It was early in the month of June that I was contacted…and the contact was in the form of a police report sent via social media.
The file was, without a doubt, the most sickening document I had ever received.
It was the police report detailing the allegations that have been made against Bob Coy in the Miami New Times story.
There had been rumors of such for months, but nothing of substance that could justify repeating in a public forum.
Within a couple of days I’d received multiple copies of the document.
The people who sent me the document weren’t disgruntled former Calvary Chapel attendees, but people from inside the movement, including some pastors.
They wanted the story to come out and to come out as quickly as possible.
I sent the document to my advisors and some pastors I knew and trusted, including some in Calvary Chapel.
Everybody agreed that it should come out.
The question in my mind was how to gather all the possible information, write the story fairly, and above all else, protect the victim.
I decided I couldn’t do all of the above to the necessary standard and shelved the story.
That’s when I heard from Tim Elfrink, who wrote the story.
This was, in my mind, the proper way to proceed…with a local writer who could do investigative work on scene and have his work vetted by both attorneys and editors.
He did a fine job in my opinion.
He did so without the help of anyone who had wanted the story out so bad a few months before…when the rubber met the road, nobody would stand up and be counted.
If the allegations were true, the statistical probability that there may be other victims was high.
If the allegations were true, there was no way that this man should be able to go back into public ministry of any kind.
Somebody had to stand up.
Tim did and I’m going to as well.
This story has haunted me for a long time…
May the Lord bring righteousness and justice, grace and mercy in His measure, to all involved.
Update: My friend Christine Scheller just posted her story of reporting abuse in CC on Twitter…
1/ I’ve never publicly discussed the details of what the child and her mother told me about the @CalvaryChapel pastor I turned in to police in 2005. She was 12, developmentally delayed. She came to me for advice at a church service.
2/ Said he was pressuring her to use tampons so they could swim alone together, even though mom forbid it. Also kissing her on lips after told to stop, rubbing up against her breasts, paying her for massages, saying “I have a gun but don’t tell mom.”
3/ My husband was his friend, fixed his computer for him. It was full of photos of little blond girls like the two he always had nearby and those of the Amish families he vacationed with. Guy’s father had a second secret family, so backstory.
4/ Chuck Smith shot down everyone’s concern about this guy, including a board former / police chief whose wife had been molested as a child and expressed concern. No one would act.
5/ In collaboration with another police officer/board member I secretly taped the mother confirming behavior and separate concern by school counselors. On tape she says current pastor knew her 20 years, but never called to ask her what had happened.
6/No arrest was made because suspect intimidated the mother, his wife’s niece, and she wouldn’t corroborate her account to police. Tape may have been illegal, couldn’t be used as evidence. I still have the recording.
7/ However, police / DYFS told the mother that if she ever left her daughter alone with this pastor again, they would take her kids. I have her on tape saying that to me. After Chuck Smith died, he was demoted, then fired. He’s dead now.
8/ She was not grateful, didn’t care about the impact on my family. She was a single mother with cancer and this guy was offering financial and other support.
9/ After we left that church and went to one nearby, people started coming out of the woodwork telling me their stories and those of their children having been molested at Calvary Costa Mesa. That’s why I tipped off @CTmagazine in 2006. No internal change was forthcoming.
10/ And then nobody would go on the record except my husband, a staff pastor who had resigned over the vile cesspool of corruption. Chuck Smith dismissed him as a “disgruntled former employee” when in actuality he was a hero.
11/ I always tell people, pick up the phone if you suspect something, call police, let them do their jobs, and walk away. You cannot reform these corrupt institutions and trying to will destroy you and maybe your family too. /fin