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Oregon church leaders told rape victim she was to blame because she wore a tank top in front of pastor

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An Oregon pastor resigned earlier this year over “sexual immorality,” after four women accused him and two former church staffers and a member of an affiliated church of sexually assaulting them.

The women outlined the allegations last year in a 23-page letter that was given to board members at the Morning Star Community Church in Salem, and they sought legal counsel and hired a private investigator before asking Pastor Ken Engelking to resign, reported the Statesman Journal.

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The church cited sexual immorality as the reason for Engelking’s resignation in January, but the women told the newspaper the pastor and three other men had sexually assaulted and raped them for more than 20 years — and as recently as 2010.

They said church leaders, including Senior Pastor Scott Nelson, covered up the abuse and forced them into silence through patriarchal pressure.

One woman, who was in her 30s at the time, said a church leader blamed her for her own rape because she had been flirting and wearing a tank top.

A 15-year-old girl said she told Engelking that she hadn’t revealed her assault to her parents, and the pastor encouraged her to remain quiet.

Clergy members are required by law to report child abuse in Oregon, where the age of consent is 18 — so any sexual activity with a younger teen is considered abuse and must be reported.

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But neither Nelson or Engelking reported the incident involving the 15-year-old, which allegedly happened in 1994.

“We did fail in many ways in our follow up and in our care,” Nelson told the congregation Feb. 25. “We don’t control what people think about us, we simply put our eyes on Jesus and we continue doing ministry. Yeah, we’ve blown it, we’ve missed it, we failed.”

One of the board members is a Keizer police officer, but he did not report the abuse detailed in the letter received by church officials in April 2017.

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Sgt. Bob Trump continues to serve on the board of directors, but Marion County Commissioner Kevin Cameron resigned in May after an investigation into the letter’s allegations was launched.

Morning Star is an unaffiliated church that grew out of a Bible study in Nelson’s living room in 1982 and now offers three Sunday services in a 1,200-seat auditorium.

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Engelking served as pastor for 31 years until his resignation.


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2020 Election

If Democrats fight right-wing ‘fake news’ fire with fire, we all lose

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Democrats are increasingly worried about losing the 2020 presidential election to Donald Trump. The party is in seeming disarray from the botched Iowa caucuses and the failure of an "electable" frontrunner to emerge early in the primary season. Trump's fundraising and digital operations are humming, buoyed in part by his acquittal at the Senate trial which refused to remove him from office for soliciting foreign interference in the 2020 elections and obstructing the House's investigation of it.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Soledad O’Brien shames 1980 ‘Miracle on Ice’ hockey team for photo-op with Trump while wearing MAGA hats

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In an early Sunday morning tweet, award-winning journalist Soledad O'Brien expressed her dismay with members of the 1980 Gold Medal-winning Olympic hockey team for celebrating their historic win over the then-Soviet Union -- dubbed the "Miracle on Ice" -- with Donald Trump while wearing "Make America Great Again" hats.

According to O'Brien, seeing them hand Trump a photo-op filled her with "disappointment."

Taking to Twitter, she wrote, " Ugh.... so disappointed by the @1980MiracleTeam . I loved watching that game as a kid with my dad. Loved watching the movie with my kids. To see them on a stage, in maga hats—kinda crushing I have to say."

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2020 Election

‘Nice deflection, Mr President’: Adam Schiff busts Trump for trying to blame him for his leaky administration

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a shot at President Donald Trump on Sunday morning after the president tried to blame him for the leak describing a classified meeting lawmakers had with an intelligence official who warned the bipartisan group that the Kremlin is trying to help the president get re-elected.

As the president prepared to leave the White House for India, he told reporters that Schiff was to blame for the leaked meeting story, with the president insisting he personally had not been briefed on the report explosive report.

Responding to a 'Meet the Press" clip of the president making his accusation, Schiff tweeted back: "Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again."

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