Immediately after writing my previous post, I found this story. I have edited out part of the story to highlight the point I am attempting to make. This is a clear example of why I am saying this issue of clergy sex abuse is an epidemic.
My thanks to The Neosho Daily News for this story.
Original story by John Ford
Another local self-proclaimed pastor faces charges of child sexual abuse.
Randall “Danny” Russell, 49, of Neosho has been charged with second-degree statutory rape, second-degree statutory sodomy, and child abuse. Russell, the pastor of Acts II church… is accused of having sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl in 2003 and 2004…
…Several other area church leaders have been accused of child sexual abuse, including George Otis Johnston, self-proclaimed pastor of Grandview Valley Independent Baptist Church, who faces 17 felony counts in Newton County after two women came forward and said the pastor had sexual relations with them while both were under age.
Johnston’s nephew, Raymond Lambert, faces eight counts of child sexual abuse in McDonald County. Lambert is the self-proclaimed pastor of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, and Johnston’s church is a spin-off of that congregation.
“There is no connection with what we’ve seen with any other investigations we’ve done, no tie-ins with [Russell], other than a self-proclaimed pastor using Bible scriptures of the church to take advantage of girls,” Copeland said. “Our question is, ‘Where are all the parents of these young girls and what did they know about the church?’ It’s more or less a teen haven type of deal…
“This case is unbelievable. What a bad name this gives Christianity and the church.
You ought to be able to go to church and trust the pastor, to open up to them.”