Youth Minister Tells Why He was Falsely Accused of Sexual Abuse

Since news stories have a way of disappearing from cyberspace, I’m going to copy this story here. This issue is so relevant and I believe other people in ministry can learn from this man’s experience.

This story is courtesy of wkyt.com.

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A Bullitt County youth minister, once accused of sexually abusing a 15 year-old girl, says his name has now been cleared.

Now, Clayton Pruett says he just wants his life back to normal and a statement from the accuser’s mother, admitting she lied.

“It didn’t bother me that they accused me. It bothered me that people would actually believe this was true,” Pruett said.

Last December, 25-year-old youth minister Clayton Pruett was arrested in Bullitt County, charged with sexual abuse. He was accused of taking advantage of his position at the church, by trapping a 15-year-old girl in a room, making in-appropriate comments and touching her in inappropriate ways.

“That’s kind of what it felt like. This is a huge joke and then it wasn’t too funny when two guys came and arrested me,” Pruett said.

The alleged victim’s mother went to police with her story and spoke with local media.

Pruett was put on voluntary administrative leave from the church and suspended from his position as a substitute teacher and assistant coach at Bullitt Central High School.

Then in January, the charges were dismissed.

But is wasn’t over for Pruett. He decided to sue the alleged victim’s mother for the statements she made about him, statements he says she’s now taken back as part of a settlement to that suit.

The settlement order says the alleged victim’s mother admits she made false statements to detectives, attorneys, and the media and Pruett committed no crime. She also agreed to pay damages to Pruett of an undisclosed amount.

So why does Pruett believe the accusations were made to begin with?

“I think it’s because I had to discipline this girl repeatedly with her boyfriend,” Pruett said.

Pruett says he can now try to put it all behind him but says there’s one thing he’ll never be able to change.

“I just kind of feel like there will be people that will never hear the truth and will always think that guy’s guilty in the back of their mind,” Pruett said.

Detectives say they will pursue charges against the mother for giving false statements to police.

Former Music Minister Timothy Mann Pleads Guilty to Child Abuse

I know that there are people seeking this information, so I am going to post this one as is. This story is courtesy of Gazette.net.

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By Patricia M. Murret

A former Baptist minister and youth choir director in Gaithersburg pleaded guilty last week to child abuse of a female youth choir singer that occurred over four years in the 1990s.

Timothy Chun-Chock Mann, 47, of Hoover, Ala., a former minister at First Baptist Church of Gaithersburg, and recent choir director at an Alabama congregation, will be sentenced on Sept. 29 in Montgomery County Circuit Court. Under Maryland code, sexual child abuse is a felony offense that brings a possible 15-year prison sentence.

Third-degree sex offense charges were dropped as part of Mann’s plea agreement, said Seth Zucker, spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office. A copy of a pre-indictment memorandum filed with the court’s assignment office and obtained by The Gazette shows that Mann agreed to plead guilty ‘‘to the sole count of sexual child abuse and the State and Defense will ask the Court to cap any period of executed incarceration at 7 years.” Sentencing guidelines for Mann, who has no previous criminal record, suggest 4 to 9 years in prison, according to the memo.

Mann’s attorney, Barry Helfand of Rockville, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

The victim, now 29, was 14 years old when first abused in 1992, according to police. She reported the abuse to police in December.

Mann resigned in March from his job as choir director at Shades Crest Baptist Church in Hoover, after he told church leaders of the charges, according to Shades Crest Pastor Dennis Foust.

Mann joined the First Baptist Church, at 200 W. Diamond Ave., in 1991 as its minister of music and directed the youth choir, according to a police statement.

He ‘‘engaged in inappropriate sexual acts with a female youth choir member” between December 1992 and the summer of 1996, according to police. He left the First Baptist Church in 1998, a church administrator said. The abuse mostly occurred in Mann’s church office, according to police.