Skip to comments.Former preacher charged for alleged sexual abuse of 2 children over 50 years ago
Posted on 10/15/2022 12:17:49 PM PDT by Morgana
ST LOUIS COUNTY (FOX 9) - An 80-year-old man from St. Louis County faces several charges Wednesday for the alleged sexual abuse of two children while a prominent church member during the 1970s.
According to court documents, Spencer Main, 80, was charged with two counts of sodomy of a child, four counts of indecent liberties, and one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct of a child for the alleged abuse of two girls from 1971-1975.
The two women, identified as "juvenile A" and "juvenile B" in the criminal complaint, say the alleged abuse took place between the ages of 8-12. The majority of the alleged abuse occurred in Main's home just north of Virginia in St. Louis County.
During this time, Main was an active member of the Plymouth Brethren church in Virginia and would "occasionally preach in church," the criminal complaint reads.
Both women told police that Main groomed them, which escalated into sexual acts. Juvenile B said Main would threaten her that if she told anyone about what was happening, she and her three younger siblings staying with him would not have anywhere to live, the complaint reads.
Juvenile A said the alleged abuse started as young as 3 or 4 years old. She said she did not want to participate in what Main wanted, but he would tell her that "God wanted her to do it," the complaint reads.
In the charges, juvenile A said the church removed her from Main's home in the mid-70s because they felt she was "becoming too much of a wife" to Main. However, he threatened to kill someone if she was not returned. Juvenile A told investigators she thinks she was only gone for about two days, according to the complaint.
(Excerpt) Read more at fox9.com ...
I am always Leary of charges 4 decades later.
It’s entirely possible they’re telling the truth. But how do you prove it now?
It is an English upper middle class intensely evangelical sort of neo-Anglican group. I was unaware they were any congregations in the United States.
In addition, how are the charges even being brought? Based on what evidence?
You know if it’s only one kid (now adult) coming forward that is one thing. However when there are more than one child? You have to believe where there is smoke there is fire.
Wanna bet now that this story has broke more victims will speak up? You know those two kids were not the only ones.
A former classmate of mine, a divorced man, is a minister in his Plymouth Brethren church, but the church is otherwise relatively conservative.
Amazing that they are still juveniles after 50 years.
“I am always Leary of charges 4 decades later.”
So am I. There is no doubt that he could have done it, but I think we need to get back to innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If all they have is uncorroborated testimony from 50 years ago, then that is not enough.
The story says they reported earlier and nothing was done
WHO ARE THE PLYMOUTH BRETHREN?
The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church was established in the early nineteenth century in Plymouth, southern England. We are a community of over 50,000 members across Australia, New Zealand, Europe, the Americas (including the Caribbean) and the UK.
We are deeply family-oriented and live, work and pray as ‘Brethren’ – a community of families held together by our common Christian belief.
Brethren believe that the Holy Bible is the true Word of God and that we are each called upon to live a life in accordance with its instructions. Plymouth Brethren members attend regular church services each Sunday to celebrate the Lord’s Supper and preach the Gospel.
There is a strong and generous charitable spirit among Brethren, with many willingly devoting their time contributing to philanthropic efforts to relieve the load on humanity.
Their denominational history began in Ireland in the early 19th century. John Nelson Darby was one of the original elders. Many evangelical denominations get their “pretrib” doctrine from the influence of Plymouth Brethren which held sway in evangelicalism of the 19th and early 20th centuries. George Muller was also one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren movement.
Plymouth Brethren have been all over the USA for a long time. They are not a large group, but they fly under the radar because their assemblies(Chapels) are not usually formal in organization. Normally there is no “pastor”(they reject the notion of clergy) but rather the elders take turns in preaching duties. They derive their their doctrine and organization from Scripture alone - claiming they are spiritual descendants of the Apostles.
My grandparents and parents were Plymouth Brethren. My uncle was a Plymouth Brethren missionary for over 60 years - and as is their custom, never raised funds, or solicited a single dollar for the ministry (following George Muller’s example).
The church apparently did remove one of the girls, but he threatened to kill someone and they sent her back after two days. If true, what a nightmare. At least he stopped molesting her after that.
Alcester Crowley’s parents were Plymouth Brethren. He was raised in the church and loathed it and became the most prominent satanist in England in the 20th century.
Sorry, apparently my answer is wrong. Please disregard.
Behind some of the drywall he found 30,000 (that's thirty thousand!!!!) 35mm slides were discovered carefully cataloged and dated. They were hideous pictures of naked children in sexual (definitely non-medical) poses.
Based on patient records and dates authorities were able to identify some of the victims but real recourse was pretty much impossible, the widow by this time was in a long-term care facility and essentially had no assets.
I grew up in this type of church and have been loosely affiliated many years as an adult. Many of the comments describing the history on this thread are fairly accurate.
For a small group they have been very impactful.
I think the small size and Biblical standards applied in conducting church make these churches less likely than most to foster abuse. They are all small. No one can really hide out in them. There is accountability.
Where I grew up there was a secretly homosexual pedophile who attended while going to a local college of optometry. He was attempting to groom 2 or 3 boys sexually but was caught. No criminal charges were brought because I think those boundaries had not been crossed. The elders tried to work with him to get treatment, help, counseling, but he eventually disappeared.
I ran into him at a small meeting in another city a few years later and saw that he was attempting to do the same thing in there. I asked for him and the elders to meet with me right on the spot. I laid on the table what I knew and it resulted in him not being involved with these boys any longer. (This is the only time I visited that church, but I heard that they had dealt with the matter. I was only 21 at the time, and wasn’t an adult when the earlier incident took place.)
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