A church in Thornton, Colorado has come under fire after court documents revealed this week that it failed to report a pastor’s sexual abuse to police because it believed the problem could be solved with “biblical counseling.”
Local news station KDVR reports that Pastor Robert Wyatt repeatedly had sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl who was parishioner at the Agape Bible Church in Thornton. What’s even more disturbing about this case, however, is the fact that court documents show church officials knew about Wyatt’s sexual abuse and did nothing.
According to an arrest affidavit for Wyatt, both head pastor Darrell Ferguson and the 12-year-old girl’s adoptive parents agreed that it would be best to not go to the police because they were concerned about what would happen to Wyatt.
Instead, the affidavit claims, the church and the parents agreed that “biblical counseling they would receive through the church was sufficient” to fixing the problem.
The officer who interviewed the girl’s adoptive father said that the man “made it clear his interest was in protecting the church and its reputation more than protecting his daughter.”
Police only learned about the pastor’s abuse because another parishioner told them about it after being disgusted by the church’s inaction.