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Church vows to support accused pastor (accused of sex with 13 y/o girl)
Charlotte Observer ^ | 12/2/2009 | Mark Boone

Posted on 12/02/2009 8:01:30 AM PST by markomalley

LOWELL -- Members of a Gaston county church are vowing to support their pastor after he was accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl.

Keith Pettis, pastor of New Life Christian Center, was arrested in August on several charges, including statutory rape, taking indecent liberties with a child, and first-degree sex offense with a child.

The girl, now 14 and living in another N.C. town, said the abuse started in August 2006 and continued until March of this year, according to Gaston County Police.

Pettis, 42, was surrounded by parishioners and his family Tuesday evening as the church held a rally for their spiritual leader.

"I believe in his innocence," said Michelle Brown, one of about 40 supporters who attended the rally. "I don't believe that he did this."

Pettis, who was released on $50,000 bond after his arrest, is due in court on Thursday. He declined to speak with reporters Tuesday evening.

His older brother, Winifred Pettis, said the church saw a drop in attendance immediately after the pastor's arrest but more worshipers now attend weekly services.

"I'm his brother. I know his character," the elder Pettis said. "I raised him, that's not in him."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: pastor; pervertpastor; sexoffender
Not to be confused with this Gaston County pastor
1 posted on 12/02/2009 8:01:34 AM PST by markomalley
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To: markomalley
"I raised him, that's not in him."

That is not the question!!

2 posted on 12/02/2009 8:03:55 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: markomalley

Now, if they’d only let pastors marry, we wouldn’t have this problem.


3 posted on 12/02/2009 8:04:09 AM PST by Houghton M.
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To: markomalley
Well, this sort of thing would never happen if it weren't for that clergy celibacy rule...

Oh, hang on, waitaminnit here...

On second thought, fuhgeddaboutit.

4 posted on 12/02/2009 8:04:49 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (Whisper sweet words of epistemology in your ear and speak of the pompitous of love. SteveMillerBand)
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To: markomalley
 
Not to be confused with this Gaston County pastor
 
How about a famous film director. Can we confuse him with this guy?


5 posted on 12/02/2009 8:07:55 AM PST by Responsibility2nd (Ack, is that the site with "Responsibility2nd"? Some weirdo. ...)
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To: Responsibility2nd
Can we confuse him with this guy?

His parishoners might not appreciate it, but, hey, go for it.

6 posted on 12/02/2009 8:10:25 AM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: markomalley
Is there solid evidence that abuse occurred, or is this a she-said-he-said type affair?

Regardless, the pastor should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

7 posted on 12/02/2009 8:11:33 AM PST by pnh102 (Regarding liberalism, always attribute to malice what you think can be explained by stupidity. - Me)
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To: markomalley; All

The church is called “New Life Center.”

I hate this postmodern churches.

No wonder they unquestionably believe him.


8 posted on 12/02/2009 8:16:31 AM PST by rwfromkansas ("Carve your name on hearts, not marble." - C.H. Spurgeon)
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To: markomalley

This drives me nuts...

I have kids about the same age as this girl. Their mother and/or I know their whereabouts and WHO they are with 100% of the time.
I understand that young teens sometimes cry wolf, but it seems that it would be pretty easy to figure out whether true or not.
I really dislike when they publish articles like this and give no facts. -’..pastor is ACCUSED..’
Either he spent lots of ‘alone’ time with her or not.


9 posted on 12/02/2009 8:38:00 AM PST by joethedrummer
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To: rwfromkansas

Might be Assembly of God...Jimmy swaggarts church. They have some great congregations but have also had some noted ministers fall (my former brother-in law among them). But this is the first I have seen involving a child.


10 posted on 12/02/2009 8:46:06 AM PST by Roamin53 (Islamists kill more people each year in the name of religion than the Inquisition did in 350 years!)
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To: Roamin53

It is just a little black church in North Carolina with one employee.


11 posted on 12/02/2009 8:53:21 AM PST by ansel12 (Scozzafava/Romney 2012)
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To: markomalley

Society hates to admit that the most likely (in oroder) abusers are as follows:

Fathers— asa in father married to mothers (not priests)
Teachers
Coaches
Finally — the priests.

So if a father teaches history, coaches basketball or football or an intramural team — they are far more likely to be a sexual abuser than any priest.

Statistics bear this out.


12 posted on 12/02/2009 9:29:24 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Oops
as in fathers married to mothers (not priests)


13 posted on 12/02/2009 9:31:38 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley

if it was a 13 y.o. boy I wonder if they would react the same way


14 posted on 12/02/2009 9:51:34 AM PST by houston1
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To: pnh102
I have to repeat what you wrote:

Regardless, the pastor should be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Accusations of sexual abuse are odd -- people almost always assume that the person is guilty. My uncle was accused of sexual abuse by his daughter's school psychiatrist. Turns out it wasn't true, though his reputation was tarnished.

Let's assume that people are innocent, especially when it's something so heinous as this, and when there are only accusations and no knowledge of real evidence. This wouldn't be the first situation where a girl makes something up to hurt someone she hates....

15 posted on 12/02/2009 10:31:57 AM PST by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: Theo

“Regardless, the pastor should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. “

That’s only in court. If a man walks up and shoots you, you do not have to assume he is innocent of the crime.


16 posted on 12/02/2009 10:40:41 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Salvation

Girls are indeed most likely to be abused by a male relative overall (stepfather included in that).

Boys are more likely to be abused by an unrelated male.

For girls, Mom’s boyfriend or New Hubby is far higher statistically to abuse an underage girl, than a biological father.


17 posted on 12/02/2009 10:49:03 AM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: AppyPappy

The thing is, we have no evidence that he is guilty of what he’s accused of.

What if someone accused you of sexual abuse? Wouldn’t you want to be assumed innocent until SOME sort of evidence was offered?

Accusations of sexual abuse are nasty things ...


18 posted on 12/02/2009 10:58:38 AM PST by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: Theo

“What if someone accused you of sexual abuse? Wouldn’t you want to be assumed innocent until SOME sort of evidence was offered?”

I am smart enough to know that accusations are not easily made. If the pastor was never alone with the girl, he has nothing to worry about. That’s why I am never alone with kids or females.


19 posted on 12/02/2009 11:02:18 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: AppyPappy

Did you jump all over the Duke lacrosse players accused of sexually abusing a woman? Did you assume that the accusations against them were true?

Or did you withhold judgment until you had more information?


20 posted on 12/02/2009 11:05:59 AM PST by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: Theo

The Duke players placed themselves in a position where the accusation could be made. Pastors are supposed to know better.

If your child’s babysitter had an accusation against them, would you ignore it?


21 posted on 12/02/2009 11:14:18 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: AppyPappy

In that case you would have evidence. Is there evidence here?


22 posted on 12/02/2009 11:17:33 AM PST by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: Republic of Texas; pnh102; joethedrummer; Salvation; houston1; Theo; AppyPappy
In that case you would have evidence. Is there evidence here?

Would people be asking these very valid questions if this was a 30 year old accusation against a Catholic priest?

23 posted on 12/02/2009 11:26:51 AM PST by markomalley (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus)
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To: Republic of Texas

If a policeman accuses you of running a stop sign, where is the evidence?


24 posted on 12/02/2009 11:39:43 AM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: AppyPappy

Of course I wouldn’t ignore it. But I wouldn’t publicly defame her if there were no physical/actual evidence to support the charges.


25 posted on 12/02/2009 11:45:33 AM PST by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: Theo

And what physical evidence is sufficient to make you suspicious of a person watching your child?

Ignoring an accusation because evidence is difficult to obtain is myopic. My experience has been that these accusations are accurate. If you watch “To Catch A Predator” a few times, you will realize that these people exist in vast numbers.


26 posted on 12/02/2009 12:06:05 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Republic of Texas

“He declined to speak with reporters Tuesday evening.”

I would be screaming of my innocence at every turn.


27 posted on 12/02/2009 12:07:35 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: AppyPappy

I’ve lived that one. Challenged a ticket for running a red light. My word against the Cop. No evidence either way. GUILTY!


28 posted on 12/02/2009 12:40:44 PM PST by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: AppyPappy

Seriously, can you not understand what I’m saying?

I’m saying that while we should not dismiss accusations of sexual abuse, we should not be quick to assume that someone is guilty simply because they’ve been accused of it.

I can’t explain it any more clearly than that.

I would hope that if someone accuses you of sexual abuse, others would not be so quick to assume that you truly are guilty. For the record, AppyPappy, I would not be quick to assume that you are guilty.


29 posted on 12/02/2009 1:16:40 PM PST by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: AppyPappy
If a man walks up and shoots you, you do not have to assume he is innocent of the crime.

If a man walks up and shoots you, you may not remain alive long enough to assume he's innocent of the crime. ;)


30 posted on 12/02/2009 1:36:14 PM PST by BluesDuke (Silence is golden. Duct tape is platinum.)
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To: AppyPappy
If a man walks up and shoots you, you do not have to assume he is innocent of the crime.

If a man walks up and shoots you, you may not remain alive long enough to assume he's innocent of the crime. ;)

31 posted on 12/02/2009 1:36:49 PM PST by BluesDuke (Silence is golden. Duct tape is platinum.)
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To: markomalley

Having known of girls who lied about this sort of thing. We have to be very very careful that we have more evidence than just her say so. Too many innocent men are being marked for life as “sex offenders” these days for crimes they did not commit or petty things that should not be registered as a sex offense. I knew a young man who mooned his principal.. she in turn called the police, charged him with indecent exposure, and he had to register as a sex offender. I also knew a man whose teenaged daughter had mental problems and accused him of molesting her because he refused to buy her something.. because this happened on an army base, it automatically became a federal case, which is handled more differently, with stricter penalties. I’m not saying this kind of thing doesn’t happen, but we have to be careful not to give in to automatically believing a child never lies.


32 posted on 12/02/2009 1:37:18 PM PST by Awestruck (Now if we can only get the rest of the "republican" leaders to stand up to the liberals.)
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To: AppyPappy

Please see comment #32.


33 posted on 12/02/2009 1:54:07 PM PST by Theo (May Rome decrease and Christ increase.)
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To: HamiltonJay

That’s good to know.


34 posted on 12/02/2009 4:18:51 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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