Former Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church (Chuck Phelps) issues statement to ABC 20/20
"Pastor Chuck Phelps, the former pastor at Tina Anderson’s New Hampshire church, denies Tina was disciplined by the church or that there was any attempt to cover up a crime. He declined repeated interview requests but provided a statement: “Tina was involved in an ongoing sexual relationship with Mr. Ernie Willis… Tina lied to her mother and to me about this relationship.” He also said he brought the allegations to the attention of police who failed to investigate further. Ernie Willis, Tina Anderson’s alleged attacker has pleaded not guilty to sexual assault. "
My opinion in response to that statement:
Anyone with common sense can see thru what Phelps said. It wasn't his job to be judge and jury. A minor cannot consent to an adult 20+ years older that has power over her!! Has Phelps not taken any time at all in the last 13-14 years to educate himself about the dynamics of sexual abuse?? Maybe he's been too busy influencing young pastors-to-be in college? The FBI and dozens of advocacy organizations could have provided Chuck with everything he needed to know. Maybe he just didn't want to learn? Maybe it's just easier to blame a victim that's already endured other abuse and whose mom wouldn't stand up for her. Maybe he'll never believe the innocent can be bullied and coerced until it happens to someone he actually cares about. Who knows?
And why after all these years... Why would Tina even talk to the police when they called her? She was happy! She had a different life far away from NH! Why would the police lie? Why would Tina lie? Why would she put herself through this?? The noble reason--that she simply complied with police requests is the only answer that makes sense. The noble answer--that maybe her story could protect others--prevent future victims--that makes sense! So Tina and the police lied, Chuck?? But YOU are the only one telling the truth? Right... I sincerely hope that God grants you more mercy than you have given to Tina. You don't deserve it, but fortunately for you, God is just like that. On the other hand, I just wish accountability for you--jail time would be nice.