A longtime Presbyterian minister from the city of Linden, New Jersey has been accused by his former church of sexually abusing depressed men as part of an "exorcism" ritual aimed at removing their "evil spirits."
MyCentralJersey.com reports that the Dr. Rev. William Weaver faces accusations from three different men who allege he abused them during times when they were depressed and in need of spiritual guidance.
One of the accusers, a 52-year-old man named William Weist, tells the website that he first met with Weaver when he was in his early 30s. He began taking counseling sessions with Weaver after the death of his fiancée's son, who had died in a boating accident in 1999.
At some point during their counseling, Weist says that Weaver lured him to an upstairs room and told him that he had figured out how to alleviate the depression he was experiencing: He would use oral sex to remove the "spirits" that were plaguing him.
Weist tells MyCentralJersey.com that Weaver was able to coerce him into this arrangement because he was feeling so depressed that he didn't have the will to put up any resistance.
"I was so scared with everything that I was dealing with," Weist said. "I just felt scared, it was very raw."
Earlier this year, Weaver gave up his ordination and membership in the Presbyterian Church shortly before he was scheduled to face his three accusers in an internal church trial. He is not facing any legal prosecution for his alleged crimes, and has since moved to a gated retirement community, MyCentralJersey.com reports.