Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Christian coach gets 20 months

Hypocrisy and abuse of authority happen at all levels of a Christian organization.  The pastor is often the abuser, but sometimes it is the teacher or coach as well. The common characteristics are religious authority, direct access to children, and insufficient direct oversight. It is a formula I see over and over again. Andrew Scot Bolsinger knows the formula well. He used it to sexually assault a young girl in his care at a Salem-area Christian academy.

Bolsinger, who recently had been living in San Francisco and writing for online publications using a pseudonym, pleaded guilty April 15 to two counts of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse stemming from four separate incidents involving the victim while she was 16.

The victim, who recently turned 26, testified in the sentencing that Bolsinger preyed on her and "misused his position of trust in a Christian academy for his own pleasure."

I’m not sure who to trust anymore. I don’t let me kids anywhere near professional clergy. I use the same approach with public school teachers. It pays to be careful. Of course, if people like Bolsinger were properly supervised and screened, these types of crimes would be less likely to happen. I’ll hold my breath. Heck, they won’t even mention the Christian academy for fear of harming its good name. Nothing will change unless they stop pulling punches.

Hat tip to Hank of Shallow Cognitions. And remember, if you send them, I will post them.