When all is dark, and the road divides
And you don’t know which way to go
Listen closely to your heart
Hear the whispers of God…
In the stillness
Where the path divides and all is dark
Follow the echo of truth
His Spirit will guide you.
A few months ago when I was made aware of a middle-aged man making lewd sexual phone calls to women, I was concerned. Still, such calls are hardly ‘actionable’, at least not easily, especially in religious culture where it is well nigh impossible to bring truth of sex crimes to light. In the worst of cases, even rape, the offender is far more likely to get support than a victim. So trying to confront sexually inappropriate phone calls and pin someone down for it, apart from a group lawsuit, is much like catching toots in the wind. You know they’ve been around but they tend to get away.
However, I would soon learn there was a much bigger story.
(I cannot share the offender’s full name at this time, so will simply call him D. I had one proofreader immediately ask if he was ‘so and so’. It wasn’t correct. So please make no assumptions. If it applies to you, you are welcome to write and ask, but I cannot publicly share that information right now. And that is true for all individuals mentioned in this series, some by choice, some at the request of law enforcement and preference of lawyers involved.)
Of the women who personally contacted me, all were either a) in a vulnerable situation and he somehow used their vulnerability to contact them (In one case leading the young woman to believe he had information that would help her in a very difficult situation. Instead, he became perverse. Note: She has written a guest blog to be shared here shortly.); b) women who are no longer with their husbands, having either been previously abused or abandoned c) *Women in financial need. He gave thousands of dollars, either in cash or in goods, to some of his victims, and offered it to others who declined. (* he also gave to at least one couple, and made comments that made her uncomfortable, but my understanding is it was not sexual.)
D’s public Facebook persona is religious, and above reproach. It includes expressing deep compassion and care for those who are sex-trafficked. Just the kind of man a victim of sexual violence should be able to trust. Knowing about the lewd phone calls to women, I messaged D on Feb. 3 to ask him to help me reconciles the way he makes perverse phone calls with the super religious image he presents on FB. I admitted to him that I stumble over it. (And for those who think a phone call isn’t a big deal, there is a woman in Ontario who was brutally psychologically scarred by that very thing and has to this day never recovered.) When I confronted him, D could only think of one such incident, he said, and named that victim. The one he mentioned was new to me. After I told him I know of three, he thought of one more but didn’t name her.
In spite of how violated women felt, or ‘creeped out’ as several described it, he insisted it was ‘innocent’ and thought he was merely sharing his weaknesses with them and seemed surprised that it was offensive. He did not mention that, besides sharing his struggles, he also asked some of these women if they ever withheld sex from their husbands, among other inappropriate conversation. Several times, on separate occasions, he commented to young passengers riding in his car that they were brave to be in his car, given the kind of man he is. (This wording from several very different sources.)
I posted several status updates on FB over a period of several days using no name, location or identifying information and received over 30 messages, til all was said and done, all naming D, and taking the list nearing twenty women. After confronting D, I connected him with a pastor in Ohio and urged him to get help. (I learned later that he had already been seeing a licensed counsellor for many years – a ‘buddy’/counsellor). I left it at that, for the time being and hoped he’d get help before taking his predator-like behaviours further and actually molesting someone.
Little did I know…
(Note: The victim has given me permission to share, but asked that I not use her name).
I was contacted a few weeks later… a young woman had been molested, her buttocks grabbed the first time – something he admitted to me – as well as groping her breasts the next day when she fell asleep and he had access, which he also admitted to me. Allegedly there was more but D denies the last allegations, so it seems prudent that I leave those details unspoken in public domain. Prior to this, he had given her thousands of dollars worth of goods and sponsorships, totalling well over $6000. And the day he assaulted her, he had been recruited to ensure her safety. He had been a ‘spiritual daddy’ to her, and, in her words, “showed me who Jesus really is” and then turned around and violated her. This devastated the young woman and shattered her faith.
I spoke directly and personally with D, and had 2 other people present. In the course of that conversation I asked him about the various allegations, including one in which a woman whom I had never met, wrote me to say that D had offered a girl money to get in his car (which turned out to be inaccurate). This allegation was similar to one in which he allegedly offered a girl money to ride on a Hoverboard or some such thing – allegations that came from several sources. The former, about the car, was completely unfounded – I confirmed this via the person who told me, after . She had misunderstood; it was about the Hoverboard incident. D said he tried to get her to ride the Hoverboard, and may have coaxed her with money – he had done that to numerous people, he said, and couldn’t remember who all. But he said he did not ask her to go on it with him, as there would be no room. (I had no reason to doubt he was telling the truth here.) Other allegations of sexual assault and sexually deviant phone calls have been confirmed by D as well as victims sending screenshots or summaries, and the ‘paper trail’ of evidence.
D professes to be repentant, yet he has continued to find ways to blame the victim and downplay his crimes, and offer various ‘degrees’ of truth to different people. What he confessed to me does not match what he confessed to others. These ‘fruits’ do not resemble repentance in any way, and Jesus said the fruits are trustworthy evidence. He expresses his own pain, but fails to grasp the damage done to his victims. If he grasped that damage, he would stop pursuing vulnerable women with gifts of money, books, messages etc, knowing that he has these allegations against him. He also has a court protection order (which is public record) to have no contact with the victim, either personally or via third party. (Whether he has ‘accepted’ this court order or not, I cannot say, but I do have the ID number of the document.) And if he was truly repentant he would recognize that as long as he keeps playing the hero and the saint in the lives of vulnerable women, he is setting these people up to be devastated when the truth finally comes out.
ADDED: audio of D’s admission:
D sponsored the victim (prior to the assault) to attend a LOP conference. (Note: This was not where he ‘met’ her. It is one of the many things he did that won her trust.) The victim shared with me the text messages sent by D, in which he said S, who leads LOP, knows what he did to her. (It has become increasingly apparent that S. does not know everything, but he did know about the assault since late September 2017). This alarmed me because I knew D continues to be welcomed at events, unmonitored, and continues (to this day) to send money, books, gifts and text messages to countless vulnerable women, while telling S. they pursue him. Women are forwarding screenshots to me of current messages – as recent as the last two days – in which he uses the same tactics he used in the past. Tactics that are well known to those who study grooming. Numerous women were sponsored by him – covering the cost of their registration with LOP as well as paying for hotels, while his wife received less in all of 2017 than some of his victims received in the value of one gift. (If confronted you would likely be told – by him and those close to him – that he gave her a credit card. You would not be told what that all links to, and what it would cost her if she were to use it. I have seen with my eyes and held with my hands that ‘story’, but it I am not free to tell it at this time.)
Elephants are cute until they fill a room and sit on people.
Then they are deadly. Silencing, suffocating them.
…To be continued…
“Open your mouth for those who cannot speak, for the rights of all who are destitute.”
~ T ~
© Trudy Metzger 2018