Victory Christian Reinstates 5 Workers Accused of Not Reporting Rape
Victory Christian Center is in the process of restructuring, after an alleged child sex abuse cover-up. Five employees were charged with failing to report child abuse. Two former workers were arrested on sex charges.
Victory Christian Center is working with a public relations firm. They've released a statement detailing exactly what they've done so far.
The alleged rape happened in August, but it took nearly two weeks for workers to report it. Those workers, John Daugherty, Charica Daugherty, Paul Willemstein, Anna George and Harold "Frank" Sullivan, have all received misdemeanor charges.
According to the statement, they've been counseled on the seriousness of their failure, and advised on changes in their jobs, accountability and reporting relationships.
"I'm not saying they should not have gotten their jobs back. But if they got their job back they should have nothing to do with youth ministry," said Sharon Doty, a nationally known child sex abuse expert. She has authored a curriculum, adopted by many Catholic churches, on how to identify sex abuse and how to deal with it.
She says many times adults have issues reporting co-workers.
"Everyone, at Victory would say that is an inappropriate thing to do that is the wrong thing to do, that should not be happening to our kids. But they still did not pick up the phone and call and they still tried to talk people out of reporting," said Doty.
Doty says organizations need training on how to identify inappropriate behavior.
At Victory, other ministers have added youth ministry and human resources to their responsibilities--as an internal committee has been reviewing the church's policy on procedures and reporting child abuse.
In the meantime, the church says it will be focused on it's mission of reaching people.
The five accused workers are expected back in court, October 31st.
Sharon Doty will hold a seminar for parents called, "Keeping Them Safe" It will be held at Eliot Elementary School this Thursday from 7 to 8:30 PM.