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NOT adultery, Clergy Sexual Abuse! Pastor accused of sexually abusing 16 year old. – Divorce Minister


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An Indiana woman confronted her pastor over an inappropriate sexual relationship he had with her over two decades ago (story here).

Some news outlets have runned the story as an affair or adultery* as the pastor initially admitted. However, that is a gross mischaracterization of the relationship. It obscures a very troubling and chilling aspect of the relationship.

The confrontation was captured on video. You can see it here:

The pastor was a grown man who groomed the victim and had sexual relationships with her as a 16 year old! This is what would be called Clergy Sexual Abuse.

To treat it as an affair or simply as adultery is unjust to his alleged victim. She was under his care as her pastor, and he used his position to exploit her sexually. It’s abuse.

We wouldn’t call it an affair or adultery–implying mutual responsibility–if a teacher did this with a high school student. Why give a pastor such a pass?!

It is important that we understand relationships like these are exploitation and abuse. The woman in this sitiuation was abused as a teenager. She should not be shamed for being his prey!

The confession ought to have been a confession of abuse. That would be more truthful.

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*In a sense this is true, he committed adultery against his wife. (The standing ovation in the church after he confesses to adultery is sickening but not unheard of, sadly.) However, it is a mischaracterization still as he abused his position of trust to exploit a teenager sexually. Like a teenage student with a teacher, she did not have the ability to consent as someone under his care. The power differential made consent impossible. It was abuse.

Republished with permission from www.divorceminister.com.

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