Church Forced Girl to Apologize for Being Raped

Girl forced to apologize before being sent away
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Suggested by thebabbster
Posted Jun 1, 2010 9:50 AM CDT
A New Hampshire church sent one of its members away after she was allegedly raped and impregnated.   (©Steve Snodgrass)

(Newser) – When a 15-year-old girl was raped and impregnated in 1997, her New Hampshire church took justice into its own hands…by sending her to Colorado, thereby protecting her alleged rapist. Ernest Willis, 51, was finally arrested last month after the victim, now 28, read about similar cases and decided to come forward. After raping her twice, Willis offered to pay for an abortion—or punch her in the stomach to cause a miscarriage—when she became pregnant, the Concord Monitor reports.

When she declined and told the church what happened, pastor Chuck Phelps forced her “to confess my 1% guilt in the situation” by apologizing in front of the entire congregation, then shipped her out of state, she told police. Phelps notified authorities of the situation in 1997, but police couldn't locate her. “Without a victim, it makes it very difficult to have a case,” says a police officer.

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