*While attending a New Hampshire church as a teen, a woman experienced a most egregious assault. Tina Anderson is finally coming into the light about her terrible past.
She told CBS’ “The Early Show on Saturday Morning” host Chris Wragge that as a teen, she was raped and impregnated by a church deacon, but the covered it up.
Now living in Arizona, Anderson was raped twice at the age of 15 by the then 38-year-old church member, Ernest Willis. He was arrested on sexual assault charged and the cover-up is under investigation.
According to Anderson, the former pastor, Chuck Phelps, responsible for the cover up, forced her to stand in front of the congregation for getting pregnant and to apologize to Willis’ wife. She was later sent to Colorado where she was forced to give the child up for adoption.
Thirteen years later, church officials are still blaming her for the incident; Anderson says they attempted to brainwash her to believe it was her fault. Now she’s afraid they may do the same thing to someone else.
On the other end of the spectrum, Phelps claims he covered up nothing and reported the rape to police and child welfare within a day of hearing the news. He claims to have advised the deacon to turn himself in.
“I never once got a call from the Concord police… They simply didn’t do anything. This is unconscionable, what’s happening to the Church here and to my reputation,” Phelps told reporters.
An initial investigation took place the same year, but was closed due to the police unable to locate the victim. After some prompting from sympathizers and online posts, the case was reopened and Anderson was located.
“I’ve sought to move one,” Anderson told Wragge. “There’s always something there, there’s always heartache there, but I’ve sought to kind of leave that and move on in my life.”
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