A Tennessee church has decided that its pastor’s son can no longer work with children after he was accused of sexually assaulting and battering at least one boy at church camp.
The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported on Thursday that Vineyard Community Church in Chattanooga had taken the action after court documents emerged detailing Zachary Anderle’s arrest last month for two counts of third-degree cruelty to children and sexual assault while he was serving as counselor at the church’s camp in Carroll County, Ga.
The affidavits alleged that “Anderle climbed on top of a 13-year-old camper and placed his penis on top of the boy’s crotch while other boys were watching,” the Times Free Press noted. “Anderle also slapped the child’s face, the report states.”
Bud Winderweedle, a church member who is part of a church committee looking into the incident, told the paper that the case was still being investigated but they believed “this was a case of horseplay gone wrong, which we deeply regret.”
“Zachary will not be allowed back at any future camp events, as a counselor or otherwise. Also, the church has removed Zachary from the church’s band rotation,” Winderweedle said.
Attorney Allen Trapp, who is representing Anderle, tried to explain the incident as an attempt to discipline a 13-year-old boy at camp who was bullying another child.
“This boy was using a lot of unsavory, sexually charged language,” Trapp insisted. Zach told him to stop repeatedly. When he wouldn’t, Zach told him, ‘If you do not stop, I will come down there and sleep with you naked.’ And he actually jumped on him and all the other boys laughed and thought it was funny.”
Anderle would be listed on the state’s sex offender list if convicted of the charges, which could be presented to a grand jury in October.
Watch this video from Chattanooga Times Free Press, broadcast Aug. 22, 2013.
(h/t: Friendly Atheist)