July 28, 2007

Know Them By Their Deeds: Methodist Volunteer Held in Molestation

According to The Arizona Republic, a youth fellowship volunteer was arrested for allegedly molesting a 13 year-old mentally retarded girl. Police reports and court records indicate that 39 year-old James Ward Chapman III admitted to inappropriate touching. As is generally the case with this sort of offense, it appears that this was not Chapman's first foray into sexual depravity and that the church had prior warnings about him.

Police indicated that Chapman has generated prior complaints of inappropriately hugging teen church members, and Rev. Dan Morley confirmed that teens have complained to him about Chapman. One cannot help but wonder why the church permitted Chapman to continue in the youth fellowship after receiving multiple complaints about inappropriate behavior.
"The complaint was that he was engaging in too much interaction with the youth . . . too much hugging," he said. "We discussed boundaries, and he was no longer working with the youth fellowship group."
The response of the church after receiving this sort of complaint was to transfer Chapman to the volleyball program. I wonder if their refusal to simply dismiss him (he was after all, a volunteer) had anything to do with the widespread delusion that Christians don't engage in immoral conduct? Now I wouldn't be surprised to see some irate parents sue the church.

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