UPDATED AS OF AUGUST 2003
Idaho Falls, ID. An area pastor is charged with inappropriately touching a teenage boy. Idaho Falls police charged a long-time religious leader with five counts of lewd conduct with a minor. 46-year-old Steven Michael Sheridan, the former pastor of St. Paul's United Methodist Church has been arrested-- this after police recorded two recent phone conversations between the victim and Sheridan. Sheridan was the pastor of St. Paul's United Methodist Church five years ago when the alleged crimes occurred. Since then, he's been pastor of another church. The victim who was 13 at the time, and is now 18, said Sheridan was like a mentor. They took trips together, and during those trips, Sheridan touched him sexually. One time, the pastor allegedly touched the boys genitals saying he was checking for cancer. (KPVI, Dec. 6, 2002)
AREA PASTOR CHARGED WITH INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHING A TEENAGE BOY
Former Pastor Sex Abuse Case Moves Forward
MUSKOGEE, OK. A part-time minister for two United Methodist churches was charged Thursday on accusations that he raped a teenage girl while the two were on their way to church functions. Woodroe Wilson admitted to fathering the girl's 8-month-old child, authorities said. (Tulsa World, 08/16/2002)
Minister charged with rape of teen
Milwaukee, WI. Youth minister Kurt Danskin for the United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay pleaded no contest Thursday to a charge that he exposed himself to a 17-year-old boy who spent the night with him at his congregation-owned home last August. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 25, 2002)
Youth Minister pleads not guilty
Listing of Danskin at former church
Jackson, MS. Curtis Hudson, associate pastor for youth at First United Methodist Church, Hudson is indicted for one count of rape of a child, three counts of rape and seven counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. He is accused of raping and having sexual contact with a preteen and two teenage boys from May 2000 to June 2001. (the Oak Ridger, July 16, 2002)
youth minister remains in jail
Former youth pastor turns self in on sex abuse charges
Arraignment for The Rev. Gary Carsonhull, a Methodist minister charged with 18 felony counts of child molestation, will be at 1:30 p.m. today in Long Beach Dept. D, the District Attorney’s office announced. The 57-year-old minister is charged in case No. NA052740. (Long Beach, CA. May 24, 2002)
Methodist Minister Charged with criminal child molestation
Methodist Minister Charged with 18 counts
Long Beach Report
LAWRENCE, KS. A Tonganoxie church youth group leader has pleaded guilty to charges of molesting four teen-age boys who were members of his church. Daniel Walter Peterson, 33, of Lawrence, was a youth group leader at the Tonganoxie United Methodist Church. He pleaded guilty Friday in Douglas County District Court to committing criminal sodomy and three counts of indecent liberties with a child. Authorities said the boys were from 13 to 15 years old at the time of the incidents, which occurred between 1997 and 2000. (Salina Journal, April 5, 2001)
Youth leader faces molestation charge
FONTANA, CA- A former youth director of a Methodist church has been charged with 10 felony counts of child molestation.
Rodney S. Callahan of Rancho Cucamonga was arrested at his home by sheriff’s deputies. The Sheriff’s Department investigation alleges that Callahan sodomized a female relative who is a minor.
The girl told her parents only recently that she was molested by Callahan from Sept. 1998 to Aug. 1999, reports said.
“Generally, with family molestation cases such as this, the victims don’t disclose it to their family because they love them, they don’t want to tear the family apart,” the sheriff’s spokesperson said, adding that authorities are concerned there might be other victims, because Callahan was a youth director of an AME church.
No one from the church was available for comment. It has been closed for more than a month due to a fire. LA Times 6/16/2000
BRADENTON, FL. - A minister has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for fondling a child, which he will serve after finishing a 7-year sentence for a child pornography conviction.
Lawrence Kilbourn, 44, was sentenced in state court after pleading no contest to a charge of attempted capital sexual battery. He had faced a maximum sentence of life in prison for sexual battery on a child younger than 12, but he pleaded to a lesser charge and avoided a jury trial.
A federal sentence was imposed two weeks ago after Kilbourn was found guilty of possessing child pornography.
Assistant State Attorney Ed Brodsky said he agreed to the plea bargain at the request of the child's family to protect their daughter. "The victim was asleep during the act of sexual abuse, and to this day does not know she was sexually abused," Brodsky said after the hearing.
Kilbourn was the founding pastor of Faith United Methodist Church in Bradenton and later became pastor at Forest Hills United Methodist Church in Hillsborough County. He resigned a year ago, shortly after his arrest.
The abuse came to light after Kilbourn's 17-year-old daughter found a video cassette at home showing a man fondling a girl. The daughter recognized her father by a ring on his hand and furniture in the house and turned over the videotape to authorities.
Brodsky said the videotape showed young girls at Kilbourn's home for a sleep over and Kilbourn going from child to child. Kilbourn pleaded guilty in Feb. to a federal charge of receiving child pornography by computer. AP 9/30/2000
Kilbourn sentenced on federal, state charges (http://www.flumc.org/comline/revarchive/101300s8.html)
Minister gets 10 years after pleading no contest (http://www.polkonline.com/stories/092900/sta_bad-minister.shtml)
TAMPA - A former minister faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to receiving child pornography on his computer.
Lawrence Kilbourne, 43, wept at the hearing, but later spoke calmly when a magistrate asked if he understood the consequences of pleading guilty. Kilbourne resigned as pastor of Forest Hills United Methodist Church in Oct. shortly after his arrest. He told the 500 parishioners in the church he founded that he had a sexual addiction.
FBI agents found thousands of images of child pornography on his computer that his daughter discovered after becoming suspicious of her father because he flirted with young girls at restaurants. She notified authorities after finding in his church-owned home a videotape of a man fondling a young child,which she feared was him.
He faces life in prison if convicted of capital sexual battery for allegedly molesting his daughter's friend during a sleepover in 1994. He admitted that he fondled the girl while she slept after prosecutors confronted him with the videotape he made of the incident. Kilbourne wept in court before pleading guilty to the pornography charges.
Authorities seized more than 200 videotapes and 15,000 computer files from Kilbourne's home. Some of the items depicted toddler and preadolescent children posed or engaged in sexual conduct.
Kilbourne pleaded guilty to federal charges of receiving the explicit computer files. He also faces state charges of sexual battery on a child under age 16 for the alleged videotaped molestation. A trial on that charge was set to begin in April. Investigators also were checking allegations that Kilbourne had improper contact with members of his church youth group, as well as children from the church day care center. Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 2/4/00; AP, 2/3
TAMPA - A former Forest Hills pastor has been arrested and charged with receiving child pornography after federal agents searched his church-owned home and found at least one homemade videotape showing a child being molested.
Lawrence Kilbourn, 43, was arrested 4 days after his congregation at Forest Hills United Methodist Church was told that he had resigned from his post because of a "sexual addiction."
Kilbourn's 17-year-old daughter turned her father in to authorities about a month ago after she discovered footage of a man molesting a young girl on a videotape of church activities, said FBI task force agent Robert Sheehan.
She couldn't see the man's face in the video, but she recognized a ring that looked just like the one her father once wore and had given to her.
More than 200 videotapes and 15,000 computer files were seized from Kilbourn's church-owned home in north Hillsborough County, and were being reviewed, said Sheehan. At least one home videotape shows a young child being molested. The computer files also contain child and adult pornography, Sheehan said.
Investigators are also checking allegations that Kilbourn had improper contact with members of his church youth group as well as children from the church day care. A dozen families, all with children in the church's youth group, have stepped forward with the allegations, police said.
Kilbourn was being held in jail in lieu of $80,000 bail, the amount of equity in his elderly parents' home. The judge also set strict guidelines for his release, including no contact with minors, no computer access and electronic monitoring of his whereabouts.
At a court hearing, Sheehan testified that Kilbourn admitted making the videotape and possessing computer files, some of which depicted toddler and preadolescent children posed or engaged in sexual conduct. Kilbourn admitted he had made another videotape with child pornography about a year ago and that he was unable to stop himself from molesting children, the agent said.
The tape his daughter saw was made 5 years ago in Bradenton, where Kilbourn once worked at another church, he added.
Kilbourn's attorney said the charges are "traumatic" for Kilbourn's family. Kilbourn's daughter moved out of her father's home Oct. 12 and moved to Tallahassee to live with her mother, Sheehan said.
Kilbourn is divorced and has 3 daughters. He was pastor at the 500-member church for 16 months. An interim pastor has been named to the church.
Dave Brazelton, a United Methodist official, stripped Kilbourn of his church credentials and accepted his resignation. "I had felt really hurt for Larry," he said, "and now it's switched to any potential victims." AP 10/23/99
Dekalb, GA. Rev. Thomas Brown III, the former pastor of Bentley Hill United Methodist Church in Stockbridge. Brown disappeared last November on his way to turn himself in to Henry County police. When Brown jumped from his wife's car last November, he was wanted for aggravated sodomy, aggravated assault, armed robbery and burglary in an Oct. 24 attack on an 17-year-old female. (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution 08-04-1999)
Police identify skeleton
A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit in which two women had charged that United Methodist Church officials in Fort Worth, Texas, ignored their complaints about a pastor's sexual misconduct. The settlement comes only days before the June 29 trial date set by Judge Jeff Walker in the 96th State District Court. Gail Cooke and Dorayne Levin, who were members of First United Methodist Church in Fort Worth, had sued First Church, the United Methodist Church's Central Texas Conference, Fort Worth Area Bishop Joe Wilson, and three First Church officials, the Revs. William Longsworth, Weldon Hayes and Kay Johnson. The two women had charged that officials were negligent in dealing with alleged sexual misconduct on the part of former First Church pastor Barry Bailey. (United Methodist News Service, 6/26/98)
MARIETTA, GA. - Rev. Jane Payne, 61, a United Methodist minister, has been charged with striking her 92-year-old mother, Margaret, at least 6 times. A neighbor who witnessed the alleged incident early one morning reported it to the county's Adult Protective Service. After the charges were filed, Margaret was taken to a nursing home. Payne has continued to lead services. (3/18/98)
TACOMA., WA. - Six more men have filed lawsuits against TV's "Frugal Gourmet" for sexual abuse, bringing the total to ten plaintiffs so far. Rev. Jeff Smith, 58, ordained as a Methodist minister, served as a campus chaplain at the University of Puget Sound in the late 1960s. He gave up preaching for cooking in 1973 when he started a restaurant and catering business called the "Chaplain's Pantry." Located near a high school, he hired students to help him in the kitchen as part of the work study program.
Eight of the plaintiffs are men who say Smith abused them as boys, with accusations ranging from fondling to rape. The other two plaintiffs are the parents of an alleged victim.
The earliest incident is said to have happened in 1974 and the most recent in 1992. The statute of limitations for criminal prosecution has passed. The civil suits are scheduled for trial next January.
Smith has kept quiet about the cases, but they have already put his burgeoning career in jeopardy. His newest cable TV cooking show has been suspended and talks with PBS about new episodes for his series are also on hold. His book publisher won't talk about him.
Smith, who has two adult sons, is married but has not lived with his wife Patricia for more than 20 years. She is named in the suits as having known of her husband's activities and has retained her own lawyer. (6/17/97)
HARARE -- Zimbabwe's former president Rev. Canaan Banana denied charges of sodomy, but one of his former guards said the 62-year-old cleric had laid on alcohol and ballroom music before sexually attacking him.
Banana, the southern African state's first but largely ceremonial president after independence from Britain in 1980, is facing 11 charges of sodomy, attempted sodomy and indecent assault in a high-profile trial in Harare.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges, which the state said would be backed by 40 witnesses, including top government officials. Chief state prosecutor said the former head of state had abused his authority by homosexually attacking some of the presidential staff.
The Methodist priest has been charged with two counts of sodomy, 3 of attempted sodomy and 6 of indecent assault, including that he sexually molested a gardener and a job seeker he picked on the streets. The trial is expected to last a month.
Out of court Banana has dismissed the charges and all suggestions that he is homosexual as "a mortuary of pathological lies and a malicious vendetta of vilification and character assassination."
He retired in 1987 when then prime minister Robert Mugabe became executive president. (6/1/98 Reuters)
A North Carolina jury ordered Methodist minister Ed Privette to pay $420,000 damages to two women who were minors when he sexually molested at his church. (unknown, 3/97)
Natick, MA. After being molested by a former United Methodist pastor for three years in her teens, Rebecca Nault of Canton, Mass., finally got what she wanted: her day in court. Nault testified that in the late 1970s, Earl Haywood, then pastor of Fisk Memorial United Methodist Church, Natick, Mass., molested her repeatedly beginning when she was 12. She sued Haywood last year, settling out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. Then she took her legal actions further, suing retired Bishop Edward G. Carroll and the New England Conference. She claimed the bishop knew of earlier sexual molestations by Haywood and failed to remove him from ministry.
Parents of a previous victim testified that Haywood molested their child at a family wedding in 1976. They said they reported the incident to the bishop. They also testified that Haywood, brought into the meeting, admitted molesting the child. The parents said they left the meeting with Carroll believing that Haywood would be removed from access to children. The bishop reportedly sent Haywood to counseling, but allowed him to continue as pastor in Natick. That allowed him to molest Nault, her lawyer asserted. (Sept. 17, 1996;UNITED METHODIST DAILY NEWS)
San Diego, CA. Officials of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church have filed suit in San Diego to block St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Coronado, Calif., from keeping a man accused of molesting women as its pastor. The complex case began in 1993, when four women told denominational officials that they had been molested as teenagers 25 years ago by Thomas Warmer at another church. Warmer, who became pastor of St. Paul's in 1989, has denied the charges. (The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 06-08-1996)
Suit filed in dispute over pastor
El Cajon, CA. An El Cajon youth minister was extradited from Kentucky for 15 charges of committing lewd acts on a child in California. Trevor Scott Hanes, 28, headed youth activities at the First United Methodist Church for 6 years before resigning and accepting a part-time position as youth minister with the Second Presbyterian Church in Lexington. (Lexington Herald-Leader, 12/7/95)
Coronado, CA. After a $100,000 settlement with the United Methodist Church, lawsuits filed by 2 women claiming they had been molested as teenagers by Rev. Thomas Warmer were dropped. Melissa Knight and Jayne Relaford Brown said they were molested by Warmer in '68 at his Lemon Grove church. Warmer, who is the senior minister at St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Coronado, has maintained his innocence and will pay no money in the settlement. (California State University at Long Beach Daily 49er, 10/5/95)
Mahtowa, MN. An evangelical pastor of the Mahtowa Covenant Church has been convicted on 2 charges of 4th degree criminal sexual conduct involving touching but not penetrating a teenage boy. Rev. Kenneth Lucht, 54, had served as pastor of the Mahtowa church since '87, but resigned amid allegations. Lucht also resigned from a part-time teaching position at Barnum High School. He was charged with 4 counts of criminal sexual conduct for 2 incidents reported in February. Sexual contact was alleged to have occurred while the teen was asleep. The first incident occurred in Lucht's home in June '93. The boy awoke to find his pants unzipped and Lucht's hands beneath his underwear. The second incident occurred a month later in a cabin on Goodrich Lake. The teen said he punched the pastor after awaking to find him touching him sexually again. The teen was a student at the Barnum school and mowed the church's lawn. Reports say Lucht befriended the boy, who was from a broken home, and, on several occasions, invited him to stay at his home. Court documents show Lucht established a bank account for the victim, bought him gifts and acted as a "surrogate father." (Duluth News-Tribune 8/1/95)
Montgomery County, Maryland. Methodist minister Harry Budd Miles, 65, was sentenced to 1 month in jail for each year he sexually abused a boy from 1972-76. Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Vincent E. Ferretti Jr. suspended consecutive sentences of 10 years each for the 2 counts of child abuse. If, after his jail sentence is served, Miles violates the terms of his probation, he could be ordered to serve the 20-year suspended prison sentence. Miles, the pastor of North Bethesda United Methodist Church, began molesting Scott Bisset when he was a Boy Scout whose troop met at the church. Miles met Bisset, then 11, while helping with a merit badge program. (Washington Post 7/20/95)
CHARGES REDUCED FOR PASTOR. Third-degree sexual assault charges were reduced to attempted contributing to delinquency of a minor against Beatrice pastor Rev. Norman Scott Callahan, 50, associate pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church. He is accused of sexual contact with a boy, 15, and was suspended for 60 days from his post. Source: _Omaha World-Herald_ 3/20/93.
PARISH SUPPORTS PORTLAND PREYING PASTOR. Prominent pastor Rev. Willie B. Smith, 64, former president of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, is accused of sexually abusing 3 teenage girls at First African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. He was charged with 11 counts of 1st degree sexual abuse, a felony, and 1 count of 3rd degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor. Pastors in the community werequick to speak about his "exemplary" work. Two of the victims told police Smith had cornered them in his church office and groped them. A third said she was repeatedly abused by Smith for 16 months, beginning in September 1990. The victims were 12, 13, and 17 at the time of the incidents. Almost every parishioner lined up to hug, kiss and reassure Smith following the arrest. Source: _Oregonian_ 3/13,15/93.
METHODIST MINISTER ASSAULTS DEPRESSED TEENAGER? A lawsuit filed in February accuses United Methodist minister R. Gene Voss of sexually assaulting a female teenager during counseling sessions for depression at the First United Methodist Church, Crawfordsville. In 1984 her minister began fondling the 15-year-old, initiating intercourse when she was 16. "Over the next four years Gene Voss raped the plaintiff over 60 times," says the lawsuit. The woman has incurred more than $65,000 in treatment for abuse. Voss gave up his minister credentials in 1991. She is also suing the Crawfordsville church and the United Methodist South Indiana Conference. "You can say anything in a lawsuit," was the cavalier response of the conference's legal advisor. Source: _Indianapolis Star_ 2/4/93.
PROMINENT METHODIST PASTOR WITH AIDS EXPLOITED PARISH? Following the death on July 4 of Rev. William O. Walker, a prominent Eugene pastor at First United Methodist Church, it was discovered he not only died of AIDS but had used his ministerial position to make sexual advances to at least 12 men, including 6 ministers. Walker infected his wife Carol with AIDS; she died in 1990. In November a church superintendent told parishioners that Walker had been accused of making sexual advances to 2 male teenagers at a Methodist church camp 17 years earlier. Source: _Register-Guard_ 12/6/92.
METHODIST LEADER ADMITS IMPROPER RELATIONS. Newly retired Rev. Edward W. Bauman, once named one of the country's top preachers by _Time_ Magazine, admitted in a September letter to the Foundry United Methodist Church in D.C. to "relationships of a sexual nature ... with several women in the congregation". Bauman, 65, has a TV show, "Bauman _Bible_ Telecast", airing worldwide. The admission came only have 2 women filed grievances with Bishop Joseph Yeakel; one had sought counseling from Bauman. Bauman agreed to seek counseling at Johns Hopkins Hospital & to retire. After a 3rd woman came forward. Bauman agreed to write a letter to the congregation & make financial restitution to 2 women. Bauman insists the relationships were "fully consenting" & "could not be interpreted as harassment". Among Bauman's congregants were Sen. Bob Dole & Elizabeth Dole, & former Sen. George McGovern. According to the national United Methodist newsletter, 13% of pastors in 5 Protestant denominations acknowledged having intercourse with parishioners. Source: _Washington Post_ 9/18/92.
METHODIST MINISTER PLEADS GUILTY. Rev. Lawrence "Larry" E. Trim, 55, of Evangelical Methodist Church in Methow, pleaded guilty to 3rd degree rape of a child, in connection with an assault of a boy, then 13. Source: _Wenatchee World_ 9/17/92.
Denver, CO. Bohrer was awarded more than $700,000 in her civil suit in Denver District against former minister Daniel DeHart and the United Methodist Annual Conference (the equivalent of a diocese). She alleged DeHart seduced her into a sexual relationship when she was 13 and he was youth minister at First Methodist Church in Greeley. (Rocky Mountain News, 8/2,29/92)
CHURCHES SHIFT ABUSE DEFENSES
Denver, CO. Winkler was awarded more than $163,000 in January by a Denver District Court jury in her civil suit against the Rev. Glenn Chambers, former pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in southeast Denver. (Rocky Mountain News, 8/2,29/92)
CHURCHES SHIFT ABUSE DEFENSES
Denver, CO. In the Church of Christ suit in 1992, a Dever woman and her son were awarded $450,000 by a Denver District Court jury. The woman, who son was a minor at the time, claimed the minister, Homer Wolfe, inappropriately massaged and fondled him during counseling sessions for five years. (Rocky Mountain News, 8/2,29/92)
CHURCHES SHIFT ABUSE DEFENSES
METHODIST MINISTER PLEA BARGAINS. Rev. Wally Walton, Grace United Methodist, Pierre, pleaded no contest to felony charges of incest & sexual contact with a minor, & was immediately jailed. Walton has agreed to provide details of "sex crimes & illicit sexual activities" against latchkey kids, Girl Scouts & other children. Additionally, Walton's wife Betty was charged with sexual contact with a child, incest, & failure to report a felony. Also indicted are Walton's adopted twin daughters & son-in-law, facing similar charges. Walton drove a bus for a local latchkey program. Mrs. Walton worked with the Girl Scouts. Fellow minister Rev. J. Edwin Coates of the First United Methodist Church in Mitchell, accuses social workers of being overzealous, & said the arrests were indicative of a "police state" & a witchhunt. Prosecutor Mark Moreno excused the delay in charging Walton by saying: "If you charge a minister as I've done, you'd better be sure that you have some concrete evidence, because it's going to totally annihilate his future." Walton voluntarily surrendered his ministerial credentials. Methodists dropped a 2-year statute of limitations on disciplinary problems in May 1992, with no time limit on sex offenses. Source: _Rapid City Journal_ 7/28,29,31/92, 8/1/92.
METHODIST COVER-UP ALLEGED. No charges were brought when youngsters in Piedmont told police & social services they were molested in 1983 by Rev. Wally Walton (see above) at Piedmont Grace United Methodist Church. After a 2-year sabbatical, Walton became pastor at Grace United Methodist in Pierre, where he has been charged with sex offenses against children. The Methodist hierarchy decided he was "not a danger to anyone", permitted him to give sermons during his 2-year break, & "felt he should be given another chance", said Rev. Dick Fisher, formerly Westem Dist. superintendent of the Methodist Church in Rapid City. "We had two concerns at the time: to protect the people & save a person for the ministry." Source: _Rapid City Journal_ 7/29/92.
CIVIL SUIT: 11-YEAR-OLD MOLESTED. A family in Dare County, North Carouna is suing Methodist minister Carl M. Eller for abusing their daughter, 11, as well as the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, a bishop and a reverend for knowing of his history of sexual misconduct but doing nothing about it. The family says she was molested when her father, a carpenter, was installing cabinets in the parsonage. Eller pleaded no contest to a charge of criminal assault on a female. However, the family said that in 1987 Eller had molested or made lewd comments to 4 women at his church, and forcibly kissed and touched 2 girls age 13. Three women had lodged formal complaints with the church, but the only action was to transfer him from Aurora to Hamlet. Source: _News & Observer_ 1/15/92.
Methodist Reverend Paul Flowers, vice--chairman of Rochdale social services committee which had control over the Rochdale Satanic Abuse Cases is discovered to have a conviction for indecency during the height of the allegations. Flowers was caught in a public lavatory with a boy. (1990, England)
REV. THOMAS HUNT was convicted by a jury of sexually abusing a 5 year old girl and her 7 year old brother during visits in the rectory. He was children's choir director at the United Methodist Church in East Benton. The girl had nightmares before visits and asked her mother to make the minister " stop rubbing" Vaseline on her " privates." The boy added, " Believe her, mommy, he did it to me too." (Scranton Times, 4/4-7/89)
The Kansas Supreme Court upheld the convictions of REV. DARWIN G. DAMEWOOD, 54, sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping a teenager in 1987 and sexually assaulting him. The Court affirmed all 8 counts against Damewood, formerly with the Rossville Methodist Church, ruling it permissible for another teenager to testify at the trial that Damewood had molested him too. (Topeka Capital-Journal, 12/9/89)
REV. DAVID SWOPE, minister at Sparks United Methodist Church, NV, was sentenced to 1 year in county jail, suspended to 3 years' probation, and psychological counseling. Swope pleaded no contest to a plea bargain of open & gross lewdness. He molested a girl, age 10, after choir practice, telling her she was one of his favorites and it meant nothing sexual. He was accused of taking indecent liberties with another girl 8 years ago. (Reno Gazette Journal, 10/28/89)
$450,000 jury award against UNITED METHODIST CHURCH OF ILLINOIS upheld by Judge Stuart Shiffman involving REV. WILLIAM FYFFE, who molested 3 brothers in Macon, 1982. The church was held responsible because it knew Fyffe had molested boys at Taylor Ridge parish, 1975, but still ordained him, expunged records of counseling for molestation, and transferred him into a community unaware of the episodes. Fyffe served nearly 3 years of prison after pleading guilty to the Macon molestings. (Quad-City Times, 9/7/89; 10/18/89)
A boy's father is suing Methodist Home of New Orleans, charging that his son, 12, was molested by a counselor during a field trip. REV. DALE HAGGARD pleaded guilty in Jan. 1989, and was sentenced to 4 years' probation, 500 hours community service, and therapy. Haggard, Louisiana Methodist Conference was also named. The suit alleges that [the Methodist Home] knew Haggard " had a propensity to engage in sexual acts with young boys." (Times-Picayune, 7/19/89)
The father of a young child was raped by HEATH TURNER, 16, a childcare worker at the First United Methodist Church, Mount Dora, is suing the church for negligence. Turner was convicted of assaulting the child at a church with a toy boat, his finger, and ice.  The church's youth minister, RALPH SMITH, who testified on Turner's behalf, has since been charged with the indecent assault of a child. The suit says that the church failed to check backgrounds, supervise childcare, and Sunday school classes. (Daily Commercial, 10/10/89)
Rev. David Lee Taylor, of Grace Epworth United Methodist Church in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, was sentenced to two years in prison after admitting to two counts of sodomy involving a 10 year old boy he was assigned to help through the Big Brother program. Taylor also received eight years' probation and was fined $3,600, as well as being ordered to pay $100 to the victim compensation program. Taylor was the victim's "Big Brother." (Source: Tulsa World, 7/3/87; 10/15/87)
Rev. Carey Mavor, an Arizona Methodist, pleaded guilty to 1 count of continuous sexual abuse and 2 counts of lewd acts with a child under 14.
C. Eric Lincoln, a Methodist minister, is charged with assault, attempted rape and battery of a woman at Duke University, where Lincoln is a professor emeritus.
Civil suit filed against Methodist church: The News and Observer reported that a family in Dare County sued a Methodist minister for abusing their daughter, 11, as well as the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, a bishop and a reverend for knowing of his history of sexual misconduct but doing nothing about it.