Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Protecting predators. Perpetuating abuse. Shunning victims: mom of a victim of child sex abuse from Second Baptist Church Houston shares her story

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HOUSTON -
KPRCThe mother of a girl who was targeted by her youth pastor says the pastor exposed himself online via Skype during secret video-chat sessions. For the first time, the girl’s mother spoke publicly and only to Local 2 Investigates.
The mom of another child sex abuse victim from Second Baptist Houston has reached out to me and SNAP and shared her and her daughter's story. It is with her permission that I share this story. We hope that this story encourages others to speak out, come forward to law enforcement, begin to heal, tell their stories, and help protect other kids. The pervasive cycle of darkness, silence and secrecy promoted by churches like Second Baptist and others of which I am personally aware, protects predators. Shining the light of truth to expose those who harm kids and those who cover up these crimes protects kids.

We applaud the strength and courage of this mom and her daughter. I have removed the alleged perpetrator's name from this story to protect the identity of his daughter who is also an alleged victim.

My daughter was 14. Second Baptist had just taken over the North campus out of Kingwood and sent a guy over to be the director at the singles parenting class that I was in. Also a deacon. That's how we met we started dating. Seemed like a good guy being involved in ministry and such. During the time that we were dating some things that he did seemed little odd. Just strange behaviors I won't get into. And I was doing a quiet time titled knowing God's will and applying it to your life and I used my relationship with this particular guy as the focal point because it was the one thing in my life that just didn't seem right. I ended up breaking up with him after discussing some of the things in Christian counseling and realizing that I wasn't crazy like he had made me feel . He had some real issues, sexual issues he was hiding.

My daughter did competitive cheer and several months after [alleged perp] and I broke up we were out to dinner with the cheer moms after competition and people began to ask where he was and she spoke up and said "my mom broke up with him and I'm glad because he likes to massage my butt and always make sexual comments to me and my friends." It was the first time I ever heard of that and I was shocked. And a little hurt because as close as she and I were I couldn't believe she waited until after we broke up, and we are in a large group, to break that news to me. When I asked her why, she said he told her if she told me anything it would destroy my happiness. So I took her to a Christian counselor and she told the counselor. 

 The counselor relayed it to the church and she called CPS because she said by law she had to. To make sure that the child was protected and I was no longer dating the guy which I wasn't. She convinced me to speak with the church as well. I did that and I also called CPS. When I called CPS they "accidentally" told me that this was the second reported incident he had on file with them. The first one with his own daughter when she was two years old a pediatrician reported that she had been molested. That case was closed because the two-year-old couldn't talk about it and the mother got addicted to pain medication so [alleged perp], the guy, and his mother had her committed to a psychiatric facility. When she got out she did the best thing she knew how and took her daughter and moved out of state. 

That's all fact and was told to me by the mother of the daughter and CPS. That was also relayed to the church and Dr. Ed Young directly because no one would listen to me. In writing. In emails. My daughter told a camp counselor when she was at camp who told the church. My daughter also told the youth minister Jonathan Gray.... [Jonathan Gray is still a youth pastor at Second Baptist North campus.] In addition one Sunday she asked if she could stay after church to ask Jonathan a question. When she came to the car she was crying. I asked her what she asked and she told me she asked him why doesn't God do anything about [alleged perp.] He couldn't answer the question. It was a simple one really because who was God to her .... the church ...so she was asking why doesn't the church do anything about [alleged perp] because all I asked was that he be removed from ministry.

They wouldn't do it. And instead I got removed. I was teaching in the youth group and they had said over and over and over I was the best teacher they ever had but after this situation happened and I spoke out I got fired but he kept his job. When I asked them what they were going to do about it they said it was none of my business, how Second would handle it and all ministers that I talk to were advised to ignore any emails that I sent and eventually they were blocked so they wouldn't go through anymore. All this is fact. And to be honest with you, what [alleged perp] did to my daughter, and she will probably tell you the same thing, is nowhere near as hurtful and painful as for what the church didn't do. 

That's what's made the last nine years unbearable and neither one of us has stepped foot in church since, not because we don't believe in God, because I'm actually closer to God than I've ever been, but because we no longer believe in churches and the ministry they provide. They don't do background checks, even when they're being told all they have to do is pray about it and God will provide the answers, they don't do that. 

With a little bit of prayer and research on my part I found out that he touched his own daughter, his own sister got fired from a job for being a peeping Tom, took pictures of his girlfriend, broke into her house while she was sleeping and took naked pictures of her. All of that I found out with a little bit of research. And I don't even have the means that they have for research. I am not an FBI agent. I'm not a police officer.  I'm just a mom. I even screenshot the conversation that my daughter and his daughter had where she was telling my daughter that he touches her all the time like that but he doesn't mean anything by it. I sent that to the church and nothing. And he never gets in trouble because he goes just far enough without crossing the line. Basically what he did was sneak into my daughter's room while she was sleeping and started rubbing her butt as if massaging it. She pretended like she was asleep because she was scared then she said he got up and left. 

That's the story Amy. I really hate talking about because it's hurtful! And because I endured it for a very long time just trying to get him removed from ministry.


This is by far the ugliest thing I've ever had to deal with. It's so ugly and evil. It's like something from American horror story.

In Houston, to make a report of sexual abuse you can go into any police station or call the numbers listed here (resources for sex assault victims). The Houston police number for the child sex crimes unit is 713-731-5356 or call the Texas abuse hotline 1-800-252-5400.

You can also make a Cyber Tip report here which will be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement agency for possible investigation:
The CyberTipline® receives leads and tips regarding suspected crimes of sexual exploitation committed against children. More than 2.5 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation have been made to the CyberTipline between 1998 and June 2014.
If you have information regarding possible child sexual exploitation, report it to the CyberTipline.
The light of truth and knowledge is our greatest tool to protect kids.

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