11-05-2011, 01:15 AM #1Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2009
FL~Youth minister, Russell Lewis convicted for child rape in the church
Please bear with me while I update a few threads concerning youth ministers. I don't believe we have a thread on this first guy. Note who Lewis apologizes to. Not the victim. And how are we to truly know of his remorse?
It is wonderful to see so many supporters turn out for the victim and for the church pastor to take a zero tolerance stance.
Former youth pastor sentenced in molestation case
October 29, 2011
"A former youth minister convicted of child molestation has learned his fate.
Thirty-year-old Russell Lewis has been sentenced to over 28 years in prison...."
"....Lewis was arrested in 2009, while he served as musical director at The Church by the Glades in Coral Springs. According to police, Lewis molested a 14-year-old who was a member of the church's youth group...."
and an article from earlier in the day:
Former youth pastor takes stand in molestation case
October 29, 2011
"A former youth pastor took the stand in court after being accused of raping a teenage member of his church. Thirty-year-old Russell Lewis took the stand in court Friday afternoon and pleaded no contest for his sentencing in the case of molesting a 14-year-old girl. The courtroom was filled with supporters and church members supporting the teen victim...."
"...Police said the incident occurred several times inside the church room. Lewis said he was deeply sorry in court to the people that were once his friends. "I'm so sorry, guys. I really am. It's been hard on my family, even my friends, my neighbors, and I have lost a lot of respect for myself..."
"...Lewis' attorneys have been asking the judge to reduce the sentence and to take into account that Lewis has no previous arrests, and that he clearly has remorse for what he did. A church pastor is set to read a written statement by the victim pleading to lock up Lewis for life. If Lewis were found guilty, he would face 105 years in prison.
More at link (plus video)
Not quite sure how 105 years morphed down to 28.
11-06-2011, 05:27 AM #2
I HAVE to ask this question, since child molestors and viewers of kiddie porn seem to be crawling out of the wood work like cockroaches, but WHY does there seem to be such a proliferation of them NOW? I'm sure they were always around, but has the internet flushed them from their filthy lairs behind the walls of the churches and wherever else they have been hiding?
Years ago, before the internet, maybe there was less kiddie porn? With less porn for the perps to fantasize about, maybe there was less "action" by the perps? Is it possible the internet, which we all hold very dear, has caused an escalation in kiddie porn, hence the rise in child rape/murder?
Just a question.
11-06-2011, 04:19 PM #3Registered User
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- Jul 2009
It's a very valid question, Trident. Some professionals have tackled the question but I think the jury is still out. More children today are diagnosed with ADHD and autism. Have the same percentage of children always had these disorders or are our diagnostic procedures and public education improving?
Not long ago, I read about a case of incest and child porn that was tried in the early 80s (I can't seem to find it but I'll keep looking) and the courts and the media hardly knew how to handle it. Oh, there had been well known cases of child rape by the proverbial nasty guy in the trenchcoat and of course those guys did not fare well.
However, we, as a society did not know what to do about little children speaking the unthinkable about parents, relatives, clergy, coaches and teachers. Our judicial system didn't even have the laws in place. I think, in many ways, the men and women who spoke out about clergy abuse knocked open the door for the vast number of victims who had yet to find their voice. We had to make new laws and accept this abhorrence into our public consciousness. Most of us still have to drug, kicking and screaming, to accept that it DOES happen by seemingly decent and well-respected people. I can never look at the statistics concerning child abuse without shaking my head. How is it possible. One in three girls and one in five-six boys. That's a tsunami of victims.
Before the internet, child porn was ordered through the mail or handled under the counter of certain "adult" stores. Of course there wasn't as much as now and it was extremely expensive. I'm fairly certain that images were handed around for decades. Now, we have live feed and images that are continuously being refreshed. Being that the internet seems so impersonal and safe, I'm sure more men and women are purchasing these photos for whatever sick reason they do. I think it has to do with ease of purchase/access and a constant ready supply.
Think of the teen phenomenon of "sexting". Teens have always written sexualized notes to each other but how many of us remember pornographic photos being taken and sent in 1/2 second via a cell phone? In the not too distant past, teens would have been hard-pressed to take pornographic photos--and get them developed--than they do now with just a single click. It's more spontaneous and easy, thus far more common.
Immature teens and those addicted to certain behaviors are not known for forethought or consideration of consequences. JMO
And a sidenote: I prefer the term child porn/pornography. The word kiddie seems to trivialize a vile crime. Just my take on it but I thought I'd share why I use the term.
11-06-2011, 04:35 PM #4Registered User
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- Jul 2009
A quote from "Predators, Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sexual Offenders" by Anna C. Salter, Ph.D. (2003)"
"As a young therapist in the late 1970s, I took my Ph.D. in psychology to a small town in New England, expecting to have a general practice and to live the country life. I envisioned child clients with problems with attention.......But it seemed two out of three children I saw in the small mental health center where I worked were sexually or physically abused or both. That struck me as very odd indeed. At the time, official estimates suggested incest affected on child in a million...."
Let's look at that. An author and specialist in treating sex offenders states clearly what the official estimates for incest were in the late 70s (only 30-35 years ago). We know through multitudes of studies that a child is more likely to be abused by a family member or someone close to the family far more often than by a stranger.
One in a million? Fast forward to 2011 and now look. Go to any internet news service and search for molestation, child rape, child impregnation and child porn.
Now those same officials tell us that one of every handful of children is abused in some way. I seriously doubt that the abuse has increased. I think that our officials in the past simply had no earthly clue how commonplace this crime was. It simply was not discussed and children who were brave enough to tell were told to forgive, forget and move on.
BTW, I can't recommend Salter's book highly enough. It's not a pleasant book to read but it is tremendously eye-opening as she allows the offenders to tell their own stories. Most libraries have a copy.
11-07-2011, 02:24 AM #5
'"As a young therapist in the late 1970s, I took my Ph.D. in psychology to a small town in New England, expecting to have a general practice and to live the country life. I envisioned child clients with problems with attention.......But it seemed two out of three children I saw in the small mental health center where I worked were sexually or physically abused or both. That struck me as very odd indeed. At the time, official estimates suggested incest affected on child in a million...."
One in a million. That's interesting. I knew of 2 during the 40's and 50's, and believe me,
it wasn't something anyone talked or read about. One case was horrific, grandfather and brother were molesting a little girl, but it was her fault, "she liked it". The second one was an episode with an uncle who did get ostricized from the family home. Needless to say there were no police involved - it would have brought more shame to the victim than the perp. In one book I read about the "Black Dahlia", it was stated (paraphrasing) "at 11 she allowed herself to be seduced. . ." How many years ago was that?
You are correct about under the counter pictures. When I was growing up I was always hesitant when a boy asked me if I wanted to "look at something". I always said no, and was very surprised when one showed me a picture of Jesus praying in Garden.
I am going to get a copy of that book, because I want to better understand what causes someone to sexually abuse children, although I tend to believe it is imprinting.
Thanks for taking the time to answer.
11-07-2011, 06:22 AM #6Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
I think that in the past there was much more of a "blame the victim" mentality. Something bad happened to me with a "professional" (not a minister) and I don't think there's any way my parents even thought of pressing charges. It wasn't until something worse happened to another child that the vile creature was exposed for the piece of filth that he was. But, nobody wanted to say anything.
Several years ago, I went to a guy friend's house and an older relative basically told me that if anything had happened it wouldn't be considered a crime. Just the fact that I was at his house meant I was "asking for it." OK. He and I were planning an event with friends and he asked me to his house to do some things. I wasn't asking for anything and nothing happened. But, a lot of ignorant people have that attitude. If said older relative had been my father and something had happened, I probably would have kept it quiet.Beyond the door,
There's peace I'm sure,
And I know there'll be no more
Tears in heaven.
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