Pastor Accused of Sexual Abuse in Chicago

Pastor Jerry L. Jones, Sr. of Apostolic Assembly Church of Lord Jesus Christ, was accused of sexually abusing three women. According to the victims, Jones would often grope them— touch himself — and make sexual remarks. The victims say that he groomed them for over 26 years.

After seeing a Facebook post detailing another case of sexual abuse at the hands of Jones, another victim decided to come forward. The victim — now age 21 — says he began abusing her a year after she became a church member. Which was around age 11. Two of the three victims to come forward were Jones’ nieces, ages 34 and 30. They were abused by Jones while in his care between the ages of 5 -15. Jones’ nieces say that they were afraid to come forward because they didn’t want to end up in foster care.

Jones’ nieces also mentioned that the defendant would use bible scriptures to convince the girls to give up their virginities. The former church member stated that he would fondle and kiss her, sometimes even pressing his body against hers. Reportedly he would often ask the victim to lie to her parents and sneak off to the library with him. At one point, she reported that Jones said, “he could not wait to have sex with her once she was 18”.

Walking Away free (Twice)

Moreover, the former church member that Jones is accused of sexually abusing, stated that the police statement was not her first time speaking on the matter. At the age of 17, she reported Jones’ alleged abuse to two church members. Following this, she was put on a “restoration plan” which punished the victim for 84 days and the defendant for 40 days. They opted to solve the matter internally.

If this information is true, then by law, the church acted in violation of the law. Under Illinois’ Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, clergy members are required to alert law enforcement or child welfare officials about any suspected abuse. According to Yahoo! news a request for comment was left at the church on Sunday, but so far no one has answered the request.

Pastor

Considering, the number of pastors who have been accused and convicted of sexually abusing children. As well as the fact that there are several victims with almost identical stories, this news is concerning. If Pastor Jones did indeed commit these acts, not only does he need to be put away, but he also needs to receive psychological help.

Jones’ case ruling

Unfortunately, Jones’ lawyer $50,000 bail was posted and has been released. Though the judge did make it clear that the defendant is not allowed near anyone under the age of 18. It still seems like Pastor Jones will be able to walk away from a free man. This news comes after Jones’ lawyer put into question the motives of the victims as the alleged abuse happened over 26 years ago.

Moreover, several articles have been published on the matter. Though some of them have made statements about Jones’ titles and his previous position as a firefighter. This seems like another case, where a man with a position of power is able to avoid consequences at the expense of the victims.

Final Thoughts

Despite having multiple allegations, all of which are similar. Jones seems to have gotten away with minimal charges. Not only did Jones’ lawyer seem to victim blame the women, but he also allowed for an alleged criminal to getaway. As previously mentioned, Jones is not allowed to contact anyone under the age of 18. Though if Jones has gotten away with it before, the fear is he will do it again.

Not to mention, the amount of trauma all three victims have to endure, knowing that the man who abused them for years is still able to walk free. This case just upholds the standard that men will always be believed over the accuser.

Opinion by Reginae Echols

Edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

FOX 32: Chicago pastor accused of sexually abusing three girls for years

News Break: Church pastor accused of sexually abusing 3 women when they were children

Yahoo! News: Church pastor accused of sexually abusing 3 women when they were children

Featured Image Courtesy of Kerttu’s Flickr Page-Creative Commons License

Inline Image Courtesy of Peter Miller’s Flickr Page-Creative Commons License

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