Former Virginia Pastor Arrested, Charged With A number of Intercourse Crimes – Church Leaders

Picture courtesy of Baptist Press.

ABINGDON, Va. (BP) – A former pastor in Abingdon, Va., was charged with a number of baby sex crimes and arrested on Sept. 8.

Michael Canter, a 38-year-old lifelong resident of the county, was the pastor of Valley View Baptist Church.

Native police experiences state the alleged sexual assault occurred to an underage feminine member of the congregation at a church occasion.

The fees Canter faces embody taking indecent liberties with a baby, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and tried object sexual penetration.

He’s being held within the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail with out bond, in accordance with an area media report.

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Washington County Detective William Smarr, talking to WJHL Information in close by Johnson Metropolis, Tenn., stated the investigation started round two weeks in the past after the sufferer got here ahead, and there’s a chance there might be extra victims.

Smarr inspired the continued reporting of such incidents.

“I’ve advised my youngsters this earlier than — the monsters aren’t underneath the mattress,” he stated. “They’re on the market on this planet with us, they usually appear to be you and I.

“Please come ahead. We hear you. We see you. Once you come ahead with an accusation like this, we are going to consider you and work to ascertain the reality and to search out justice for you.”

Brandon Pickett, director of strategic initiatives & communications for the SBC of Virginia, supplied assist for these affected and clarification about Valley View Baptist’s standing within the conference.

“SBC of Virginia has no tolerance in any way for any type of sexual or bodily abuse,” Pickett stated. “Our prayers exit to the survivors, the group and the church. This church has not been lively with SBCV nor has given by way of the Cooperative Program since 2016.”

Jonathan Howe, vice chairman of communications with the Southern Baptist Conference Government Committee, supplied additional clarification concerning Valley View’s affiliation with the SBC.

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“Whereas this church could determine as a Southern Baptist church, they haven’t proven any intent to take part in our cooperative missions endeavor by giving by way of the Cooperative Program since 2016,” Howe stated.

If you’re/have been a sufferer of sexual abuse or suspect sexual abuse by a pastor, employees member or member of a Southern Baptist church or entity, please attain out for assist at 202-864-5578 or [email protected]. All calls are confidential.

Editor’s Word: In assist of the sixth strategic motion of Vision 2025 adopted by messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Assembly, Baptist Press will proceed to report each occasion of sexual abuse associated to Southern Baptist church buildings or leaders of which we’re made conscious.

This text initially appeared at Baptist Press.

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