Christianity in General
February 27, 2019
FRESNO, CA (KMJ)- A Fresno Anglican Church priest is arrested for sexual misconduct crimes against his followers.
Fresno police are aware of 22 potential victims — mostly undocumented Hispanic male adults and one female, but they believe Jesus Antonio Serna could have hundreds more.
Culminating a thirteen-month investigation, Serna was arrested at his office in Fresno at 7:30am, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019.
Serna told police he would tell his victims they were under the curse of witchcraft, and needed to be rid of it with a ritual he learned of in India.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Serna would then undress the victims, have them lie down on a recliner or a table and rub oil on the victim’s body telling them it was sacred oil and then masturbate the victims.
Serna led them to believe the ritual was spiritually or physically necessary for them to be healed.
All of the victims were members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church at 4147 E. Dakota, or at his office at 1300 East Shaw, which police say was more isolated.
The Bishop of the Anglican Church in Fresno learned of the crimes in October of 2017, when eighteen parishioners said they’d been victimized by Serna but were afraid to report the crimes to law enforcement..
Bishop Eric Menees confronted Serna on November 24th, and went to the Fresno Police in January of 2018, with the three victims.
Since that time, Chief Dyer’s been made award of 22 people assaulted but due to the reluctance of the victims to make statements, police could not take action.
After Bishop Menees kicked Serna out of the church, the disgraced priest later opened up his own Padre Dia Ministry at Holy Spirit Church, located at 4277 N. West Boulevard (not on Friant).
Chief Dyer during the press conference on Monday that the abuse may have been going on among his followers for years prior to 2014, during the time he was a priest in Yakima, Washington from 1997 to 2006.
Chief Dyer believes there are victims there, as well.
February 22, 2019
He is also accused of having an astoundingly ugly wife.
A Pennsylvania church administrator stole $1.2 million from his religious community and used the money for family theme park vacations and other personal expenses, authorities say.
David Reiter, a 50-year-old business manager and occasional keyboardist for Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair, faces felony charges including theft, forgery, conspiracy and receiving stolen property, according to a criminal complaint obtained by HuffPost.
His wife, 44-year-old Connie Reiter, faces charges of conspiracy and receiving stolen property.
David Reiter, of South Park, was hired as Westminster Presbyterian Church’s financial administrator in 2001 and stayed in that role for about 17 years. He is accused of skimming money from the church’s funds between 2011 and 2018, according to the Allegheny County district attorney’s office.
During that time, Reiter was apparently an active member of the church ― playing keyboard for contemporary worship services and leading staff in worship during Christmas, Westminster’s senior pastor, Rev. Jim Gilchrist, told CBS affiliate KDKA on Tuesday.
“Everybody trusted him,” Gilchrist said.
Reiter allegedly falsified church accounts and created fake audit reports to cover his thefts. The complaint states that he charged about $220,000 in personal expenses on the church’s credit card and also made smaller unauthorized payroll transfers from church accounts to his personal accounts over the years.
The church funds were reportedly used to pay for vacations to Walt Disney World, Hershey Park and Cedar Point. Other expenses allegedly included Pittsburgh Pirates baseball tickets, music lessons for the Reiters’ children, restaurant bills, pet care, medical expenses, groceries, vehicle repairs and scrapbooking supplies.
Westminster Presbyterian Church’s board became suspicious in November when it attempted to perform a financial audit and was repeatedly told by Reiter that the auditor wasn’t available for a face-to-face interview. Reiter later gave a board member a cellphone number for the auditor but the person on the other end of the line was actually Reiter using a prepaid cellphone purchased with church funds, according to the complaint.
Reiter later confessed to Gilchrist that he had stolen money from the church, telling the pastor he did it “to make things better at home,” the complaint states.
“There was a tremendous amount of forethought and deception in this, which is all the more sad and just a sense of betrayal,” Gilchrist told KDKA.
The couple made an initial court appearance on Tuesday but didn’t enter pleas, The Associated Press reported. It’s unclear if they have retained attorneys.
Connie Reiter posted bail but her husband remains in jail, a district attorney’s spokesman told HuffPost on Thursday.
A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 28.
Former youth pastor arrested for sex abuse in Spartanburg County now faces charges in Greenville County
Peter William Cooper, child molester
February 17, 2019
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) – An Alabama man that was arrested and extradited to South Carolina for charges of a sex crime committed during a bible study in Spartanburg County in 1976, now faces charges in Greenville County for crimes committed at a Bible Camp during the same time frame, according to Greenville County deputies.
Lt. Kevin Bobo said deputies began investigating in October 2018 after a special victims unit investigator received a call from an investigator with the Robertsdale Police Department in Alabama. That agency had received a complaint about possible sexual abuse but was unable to charge the suspect.
The alleged sexual abuse involved at least three victims, one of whom still resides in Spartanburg County.
“Our investigator also learned the suspect was a youth intern pastor at Central Church of Christ in Spartanburg in 1976, and that the offense occurred at the victim’s former residence during a bible study,” Bobo said.
The three victims told deputies they had reached out to the suspect, Peter William Cooper, 63, on social media and that he apologized to them.
The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office sent an investigator to Alabama to speak to Cooper and, per Bobo, Cooper stated he didn’t remember all the details but admitted apologizing to the victims.
After leaving Spartanburg County, deputies learned Cooper had primarily been employed at churches in Alabama.
“When she got back to Spartanburg, our investigator discussed the case with the Solicitor’s Office and then a magistrate, who approved a warrant on the suspect for lewd act on a minor, since that was the applicable law in 1976,” Bobo stated.
According to the arrest warrant, Cooper reached under a 13-year-old’s dress and groped her while she was playing the piano during a Bible study at the victim’s home.
Cooper was arrested in Alabama last week and extradited to South Carolina on Sunday.
Central Church of Christ sent their members a letter back in November after learning of the allegations against Cooper.
Bobo said one of the other three victims was reportedly abused in Greenville County and that deputies with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office has launched an investigation as well.
On Wednesday, February 13, Ryan Flood with the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office says a warrant had been issued for Cooper for committing a lewd act upon a child less than 14 years of age.
Investigators say they received information from the Spartanburg Co. Sheriff’s Office on late January regarding Cooper’s alleged unlawful sexual contact with an underage female.
According to the sheriff’s office, the victim suffered the inappropriate contact while in Greenville County at the Palmetto Bible Camp, located on Fall Creek Road in Marietta, during a period between 1976 – 1978.
Deputies with both Greenville County and Spartanburg County are asking anyone else who may have been a victim of Cooper to come forward.
“Since this case is the third one in less than a week involving pastors and sex offenses, our special victims unit would strongly encourage any other victims of these 3 suspects or any other suspects to come forward, especially since South Carolina doesn’t have a statute of limitations,” Bobo said.
February 11, 2019
Thirty-five years later, Debbie Vasquez’s voice trembled as she described her trauma to a group of Southern Baptist leaders.
She was 14, she said, when she was first molested by her pastor in Sanger, a tiny prairie town an hour north of Dallas. It was the first of many assaults that Vasquez said destroyed her teenage years and, at 18, left her pregnant by the Southern Baptist pastor, a married man more than a dozen years older.
In June 2008, she paid her way to Indianapolis, where she and others asked leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention and its 47,000 churches to track sexual predators and take action against congregations that harbored or concealed abusers. Vasquez, by then in her 40s, implored them to consider prevention policies like those adopted by faiths that include the Catholic Church.
“Listen to what God has to say,” she said, according to audio of the meeting, which she recorded. “… All that evil needs is for good to do nothing. … Please help me and others that will be hurt.”
Days later, Southern Baptist leaders rejected nearly every proposed reform.
The abusers haven’t stopped. They’ve hurt hundreds more.
In the decade since Vasquez’s appeal for help, more than 250 people who worked or volunteered in Southern Baptist churches have been charged with sex crimes, an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News reveals.
It’s not just a recent problem: In all, since 1998, roughly 380 Southern Baptist church leaders and volunteers have faced allegations of sexual misconduct, the newspapers found. That includes those who were convicted, credibly accused and successfully sued, and those who confessed or resigned. More of them worked in Texas than in any other state.
They left behind more than 700 victims, many of them shunned by their churches, left to themselves to rebuild their lives. Some were urged to forgive their abusers or to get abortions.
About 220 offenders have been convicted or took plea deals, and dozens of cases are pending. They were pastors. Ministers. Youth pastors. Sunday school teachers. Deacons. Church volunteers.
February 8, 2019
Charles Aguon, child molester
The headmaster of a private Florida Christian school was arrested on suspicion of grooming and sexually molesting a student and investigators fear there are more victims.
Charles Aguon, 34, the headmaster of Kingdom Preparatory School in Auburndale, was arrested on Tuesday and was being held without bail at the Polk County Jail on two felony counts of lewd molestation of a victim between 12 and 16 years old, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference Wednesday.
Judd said the victim is a 15-year-old male student at the private school, where Aguon is also a teacher and football coach. He said Aguon is an ordained minister who goes by the nickname “Pastor Tiger.”
He said the victim was interviewed by investigators on Tuesday and told them that Aguon allegedly molested him multiple times since November. Judd said the molestation occurred off campus but investigators are trying to determine if any of the crimes occurred at the school.
“He was being groomed by Pastor Tiger,” Judd said. “And it went from just grooming to kissing, kissing on the mouth, biting lips, to simulated sex with their clothes on, to where he actually fondled and molested this 15-year-old.”
February 3, 2019
Alexis Fortune and Alisa Haynes tried to intimidate the victim in child trafficking case
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – The two women accused of threatening the victim in the Toledo pastor sex trafficking trial have been indicted.
A federal grand jury has indicted Alexis Fortune and Alisa Haynes.
The two are accused of kidnapping that female victim, allegedly choking her with a cord and putting a gun to her head. The two tried to convince the victim not to testify in the upcoming sex trafficking of a child trial of Pastors Anthony Haynes and Cordell Jenkins. Alisa Haynes is the wife of Anthony Haynes.
Alisa Haynes has been indicted on charges of tampering with a witness or informant.
Fortune was indicted on charges of tampering with a witness, using a firearm during a crime of violence and making a false statement.
‘John of God’ cult leader with millions of followers ‘ran sex slave farm and sold babies to highest bidder’
February 1, 2019
The 77-year-old has been arrested in what prosecutors say could be the worst serial crimes case in Brazil’s history
Joao Teixeira de Faria
Joao Teixeira de Faria was arrested a week after over 600 allegations piled against him in what prosecutors say could be the worst serial crimes case in Brazil’s history.
‘John of God’ cult leader with millions of followers ‘ran sex slave farm and sold babies to highest bidder’
The 77-year-old’s renowned spiritual world crumbled two months ago after he was accused of sexually abusing a Dutch woman on live TV.
The woman’s claims prompted over 600 similar allegations to arise from around the world from countless women – all of which Faria has denied.
Brazilian activist Sabrina Bittencourt has now sensationally claimed the celebrity medium ran a baby trafficking operation, in which children were “farmed” in Brazil before being sold to childless couples around the world.
Bittencourt’s previous investigations led to the spiritual leader’s arrest in December.
She claimed young girls were held captive in remote farms, where they were forced to produce babies.She added that the women were murdered after 10 years of giving birth.
SEX SLAVE FARM
In a video, Bittencourt, whose organisation, Coame, helps women report sexual assault by religious leaders, said she has spoken to women from at least three continents who claimed they bought Brazilian babies from John of God for as much as £40,000, reported the Mirror.
Europe was also listed as one of the three continents where Brazilian babies were bought.
Bittencourt claims she has collected testimony from former members of the John of God cult.
She claims Fariawould offer money to poor girls aged 14 to 18 to go and live in mineral mines or farms he owns in the Brazilian states of Goias and Minas Gerais.
“Devout Christian” Nurse Raped And Impregnated An Incapacitated Quadriplegic Comatose Patient Under His Care
January 26, 2019
- Nathan Sutherland, 36, is charged with raping the 29-year-old woman at Hacienda Healthcare Skilled Nursing Facility in Phoenix
- He often looked after her and other patients during the night shift at Hacienda Healthcare
- Police started investigating after the quadriplegic woman, who is also severely mentally disabled, unexpectedly gave birth to a baby boy on December 29
The families of other patients at the Arizona care facility where a mentally disabled quadriplegic woman gave birth after being raped while she was in a coma say the nurse who is accused of assaulting her ‘fooled’ them all and was the last staff member they suspected of carrying out the attack.
Nathan Sutherland was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly raping the woman, who has not been named, after police matched his DNA to that of the baby.
His lawyer insisted there is ‘no proof’ that he committed the attack despite the police’s claim to have DNA evidence. Of course.
The Phoenix Police Department would not confirm on Thursday if the test they carried out was a paternity test or what the percentage likelihood was that he and the child are related.
They are now appealing for information from the families of other patients amid fears others who were in Sutherland’s care at the Hacienda HealthCare may have been victimized by him.
Sutherland, a devout Christian and father-of-four, was forced to submit his DNA sample under court order on Tuesday and the results showed he was a match to the baby. His Christian music group, Sleeplessouljaz, rapped inspirational messages in churches and concert halls across the Southwest. He sought to start a transitional home for orphans and homeless youth. Probably so he could fuck them.
NYC baptist pastor, 44, is charged with raping his 14-year-old daughter continuously over a six year period
January 16, 2019
- Matthew Gibson, 44, has been accused of sexually abusing his daughter, 14
- The abuse allegedly began in 2012, shortly after the death of the victim’s mom
- The victim’s twin brother was present at the church during the repeated abuse
- Gibson’s father is the bishop at the Progressive Baptist Church, in Brooklyn
- The victim’s guardian says she tried to revoke Gibson’s visitation rights before
The pastor of a New York City baptist church has been charged with the sexual abuse and rape of his own young daughter over six years.
Son of the bishop at the Progressive Baptist Church of Brownsville in Brooklyn, Matthew Gibson was arrested on Thursday and accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting his now 14-year-old daughter.
The abuse is alleged to have been taking place on the church’s grounds since 2012, shortly after the victim’s mother died.
‘He should rot in hell,’ said the victim’s grandmother, Josephine Maples. ‘How can a father do this?’
Myia Maples, the victim’s sister-in-law, says the victim confided in her about the abuse last week, blurting it out in a moment of emotion.
Maples and her husband have had full custody of the victim and her twin brother for seven years, with Gibson only having bi-weekly weekend visitation rights.
The victim’s twin brother says he was present at the church when the assaults were taking place, but had no idea what was going on.
‘He would make me play on the drums, and when it was happening, I wouldn’t be nowhere around,’ he said in an interview with NBC New York.
‘I feel like, in the moment, I let my sister down.’
Gibson, 44, was arrested on January 10 and charged with criminal sexual abuse and forcible touching of a female victim, aged between nine and 14.
January 9, 2019
Santa Clause has nothing better to do after Christmas than obsess about the Anti-christ
The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has said that humans’ dependence on modern technology will result in the coming of the Antichrist.
In an interview with Russian state media, Patriarch Kirill explained he does not entirely oppose gadgets, but warned against “falling into slavery” to smartphones.
Patriarch Kirill said that the collection of user data including “location, interests and fears” will make it possible for humans to be controlled by external forces.“Control from a single point is a harbinger of the coming of the Antichrist,” Kirill told the state-run Rossia-1 TV network on Orthodox Christmas Monday.“The Antichrist is a personality that will be at the head of the world wide web controlling the entire human race. Thus, the structure itself presents a danger,” he said.
The church leader stressed that “if we don’t want to bring the apocalypse closer, there should be no single [control and access] center.”
January 6, 2019
Rodgers McFarland, pedophile pastor
HERE we go again … it seems that not a day passes without reports cropping up of God’s representatives being nabbed for abusing a child, or children.
The latest report comes from California, where John Rodgers McFarland, 66, above, head pastor at several Southern California churches, was arrested in Fullerton in connection with incidents that allegedly occurred while he was visiting relatives in Escondido.
He’s accused of two felony charges of lewd acts committed against a child between July 26, 2012 and July 23, 2013, according to a criminal complaint provided by the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office. The child is identified in the complaint as a girl under the age of 14.
McFarland has worked and lived in the Orange County area so law enforcement authorities believe there may be additional victims, according to Gloria Scott of the Fountain Valley Police Department.
Investigators executed search warrants at McFarland’s Fullerton home, his place of employment and the Fountain Valley Methodist Church.
McFarland is the current pastor at Orangethorpe United Methodist Church in Fullerton, where he has worked since 2014. Prior to that, he served as the head pastor of Fountain Valley United Methodist Church for 26 years, police said.
He also served as a pastor at Surf City Church in Huntington Beach from 2009 to 2014.
December 27, 2018
Americans’ confidence in religious leaders’ honesty and ethical standards has been tanking in recent years.
The level of trust Americans have in clergy members has dropped to a record low, a recent Gallup survey suggests.
The polling organization found that only 37 percent of 1,025 respondents had a “very high” or “high” opinion of the honesty and ethical standards of clergy, according to a report published on Thursday. Forty-three percent rated clergy’s honesty and ethics as “average,” while 15 percent had low or very low opinions.
The 37 percent positive rating is the lowest Gallup has recorded for clergy since it began examining views about religious leaders’ ethical standards in 1977.
Currently, only 31 percent of Catholics and 48 percent of Protestants rate the clergy positively, according to Gallup.