families.

But moving the girl out of state prevented the police from collecting evidence or a statement, the police said yesterday.

What makes this especially despicable is what happened when the girl and her mother when to Pastor Phelps with the story:

The victim said Phelps told her she would be put up for “church discipline,” where parishioners go before the congregation to apologize for their sins.

She asked why. “Pastor Phelps then said that (Willis) may have been 99 percent responsible, but I needed to confess my 1 percent guilt in the situation,” the victim told the police.

“He told me that I should be happy that I didn’t live in Old Testament times because I would have been stoned.”

Fran Earle, the church’s former clerk, witnessed the punishment session.

At a night meeting of the church’s fellowship in 1997, Phelps invited Willis to the front of the room. Willis apologized to the group for not being faithful to his wife, Earle said.

“I can remember saying to my husband, I don’t understand it’s any of our business why this is being brought up,” Earle said.

Phelps then told parishioners a second matter was at hand; he invited the victim to apologize for getting pregnant.

If nothing else, this should prove that it isn’t just the Catholic Church that has a problem dealing with sexual abuse

H/T: Jonathan Turley

8 Responses to “Girl Forced To Apologize To Congregation After Being Raped By Prominent Church Member”

  1. Chris Berez says:

    Yeah, I’ve been following this one since the news broke. At first it seemed to be more of a local story, but I’ve noticed national news sources picking it up as well– which is good. This is incredibly disturbing story.

    Funny, I can’t remember the part of the New Testament where Jesus says that rape victims should be punished and humiliated and convinced that what happened was their fault.

  2. This is the same game that the Jehovahs Witnesses have used in their congregations for decades which have been described as “pedophile paradise” by those who look into it.

    There’s a support network for victims of this nature from the JW church called “silent lambs”.

  3. Citizen Tom says:

    Since Christians say that God requires us to love each other, not use each other, sexual abuse poses a difficult problem for Christians. When a Christian organization puts up with sexual abuse, bystanders can cite that abuse as hypocrisy. Other the other hand, there are other religious persuasions for which sexual abuse poses no such difficulty. In fact, some religions even condone prostitution as a form of worship. Unfortunately, such religions are relatively unusual now. For some reason, most seem to find the hypocrisy of Christians preferable.

  4. tmana says:

    Chris Berez: it’s not a New Testament thing, it’s an Old Testament thing. Basically, if a single woman is raped where someone can’t hear her scream, she’s considered innocent — but since the commodity of her virginity has been stolen, the rapist is considered to have married her, has to pay her father a bride price equivalent to about one year’s salary, and loses the right to divorce her. If a spoken-for woman (betrothed or married) is raped where someone can’t hear her scream, her rapist is to be stoned. If a woman is raped in an area where (in theory) someone could have heard her scream, she is considered to have been wanton and is therefore subject to the punishment for harlotry (if single) or adultery (if married), which is death by stoning. (In the case of adultery, the man in question is also subject to death by stoning.) — Deut. XXII:13-29

  5. Vast Variety says:

    And here I thought gay people were the evil and depraved ones.

  6. Citizen Tom says:

    Vast Variety – You are, of course, correct. Homosexuals are evil and depraved. Of course, so is everyone else. That is why no one could be found to throw the first stone (John 8:1-11). No one without sin could be found except Jesus, and He just requires each of us to leave our life of sin. What is odd how many people object to that.

  7. Vast Variety says:

    Unfortunately Citizen Tom, being Gay isn’t something I can just turn off, and frankly I believe God would rather I live my life as he made me.

  8. What a bunch of sick fucks.

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