For Raped Teen Forced to Apologize to Church, Justice

Attacker finally sentenced to up to 30 years in prison
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Sep 7, 2011 4:21 AM CDT
Updated Sep 7, 2011 6:30 AM CDT
Rape victim Tina Anderson hugs a supporter outside the Merrimack County Courthouse after Ernest Willis was found guilty of raping and impregnating his children's 15-year-old baby sitter.   (AP Photo/Alexander Cohn, Pool)

(Newser) – A woman raped as a teen who was forced by her church to apologize for her "immorality" is finally seeing justice served: Her attacker is behind bars. Former church member Ernest Willis, 52, has been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison for the assault that impregnated his teenage babysitter nearly 14 years ago, reports the Concord Monitor. The victim was forced at the age of 16 to stand in front of her New Hampshire congregation and apologize for the attack before she was ordered by the church and her Baptist mom to move in with a family thousands of miles away and give her infant daughter up for adoption.

"I felt completely humiliated. I felt like my life was over," said victim Tina Anderson, now 29. She believed "for years" what church leaders told her: That the "rapes were her fault and she must learn to forgive and forget," she said. Police finally tracked down Anderson and pressed the case against Willis after several websites attacked Concord Trinity Baptist Church for how leaders handled the case, reports the Daily Mail. Click for background.

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