Saturday, 22 January 2022

Child Abuse News - The Evangelicals are Copying the Catholics

Former Youth Pastor, William Stefan Wahl, The River church, Kimball, Michigan, USA
Charged with six sex crimes against minors
UPDATE: Former The River church youth minister charged with six sex crimes Friday | Port Huron Times Herald

The Pro-Trump QAnon Inc, in alliance with fundamentalist evangelical Christians and their political wing, the Republican Party, has concocted a lurid conspiracy theory with absolutely no evidence, alleging a massive, world-wide satanic paedophile and child sex-trafficking ring involving prominent Democrats, and just about anyone who contradicts their increasingly lurid and ludicrous claims.

However, if you want to find real paedophile rings, you hardly ever need to look any further than a nearby evangelical church, like The River church in Kimball Township, St Clair County, Michigan, USA.

According to this report in Port Huron Times Herald by Laura Fitzgerald
William Stefan Wahl, 28, of Port Huron man [sic], was arraigned Friday on two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct [with a] victim younger than 13, two counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct [with] victim between 13 and 16, distributing obscene matter to children, aggravated indecent exposure and using computers to commit a crime.

His bond was set at $25,000 cash/surety.

Wahl is accused of sexually abusing four juvenile victims that he fostered a relationship with through The River, St. Clair County Sheriff Mat King said. King identified Wahl as a former youth minister at the church.

King said Friday morning the man was arrested around midnight at a residence in the 1500 block of Palmer Court.

Stephen Rabaut, Wahl's attorney, said Wahl intended to turn himself in for his arraignment. The police investigation was initiated in November 2021.

St. Clair County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Cailin Wilson said the alleged incidents took place between 2014 and 2021, when Wahl was over 17 years old and with victims ranging from 10 to 17 years old.
Unusually, for a church, where the priority has normally been to defend and protect the church at the expense of the victims, even allowing paedophiles to continue to use the church as a cover for their activities, the elders of The River Church acted quickly to terminate Wahl's employment and report the complaints to the police.
In response to the allegations, Bill Wahl, co-lead pastor of The River church, sent a press release dated Nov. 2, 2021, that stated The River Churches Board of Elders were made aware of a possible child abuse incident perpetrated by an employee against two minors.

The board immediately began an investigation of the facts, assuring that all involved parents were notified. Within hours, the employee was terminated and the board filed a report with the proper authorities to investigate the matter, the press release said.
Wahl is scheduled for a probable cause hearing at 9 a.m. Feb. 1 and an examination hearing at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 8 in front of St. Clair County District Court Judge Mona Armstrong. Sheriff Mat King is appealing for anyone who believes they may have been a victim of William Wahl, to contact him on (810) 987-1738.

The River church is something of a Wahl family cult, with husband and wife, Bill and Kim Wahl as co-lead pastors and associate pastor, Matt Wahl, their son. Kid's pastor, Danielle Oakey, nee Wahl, is Bill's and Kim's daughter; her husband Dylan is the young adult pastor. Another of Bill's & Kim’s daughter’s, Gabrielle, is 'spiritual care pastor' and her husband, Scott Smith, is 'community pastor'. This much can be gleaned from listening to the sanctimonious, self-congratulatory 'stories' on their website. What can't be gleaned, is the relationship between William Stephan Wahl and Bill and Kim, nor their relationship to Bill Forbes, Senior pastor, though I suspect he's Kim's dad. The church seems to specialise in attracting children and young adults into the cult with special 'ministries' for children and school students. On their website, they claim:
Through our community of families, volunteers, and children, River Kids creates an atmosphere to meet God and get to know Him a little better each week, all while having fun!

When your kids are with us, we care for them like they’re our own. Their safety is our top priority.
These statements will ring hollow with the (alleged) victims of William Wahl, who, in the time-honoured tradition of predatory paedophiles, abused the trusted access to vulnerable children that the church provided him with. In view of the allegations against William Wahl, these weekly 'sessions' with children begin to look like grooming sessions, unwittingly or otherwise. William seems to have seen the opportunities they presented.

It beggars belief that, with all the accounts in the media of child abuse by paedophile priests and pastors, the Wahls don't seem to have considered it necessary to have child safeguarding measures in place and saw no problem with leaving impressionable children in the unattended company of a male pastor. Their assertion to parents that the kids are safe with them and safety is their top priority, appears to be all they have put in place - a comforting (and as it turned out) misleading platitude.

And once again we see the truth of the saying:

Religion provides excuses for people who need excuses

Thank you for sharing!

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