Andrew Balant To Self-Represent in Child Molestation Trial

Former church youth leader and after school child care worker Andrew Balant has chosen to represent himself at his upcoming trial on charges of 18 counts of child molestation.

This raises the possibility that he could cross-examine the boys he is accused of molesting – a thorny ethical situation, but one which he may well be within his rights to do.

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Former Youth Pastor Christopher Cormack Found Guilty of Child Sex Charge

Former youth group leader Christopher Cormack was found guilty of indecent liberties with a child on Monday, Oct. 6. The incident occurred when he was youth pastor at a church in Lawrence, Kansas, approximately eleven years ago.

Pastor Sandy Cook Indicted on Child Sex Abuse Charges

Pastor Sandy Cook, formerly senior pastor at Shrewsbury Church of God in eastern Kanawha County, was indicted on Friday, Sept, 19, on several charges including sexual abuse by a parent, guardian and custodian, and third degree sexual assault.

Former Pastor Brian Williams Sentenced to 8 Years for Sexual Assault

Former pastor Brian Williams was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday for sexually assaulting a 15 year old in his office. He pleaded guilty in June and made it clear in court prior to his sentencing that he had, indeed, committed the crime in question, and the girl had done nothing at all wrong.

Personally, I hope anyone who has been following this case notices this distinction. So often the victim is villified. Even if a pastor pleads guilty, people will still try to say the victim trapped him or seduced him or forced him. It was made extremely clear at this sentencing this was exactly the opposite situation in this case. I hope every notices this fact and this victim is completely vindicated in the eyes of the law and of man.

Former Youth Pastor Timothy C. Edmonds Indicted for Child Sexual Assault

Former youth pastor Timothy C. Edmonds was indicted July 31, by the Kanawha County grand jury on two counts of sexual abuse by a parent, guardian or custodian. He is scheduled for arraignment on August 20.

Unfortunately, there is also an indication that Chesapeake Apostolic Church, in Chesapeake, WV, where Edmonds was assistant youth pastor was aware of allegations of previous sexual misconduct at another church where he had worked, but nothing was done about these allegations.

If these charge are true, once again, a predator was free to move from one church to another to continue preying on innocent children because someone was unwilling to “raise a stink” by doing the right thing and report possible allegations. When will God’s church step up to that little thing called righteousness? Avoidance is sin and complicity.

Churches are required by righteousness to seriously investigate all allegations of past misbehavior – without prejudice in favor of the minister. This investigation must be in-depth and include interviews with all related first-hand parties. What usually passes for “investigation” is hearing out the accused and accepting his version of events if they sound viable — and they always sound not only plausible but utterly convincing.

Youth Leaders Michael & Laura Lee Salazar Charged with Child Sex Abuse

Youth leaders Michael Salazar and Laura Lee Salazar have been charged with child sex abuse against three teenaged girls, with possible charges pending regarding two additional girls. The Salazars have been youth leaders at the Lord’s Disciples Church in Maryville, TN.

According to a news article by knoxnews.com, Michael Salazar faces charges of sexual battery by an authority figure and statutory rape by an authority figure involving each of three teenage girls who attended the church. He is in the Blount County Detention Facility on $300,000 bond – $50,000 for each offense. Laura Lee Salazar faces the same two charges involving only one girl, and her bond totals $100,000.

Former Youth Pastor Andrew Belant Begins Preliminary Hearing in Child Sex Abuse Case

Former youth pastor Andrew Belant pled not guilty to 20 charges stemming from accusations he molested four boys, ages 9 to 13, between January 2007 and March 2008. His preliminary hearing began Thursday, August 7, in Humboldt County Superior Court, CA.

According to the Times-Standard article, Belant was arrested March 1 while employed as a teacher’s aide at Jacoby Creek Elementary School and as a middle school ministry director for the Eureka First Presbyterian Church. Belant also worked at Lafayette Elementary School, the Humboldt Child Care Council and the Triumphant Life Camp.