Thursday, January 09, 2014

5 staff members from Vinelife church summoned to appear

When Jason Allen Robertson was arrested for the serial molestation of a 15-year-old girl, the local police in Arizona started looking into why the abuse allegations were not reported to the police. The alleged abuse had taken place over years and had been reported to the senior pastor. Also, The church allegedly hindered the investigation by withholding information.
Vinelife Church issued a statement Wednesday saying, "The Church and its leadership have cooperated with law enforcement in their investigation concerning allegations of sexual misconduct made by a past member of the staff at Vinelife Church." 
However, Boulder police reports obtained by 7NEWS say that "VineLife Church initially refused" to give investigators reports from a therapist treating Jason Roberson at the church's request. Vinelife officials refused to produce the records despite police serving the church on July 11 with a court order to produce records on the church's internal investigation of misconduct by the youth pastor. 
The church produced the therapist's reports two months later, but only "after the Boulder District Attorney's office warned of possible contempt charges for failure to comply with a court order," police Detective Brannon Winn wrote in a report. 
Source: 5 officials at Longmont church accused of failing to report alleged child abuse by youth pastor
Last November, 5 members of the VineLife staff were ticketed and summoned to appear for failing to report alleged sexual abuse of a child. The crime is a Class 3 misdemeanor.
Those accused:
  • Executive pastor Rober Phillip “Bob" Young 
  • Pastor Luke Humbrecht 
  • Pastor Edward Bennell 
  • Elder Warren Lloyd Williams 
  • Senior pastor Walt Roberson
Jason Allen Roberson is the son of senior pastor Walt Roberson. I smell a rat.

The reason the church gave for not reporting the crime:
In a statement from earlier this fall, the church said it had stayed quiet about the allegations because "it was the understanding of the Church leadership that the former employee did not want this matter to be made public."
"[The victim] trusted [Jason] as an authority figure and spiritual guide, and felt uncomfortable disclosing the relationship to others," police said at the time.
I think the real reason is that the senior pastor was protecting his son. It is the simplest solution that fits the crime.

I missed this story when it originally hit the news cycle. 2013 was a very busy year. All of these Christians will be added my The Morally Corrupt list.

I have a question for the members of the VineLife Church. How can you listen to these men when you know they enabled sexual abuse?