Victim-blaming pastor isn’t concerned about hiring convicted rapist: ‘It takes two to tango’
Pastor Mike Orten of the Truth Apostolic Church in Madisonville, Kentucky is defending his latest staff hire of Thomas Hopper, who was convicted of the rape and sodomy of a 13-year-old girl in the early 1990s. Hopperwas also convicted of multiple crimes in the early 2000s. But according to NBC 14 News, Orten brought Hopper into the church to work on outreach because it was the Christian thing to do.
The church’s website and Facebook page have all been taken down since the story broke, but prior to a community uprising, the website outlined Hopper’s biography detailing a history of involvement in churches and ministry going back to the 1970s. The biography does not, however, include his 10 years in prison for holding a razor blade to a girl’s throat and raping her.
Orten agrees that since the Hopper is on the registered sex offender list that he should not have access to the school the church’s premises. But as for fear of anything else, the pastor isn’t concerned because Hopper has been “saved by The Lord,” he explained. “Yep, that’s what he done,” the pastor said in a phone interview. “Most certainly. But he was mad and angry, both of them were on drugs. Yeah, that’s still in his past. It ain’t like we don’t know nothing about this. Like I said, the media and people are ignorant when they want to turn around and dramatize or hurt somebody.”
One parishioner who wished to remain anonymous said that it made her feel angry and betrayed by the church, “I trusted these people.” She later said that all the church would tell her is that “God had changed him.”
“This is a situation if that girls chooses…it takes two to tango, okay? So if that girl chooses to sleep with him, she’s just as guilty as he is,” the pastor said.
He went on to compare rape to shoplifting saying “So if you steal a piece of candy from a store because you were young and stupid and make stupid mistakes, alright, you’re still a thief even though now you’re 40-years-old?”
See the full news report below: