09-06-2006, 04:39 PM #1
Sexual abuse in the Ozarks
I've checked the last few pages and have not seen this case posted as yet. If it has been, please delete:
WASHBURN, Mo. - Turning their backs on the isolated religious commune in the rugged Ozarks where many had grown up, a group of members fled with only the clothes on their back, trudging several miles down a gravel road to the nearest phone to call friends or family for help.
A woman in the group soon told a sheriff's deputy horrific stories of how the compound's leaders had molested girls as part of religious ceremonies during which they were told their bodies were being prepared for "service to God."
That was the beginning of a child sex scandal that has ensnared five leaders from two affiliated churches and cast a spotlight on a remote corner of the Ozarks that has long been home to spiritual communes, sheltered by deep oak woods, steep hills and a culture in which people keep to themselves.
One of those arrested, pastor George Otis Johnston, 63, called it "angel kisses" when he touched one girl sexually before and after church services, the girl told investigators. Johnston also allegedly told the girl that "he was ordained by God to fulfill her needs as a woman." The abuse against that girl, prosecutors say, started when she was 8 and lasted until she was 16.
The youngest of the alleged victims was 4 when the abuse started, according to court papers. The molestation occurred as far back as the late 1970s and as recently as last April, authorities said.
Johnston is charged with sodomy and child molestation. Also charged are Johnson's nephew, the Rev. Raymond Lambert, 51; Lambert's wife, Patty Lambert, 49; and her brothers Paul Epling, 53, and Tom Epling, 51.
09-06-2006, 10:27 PM #2
How sickening! So, did they start their church and commune solely to molest children? I noticed that communes are common in that part of the country...perhaps police need to investigate the others as well.
09-06-2006, 10:37 PM #3Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2005
This is some crazy stuff. How sad for all the kids.
09-07-2006, 02:46 PM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Jul 2005
There was a white supremist cult a couple of decades ago in that area called the Covenant that was supposedly kidnapping female hitchhikers and using them as forced breeding stock for blackmarket babies. Their compound was eventually invaded by FBI and ATF.
09-13-2006, 01:39 AM #5
More charges filed
More charges filed against Johnston for molesting another girl:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - New charges were filed against a pastor on Monday amid the expansion of an investigation into allegations that leaders of two reclusive church communes sexually abused girls.
George Otis Johnston, 63, was charged with nine counts of felony statutory sodomy on suspicion of molesting a girl from 1997 to 2004, starting when she was less than 12 years old.
Johnston's lawyer, who previously has declined to talk to reporters, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment Monday. Johnston has pleaded not guilty to nine other charges of molesting a girl from his church from the time she was 8 years old until she was 16.
An arrest warrant was issued for the new counts, and bond was set at $100,000.
09-13-2006, 02:39 AM #6Inactive
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Melbourne Australia
I feel so sorry for all these people who have been abused and treated badly. I for one are well and trly sick of thses sad sack so called religious communities where women and kids are treated like animals.Usually by pervs who profess there love for God. Clean out these communities and help those who wish to leave. The arm of the law needs to come down as tough as possible on those who commit such degreading acts in our good lords name.