Former Music Minister Tim Mann Sentenced for Child Sex Abuse

Former Music Minister Timothy Mann was sentenced to 13 years in prison, with 6 years suspended, after pleading guilty to charges of sexually abusing a child in his care over the span of four years beginning in 1992.

The last line of the linked article is particularly interesting to me. The article notes that Mann had apologized to his family for his behavior and undergone three years of professional therapy for what he had done prior to his arrest. At the time of his arrest, he was serving as a music minister in a church. The article closes with the statement by his attorney, David Martella, “We’re concerned that [his sentence] sends a message that if you make a mistake like this, and it certainly is a very serious one, you won’t get very much credit for trying to get better.”

Well, we can put a lovely gold sticker on his chart. But, I am far more concerned that people think it is OK to heal a would like this lightly. When a predator (let’s call it what it is – it’s not a “mistake”; a mistake is forgetting to put out the trash can on trash day) violates a victim, that victim is violated forever. The scars last a lifetime and they are devastating. The word “devastating” can’t do them justice. They do not ever go away. But the predator somehow thinks because the “incident” is in the past in his mind, it can just be made to go away. An apology is not enough. Getting therapy is not enough, even though these things are far more than most ever do.

Here is the simple truth. There are consequences for actions. It is called the law of sowing and reaping. It is a law of nature. It works in crops. It works in science. It works in justice. It just is, period. When someone breaks the law, he must pay the price. He cannot just think it will be OK to be good from now on and that will be good enough. And obviously, there was a very serious misunderstanding of qualifications for church leadership – which seems to occur with appalling frequency – because a person with an issue of sexual predation in their history is utterly unqualified for church leadership and had no business serving as a minister of music either.

In fact, I will say, if Tim Mann was genuinely repentant and his heart was right toward God in this matter, God Himself orchestrated in these events to expose him because that is the heart of God on this matter. God loves justice and mercy. Even in this sentence we see both. God allowed maximum mercy while honoring His requirement for justice as well. THIS is right. And God will use it for His good in Tim Mann’s life if Mann is genuinely repentant.

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6 Responses

  1. I attended the sentencing hearing of Tim Mann and spoke on behalf of the vicitm representing the ministry of “The Hope of Survivors”. This ministry is dedicated to helping those who have been sexually abused by clergy or by anyone in a spiritual authority within the church. The vicitm contacted us in May of 2007.
    I would like to correct or clarify two statement made by the attorney to the press. He says his sentence would send a message, you won’t get credit for trying to get better. His reasoning is that Tim Mann confessed to his family and he was in thearpy.
    First, while it is true Tim Mann did disclose this information about his past to his family, he did so only after the vicitm had the courage to come forward and confront him.
    The second point of clarification. An expert witness trained in the treatment of sex offenders, called by Tim Mann’s attorney, made it vey clear, that unless the therapist he was seeing was trained in the field of sexual deviant behavior, the treatment he had been receiving would not address his problem and in fact could do more harm. The Doctor stated the treatment should be a minium of 21/2 to 3 years and again pointing out, by someone explicitly trained in sexual behavior, not a marriage counselor, psychiatrist or anyone simply trained in general mental health.
    So while it may be admirable Tim Mann sought counseling, it was marital counseling to deal with his multiple affairs within his marriage. It was to save his marriage, not to deal with his sexual behavior issues.
    That treatment is yet to begin.

  2. Sandy,

    Thank you for your clarifications. It is ironic how in nearly every case, sex offenders confess after they are caught and they have no way left to avoid exposure. Only in Christianity are people naive enough to think we’re actually supposed to believe these confessions and requests for forgiveness are genuine. Forgiveness and repentance come with a price tag. They are not cheap. Jesus died for this and they require fruit in keeping with their genuineness — and in this case there was a dead lack of fruit. This lack of fruit is evidenced by these simple facts — 1) confession wasn’t voluntary; it followed being exposed so it was most likely an attempt to save his reputation, 2) his therapy was not in line with the offense and therefore indicates further avoidance of the issue, 3) he proceeded with further ministry with this known major area of sin in his life unresolved (still in therapy) and I would guess without the knowledge of those who hired him. These are not the actions of a genuinely repentant person.

    Regarding Tim Mann’s therapy — that is a very important clarification and a excellent example of how people like to spin a situation to make someone look more innocent than they are. Marriage therapy for a sex offender is like prescribing that a cardiac patient attend AA meetings. When he dies of heart failure will anyone wonder if his family sues the cardiologist?

    I know attorneys get paid to defend their client’s innocence. But God have mercy on the rest of us if we believe that stuff he said is true.

    If anyone wants to know first hand what was said in court, copies of the transcript are available once they have been transcribed, by contacting the clerk of the court. There is usually a fee for this service.

    — Danni

  3. An expert witness trained in the treatment of sex offenders, called by Tim Mann’s attorney, made it vey clear, that unless the therapist he was seeing was trained in the field of sexual deviant behavior, the treatment he had been receiving would not address his problem and in fact could do more harm.

    This is a very important point and one that many pastors and christian counselors seem to miss or purposely want to ignore.

  4. It is very disturbing to know that the wife has known about this and has done nothing to stop her sick husband in working with the youth at their church. She has assisted in providing him with other opportunities to destroy lives!!!

  5. It is difficult for me to condemn a wife because wives are usually the most deceived, both by the perpetrator and by the church system which encourages, demands and/or piles guilt and obligation on them to remain faithful to their spouse and believe in their spouse’s requests for forgiveness. A wife is usually one of the victims, in my opinion – and frequently doesn’t see herself as one.

    — Danni

  6. The arrogance of Tim and his wife are unreal. She said this summer in a conversation with a church member, ” I had it under control.” She put children at risk by living a lie for the last 3 years.

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