When authority figures are charged with sex crimes, it can have a devastating effect on the community. Last summer, a Michigan ex-pastor resigned from his positions at two ministry organizations in the wake of a criminal investigation. Now he has been officially charged in the case and members of the community is left to make sense of everything. One woman says a "dark shadow" has been placed over the church he preached for.
The former pastor now faces 10 criminal counts: two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and eight counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. The incidents for which he was charged allegedly involved two girls, each of whom was under the age of 12 at the time. The former pastor has had such an impact on his community over the years that prosecutors from another county will be handling the case.
While being charged with any criminal offense in Michigan is a serious affair, allegations of sex crimes are very harmful to the people who are accused. Many people assume that those who are charged with sex crimes are automatically guilty, even without the benefit of a trial. Shaking that reputation, even if a person has been exonerated in court, can be very difficult.
Anyone in Michigan who is under investigation for, or who has been charged with, crimes of a sexual nature should consult with an attorney experienced in sex crimes defense as soon as possible. The earlier an attorney on your side can be involved, the more vigorous a defense can be mounted against the charges.
Source: WWMT, "Updated: Former pastor arrested on sex assault charges," Feb. 2, 2012