Former Baptist pastor gets 10 years for molestation

April 11th, 2010 | Categories: Bad News, evil, News | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Former Baptist pastor gets 10 years for molestation

FRANKLIN, Ind. (ABP) — A former Southern Baptist pastor in central Indiana has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for molesting a 15-year-old church member in a relationship that began with him counseling the girl because she was not getting along with her mother.

Daniel Moore, 50, former pastor of New Whiteland Baptist Church near Franklin, Ind., pleaded guilty March 15 to felony child solicitation and sexual misconduct charges in exchange for a 10-year sentence. A Johnson County circuit court judge approved the plea bargain at a sentencing hearing April 8.

The girl’s mother, who is not being identified to protect the privacy of her daughter, said she was satisfied with the sentence because she didn’t want to put the now soon-to-be 17-year-old through the trauma of a jury trial.

In a victim’s impact statement, the mother said Moore started counseling the girl at her request. When she told the pastor she was monitoring who her daughter talked to and texted through her online account, the mother said Moore gave the girl a SIM card for her phone from another account.

After confronting both Moore and his wife about inappropriate notes, the mother said she received a call from the girl’s school in March 2009 reporting she was seen with a suspicious-looking elderly man. Searching her daughter’s room, the mother said she found other notes from the defendant to her daughter, including one that said, “I love you with the purest love of God.”

After going to the police, the woman, who had been an active member of New Whiteland Baptist Church for nine years, said just two church members called to see how they were doing. After that, she said, there was no more contact.

Entering the courtroom April 8, the mother said she was surprised how many people from the former church were there to support their former pastor. At the end of the hearing, she said, Moore’s stepdaughter said to her daughter, “I hope you rot in hell,” for her role in assisting in the prosecution of the case.

During her testimony, the mother said before two years ago, she probably would have been speaking in Moore’s defense. She worked with him in vacation Bible school, traveled with him on mission trips, accompanied him on visitation and witnessing to flood victims and was a leader in Sunday school. “I trusted him completely,” she said, which made his betrayal even worse.

The worst moment, she said, came when a detective came to her house to remove sheets from her daughter’s bed, and they came back testing positive with Moore’s DNA.

The mother said none of the defendant’s family or supporters testified at the hearing. Only she and her husband, the girl’s stepfather, took the stand.

In his letter to Judge K. Mark Loyd, the husband said he believed that Moore is a sexual predator who misused the Bible to seduce a child. He said while his faith in God has never wavered, the episode has shaken his faith in organized religion.

Not in attendance was Ernest James, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in nearby Greenwood, Ind. James and other leaders of the church sent a letter to Judge Loyd filed March 24 in anticipation of Moore’s sentencing hearing.

Church leaders informed the judge that, at their invitation, Moore had worshiped among them for several months “quietly, humbly and essentially anonymously, as it is his desire to avoid drawing attention to himself and for his fear of embarrassment to the church.”

The letter described Moore as “tearfully repentant, remorseful, regretful and ashamed.” It said church staff and deacons pledged to help him in “continued healing and restoration” and to act as a group of support and accountability “both during and after his incarceration.”

James did not respond to a request for comment.

  1. sarah
    April 12th, 2010 at 10:27
    Reply | Quote | #1

    I’m trouble by the fact that the girl never testified. It seems the supposed victim never got a chance to give her side of the story. I want to know what SHE had to say. Was she really a victim? They put this guy behind bars based on what her snooping mother said. Priests being assholes do piss me off, but statutory rape laws piss me off more.

    • Ian
      April 12th, 2010 at 10:55
      Reply | Quote | #2

      Should a 50 year old (who’s acting in a position of authority in her life) be allowed to sleep with a 15 year old?

      Seems inappropriate at the least.

      • Greenworld
        April 12th, 2010 at 13:28
        Reply | Quote | #3

        Actually, that would be pretty kinky..
        Naw, kidding. That’s fucked up.

    • SpoonmanWoS
      April 13th, 2010 at 18:25
      Reply | Quote | #4

      I won’t disagree that there are some fucked up laws out there: such as a neighbor of mine who, when he was 18 was found to have had sex with his 17 year old girlfriend. He went to jail and has been labeled a sexual offender and that will follow him for life.

      That being said…She was 15. Yes, she was a victim. I don’t need to hear what she said, she was a victim. This is a 50 year old man who abused his position of authority to coerce a teenager into bed. There is absolutely nothing this girl can say that would change her being a victim…even if she claims it was “voluntary”.

      • sarah
        April 14th, 2010 at 15:27
        Reply | Quote | #5

        What I have to say is independent of the case in this article. It is not up to you, Spoonman, nor anyone else, to speak for another person, whether they are 15 or 80. If someone says something was voluntary (independent of what this specific situation was), then it was voluntary. You cannot put words into other people’s mouths, and you cannot speak for them. If you tell someone in a consensual relationship that they are a “victim,” and that nothing they can say will change that, you are projecting your desires onto that person. You are telling that person what to do with their body, which is none of your damn business. Metaphoric as it may be, that is rape. She owns her own damn body and can do what she wants with it.

        • SpoonmanWoS
          April 15th, 2010 at 18:28
          Reply | Quote | #6

          No, I’m sorry, you’re completely wrong. No 15 year old is capable of understanding that their pastor, who she’s been trained to trust implicitly since she popped from her mother’s womb, could possibly be using her. She can SAY she consented all she wants, but that don’t make it true. She was coerced into sleeping with this man, there is no contradicting that in any way.

  2. Michael M
    April 14th, 2010 at 12:44
    Reply | Quote | #7

    @ Sarah,

    In the article they stated that he pled guilty and that this was settled before going to the jury. That’s why the girl didn’t need to testify. It seems like the evidence against this guy was good enough on its own. I also assume that when they say they found his DNA on her bed, they weren’t talking about hair or skin.

  3. Justin
    April 15th, 2010 at 00:29
    Reply | Quote | #8

    @ michael m

    the article states that he plead guilty, yes, but the article also states that she was seen with the (suspicious looking elderly-man) pastor at her school, and his DNA was found on her bedsheets. It never directly states how long this relationship was going on, yet from that information one can glean the fact that she was comfortable enough with meeting him at her school, and having him over at her parent’s house (in her bedroom.)

    This is a case where “special circumstances” should apply. “Special circumstances,” meaning that, as far as the evidence in the article points out, the relationship between them was absolutely concentual, NO ONE FORCED ANYONE TO DO ANYTHING THEY DIDN’T WANT TO…now here is the big part that everyone reading needs to understand…in the relationship between the two. The entire point of this case should be that the MOTHER herself feels that HER rights as a mother to have her child not be part of a relationship of that magnitude were violated, and therefore, SHE should be involved in the case, this should have nothing to do with the daughter at all, since as the evidence points out clearly, at least in this article, that the relationship between the pastor and the daughter was completely consensual.

    of course…what judge would allow a case of a mother’s rights for her daughter not to be violated in the mother’s eyes to be heard? not a judge in this century…so of course, this turned into a case about a pastor “violating” a 15 year old girl. THE GIRL NEEDS TO TESTIFY IN ORDER FOR THIS TO HOLD UP IN COURT!!!!!!! he should not have taken the plea bargin.

    • SpoonmanWoS
      April 15th, 2010 at 18:32
      Reply | Quote | #9

      Well, I’m glad to see that the pastor’s flock has shown up to defend him. Good for you, Sarah and Justin, you’re backing a child molester just like a good christian should! This has nothing to do with the mother, aside from the mother pushing the issue. Yes, at 15, the mother DOES have a say in what her daughter does or does not. She has a responsibility as well to protect her from sexual predators like this pastor. She can jump up and down, scream ’til she’s blue in the face that she engaged in consensual sex…that don’t make it true. She was coerced by a man she’d been trained to obey unquestioningly since the day she was born into having sex with him…He didn’t need to physically hold her down and force himself into her…he glided in easily on the word of the lord.

  4. Justin
    April 15th, 2010 at 00:38

    I truly feel that if all the evidence in this case were applied and given before a court and jury, the pastor would be innocent.

    amendment -
    just to clarify though, I very much dislike pastors :)

  5. Michael M
    April 15th, 2010 at 15:56

    Wow, Justin… you need to calm down a bit. I was merely pointing out the fact the Pastor was the one who made the decision not to take his case to trial and this not to have the girl testify in court. My statement about the evidence is obviously my assumption that whatever evidence they had was strong enough to convince him and/or his lawyers that they would not win the case. This is only an article discussing the case and I’m sure it isn’t presenting all of the facts/evidence but based on it alone it seemed as if the odds were not in the Pastor’s favor to win.

    On a side-note, forcing doesn’t always have to be physical, it can be through manipulation and just because someone doesn’t put up a fight doesn’t mean that the sex was consensual. In any case, even if she was madly in love with him, it’s still statutory rape as she was a minor, not to mention grossly inappropriate for someone in his position as it goes against all the values that he supposedly stands for as he cheated on his wife and had sex out of wedlock. I also don’t know if parents in America technically have the legal right to decide who their children get into a relationship with and I’m pretty sure that any laws which would allow a parent the ability to press charges in regards to something done to or with their child can only do so on behalf of the child and not as if they are the illegality was perpetrated against the parent.

    I really don’t know what point you are trying to make here, but maybe you should clarify because you sound suspiciously like you are advocating pedophilia…

  6. Justin
    April 15th, 2010 at 20:33

    haha, in no way am I advocating pedophilia. sorry if that came across that way.
    what I’m trying to argue for is that this case, as represented in the article, should be between the mother of the girl and the pastor. For the moment, ignoring the fact that yes, he did go against his own vows of marriage (depending on if they have an open relationship or not) and especially the vows of his religion. AND YOU FUCKING WASTE OF REMEDIAL BRAIN CELLS SPOONMAN…for the record, I HATE EVERY FUCKING ASPECT OF EVERY FUCKING RELIGION…I in no way support pastors, what I support is the right for people to sleep with who they so deem to be worthy, in there eyes, to sleep with consensually. What we need to know is that if the girl herself CHOSE to have a relationship with this man, then that was HER CHOICE.

    Now michael, my point is this; it is a VERY sticky situation between figuring out whether or not a mother’s view of how her daughter should live should outweigh the girl’s own view of how she should live. According to how the law is now, and has pretty much always been, since the girl is 15 years old, we, as the people of America, should view her as a small child incapable of making decisions for herself until she is over the age of 18. This arbitrary age range is bullshit. PLENTY OF PEOPLE PAST THE AGE OF 18 MAKE TERRIBLE DECISIONS!!!!! Hell, some kids below the age of 10 might make more rational decisions than some 30 year olds. My point is that statutory rape needs to be dealt with by law and by the courts on “special circumstances.” The courts and the law itself need to take into account EVERY aspect of the case before they judge, not just if the girl is below the age of consent. Now if, for instance, the girl was manipulated by this pastor, then that should BE PUT BEFORE THE COURT!!!!!!!!!!! The court needs to hear all the details, otherwise this is a fucking sham case, much like a lot of cases are.

  7. Justin
    April 15th, 2010 at 20:38

    oh, and spoonman, don’t call me a fucking christian.
    i’m not, i follow no organized bullshit

  8. Michael M
    April 16th, 2010 at 11:02


    It looks like I owe you an apology as I had my facts wrong on one point: Pedophilia is only described as someone who has sex with someone who is prepubescent. In this case, I would assume that does not apply being as she’s 15. That being said, I think that the argument you use to defend his having sex with a 15 year old, cuts both ways. Basically your argument is stating that anyone who is post-pubescent is capable of deciding whether or not they can sleep with someone more than 5 years their senior, which is setting the same kind of arbitrary limit that you rail against. If you ask me, I think that the time period when a person’s sexual drive is most out of control and when they have little life-experience is not the time to leave it up to them to decide whether or not to sleep with a middle-aged person or not, but that’s just my opinion. I agree with you that people’s intelligence and ability to make appropriate decisions are not always directly correlated with a specific age, but it’s a bit of a logical jump to say that the courts cannot have a predetermined line that people cannot cross if for no other reason than in the interest of clarity. Look at cases where children are tried as adults in criminal matters to see how flexible the law is given the situation though. This is not some hard and fast rule that can never be ignored, but the circumstances surrounding the offense are crucial to deciding whether the law could look the other way.

    Besides that, no mention is made in the article of how the girl felt about the relationship so unless you have more information than what is written about here, you are merely drawing your own conclusion that it was consensual. Even if it was though, like I said before it doesn’t matter; the pastor knew the law and decided to break it, and the article definitely shows that he feels what he did was wrong as it says that he has been described as “tearfully repentant, remorseful, regretful and ashamed.” The sheer fact of the matter is, like I said before, is that he is the one admitting his guilt and choosing not to go to trial. The girl may not be testifying in open court, but I guarantee you that she has told her story to lawyers on both sides and her parents. I really don’t see where you are drawing the conclusion from that if this case went to trial, the pastor would get off so maybe it would help if you explained your reasoning behind it a bit more.

    As for your main point that the case should be between the pastor and the mother, I don’t think that this is how the law works. I’m certainly no legal expert but from my understanding, the legal offense was in no way against the mother herself as she doesn’t have a LEGAL right to choose who her daughter sleeps with. What she is able to do as a legal guardian is press charges on her daughter’s behalf, but the pastor has not done anything legally against the mother herself. More to the point here, you seem to be taking issue with the defendant’s right to settle his case. He made the decision not to take a gamble on a trial, not the court, or the girl’s mother. My reading of that is that most likely did not have a strong enough case.

  9. Ian
    April 25th, 2010 at 15:24

    Nice, so if a 5 year old wants to have sex with me, and I’m down.. I guess everything’s legit, right?

  10. Neutral Views
    April 26th, 2010 at 11:47

    when i was 15, i perfectley understood sex and what it meant.

    if a 15 year old wanted to have sex with me now, fine by me i’d probably do it…