Ernest Willis Found Guilty

Under Much Grace shares the verdict in the Ernest Willis/Tina Anderson case as well as a summary of the  case and some explaination of the teachings which are infused therein.

Also, here is a  News Story in the Daily Sentinel about the testimonies in the Tina Anderson rape case.

And there is a follow up news story here.

An Update on the Ernest Willis / Tina Anderson Case

Under Much Grace has posted an in depth explanation of the Ernest Willis / Tina Anderson Case.

More on the Tina Anderson Case

Cindy Kunsman (UnderMuchGrace) reports the latest on the Tina Anderson case and offers a button for your blog.

News coverage from the Concord Monitor here.

News story from the U.K. here.

Tina Anderson Case Goes to Trial

Reposting this MSNBC report for permanence:

Teen allegedly raped, forced to apologize for pregnancy before her church

Jury selection to begin in 1997 case; church member on trial for raping babysitter

msnbc.com staff and news service reports

CONCORD, N.H. — Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the case of a 15-year-old girl who prosecutors say was raped by a fellow church member and forced to stand before the congregation to apologize for getting pregnant.

Ernest Willis is charged with forcibly raping Christina Anderson twice during the summer of 1997, when she was his children’s baby sitter and he was 39. Lawyers for Willis, now 52, say in court documents that he will admit having sex with the girl once but maintains it was consensual.

Prosecutor Wayne Coull said he expects Anderson to be among the first witnesses called when the trial begins May 23 in Merrimack Superior Court. The trial is expected to last four days.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes, but Anderson, now 29, asked that her name be made public.

Former Trinity Baptist Church Pastor Charles Phelps is on the prosecution’s list of witnesses. Anderson told police that Phelps arranged for her to move to Colorado and forced her to write a letter of apology she had to read to the fundamentalist congregation.

She then was told to move into a room in the Phelpses’ home until she was to leave for Colorado, which Anderson said happened within days.

Anderson was home-schooled in Colorado, and gave birth to the baby there, the New Hampshire Union Leader reported. She gave the child up for adoption, the newspaper said.

Phelps is adamant that he reported the allegations to Concord police and was critical of them for failing to act. Police said they tried to investigate in 1997 but couldn’t find Anderson. They didn’t locate her until last year, when friends and Internet posts revealed she was living in Arizona under her married name.

‘Justice needs to be done’
The Union Leader reported that a detective with the Concord police contacted Anderson, the married mother of three more children, after learning of the case through a Facebook page entitled, “Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Cult Survivors.”

Phelps, who now lives in Indiana, said last year that he helped relocate Anderson at her mother’s request. Anderson’s mother, Christine Leaf, has refused to comment on whether she initiated or consented to the relocation. She, too, is on the prosecution’s witness list.

Anderson told the AP earlier this month she is nervous about testifying and having her life rehashed publicly, but added, “It needs to be done. Justice needs to be done.”

In court documents, Coull said he doesn’t object to a motion by defense lawyers Donna Brown and Brooksley Belander to be allowed to question Anderson about sexual abuse inflicted on her by her former stepfather beginning when she was 9 and ending when she was 11.

Coull does object to defense efforts to bar testimony about Willis’ offer to take Anderson out of state for an abortion and his offer to punch her hard in the stomach to induce a miscarriage. Coull said in court documents that Willis’ “willingness to use violence” is highly relevant “and clearly indicative of guilt.”

The judge has yet to rule on those motions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Update here.

 

More Responses to the 20/20 IFB Story

Bob Bixby shares an update from Tina Anderson’s husband. Tina, as you may remember, was featured on the 20/20 story about abuse in some IFB churches.

And here are 2 more responses to the 20/20 show:

20/20 And The IFB Culture by Baptist Thinker

IFB by David Schmidt from Thoughts of an Unlearned.

And if I may make my own comment on the show and the responses, I must say that I am rather disappointed that I am not seeing more discussion of the part about the harsh teachings of using corporeal punishment of babies in some of these churches.  I have seen only a few references to harsh punishment and that is it.  Elizabeth Vargas was properly shocked at the idea of spanking infants for crying in church and then the topic was pretty much dropped.  I found one blog post about it.  In each of the other pages about it to which I have linked lately, I have seen much discussion in the comments about sexual abuse and coverups as well as how linked the IFB churches are or are not.  I have seen mentions of spiritual abuse and legalism.  I have seen no outrage for the idea of spanking infants nor even a discussion of what age would be ok to start.  I must be missing something.  If someone has seen such discussion, I would be interested.

 

edited to add:

I see that Bob Bixby posted something On Whipping Your Children today.  Also, I see from my comments that people are, indeed, discussing it.  Apparently, I am just not reading in the right places.

 

A Former Trinity Baptist Insider and the 20/20 IFB Story

Bob Bixby has posted a statement from Laura Moody, Formally from Trinity Baptist Church, about her relationship with those involved with the scandal featured in the 20/20 story about abuse in some IFB churches.  Read the comments for more hashing out of details.

Bob Bixby also has a post addressing Brian Fuller’s comments in that episode of 20/20 and his subsequent blog post.  Again, more details are hashed out in the comments.

In an effort to be fair, he links to the Other Side of the Story and discusses the hows and whys of Blaming the Victim.

Under Much Grace reminds us that the 20/20 story “failed to make any mention of the abuses that took place at the IFB’s most infamous boarding house for ‘troubled girls,’ the Hephzibah House of Winona Lake, IN.”

And The Wartburg Watch has a list of suggestions for how churches can better protect the children in their congregations from sexual abuse.