“I should meet many people who do not know anyone personally who has been raped or molested as a child. But I can't remember seeing a newspaper without a rape or molestation charge in it somewhere, and when I ask groups how many people know someone personally with a history of molestation, almost always, every hand in the room goes up.” ― Anna Salter, Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders link
Update 8/21/14 2:15 PM
It appears that this post and your comments may have had an effect on the Brydon family. This was posted this morning. Let us pray that their will be a continued softening of the rhetoric.
Pedophilia is one of the most devastating crimes that can be committed. Its effects last a lifetime. Just this week we received an email from a man who still remembers his molestation at the hands of his pastor at the age of 9.
It is done in the dark, without the advantage of witnesses. The pedophile is often outgoing and charming. S(he) pretends to have a love for children and can even profess a deep religious faith. When s(he) is finally caught, his friends are incredulous. He was a pillar of the community. He may have been a beloved coach who is revered in college athletics who ran charities to help the disadvantaged. The pedophile can be married and have children who adore him because he is adept at hiding his perversity. Think Jerry Sandusky.
The common reaction to an arrest is usually shock and disbelief. "He was the best neighbor." "She was an awesome teacher who gave extra time to helping her students achieve." Deep down inside, some cannot imagine how they could have missed the signs.
Here is a brief history of the events in the current Greg Kelley conviction.
*Trigger Warning: Graphic History
A little boy allegedly told his mom that Greg put "pee pee in his mouth." The mother reported this to the police who investigated. Kelley, a recently graduated high school football player, was tried and convicted of the offense and sentenced to 25 years in jail. He rejected a pretrial plea agreement which would have given him probation and listing on the sex offender list for life. After his trial, he agreed to waive his right to appeal and accepted a 25 year sentence, avoiding a possible 40 year sentence. He had to sign an agreement that stated he was guilty of the crime. Here is one link to the case and a second.
Here is a link that may surprise you. This descriptor by a child is common.
This blog has consistently emphasized our concerns with pedophilia and the church. So, for some time, except for this letter to the little superhero, we have been content to let justice takes its course in this situation since it did not seem to involve the church. However, it has become apparent that some of the people leading the effort to exonerate Greg Kelley are involved in the evangelical church. Also, a lead pastor in Generations Church appears to be part of the effort to exonerate Kelley. That church has been the site of "Freedom Fest" in support of Kelley. Perhaps this church is not aware of the number of churches in the US which have been involved in covering up for pedophiles or they may have been reticent to use the church for an event to raise money for a convicted pedophile.
Before I begin, let me state a few things.
- I have no problem with a group of people who believe, and wish to prove, that their convicted friend is innocent. We admire groups such as The Innocence Project which are dedicated to exonerating wrongly convicted individuals. Proving the innocence of the convicted is a noble endeavor.
- However, I also admire those who have fought long and hard to get churches and courts to understand the pervasiveness of pedophilia in the church. This blog started after your hosts watched such a scenario play out in a local church. We admire and support the work of Billy Graham's grandson, Boz Tchividjian and his organization called GRACE as well as SNAP which are to be commended for their staunch advocacy for the conviction of pedophile pastors and priests.
- I equally respect those who accept the verdict of guilty in the Greg Kelley trial. I am one of those. I usually believe claims of child sex abuse when brought by children (yes-I know of the McMartin case, et al). I am also a believer in the jury system, as imperfect. as it is. That does not mean that I am right. Once again, pedophilia is a deed performed in the darkness and only God fully knows what has occurred.
- When I became aware of the group that was supporting Greg Kelley, I was concerned that there could be a fair number of underage teens who were tweeting and representing the community. I advised the group, via some tweets, that they should password protect themselves and to be cautious with whom they interact on Twitter. Two days ago, due to the content of the Tweets, I was convinced I was dealing with junior high school aged children. However, I have since been informed that the some of the people, such as Megan Brydon and Jake Brydon, who have been tweeting, are adults and continued to interact with them.
Once again, the TWW readership can see that my first and foremost concern in all of this is the protection of children.
This post will not be a retrial of the Greg Kelley conviction. I leave that in the hands of the folks at #FightForGK and the prosecutors. I will be closely watching comments to make sure that the conversation does not head in that direction.
Instead, I want to examine the process which the avowed *Christians* are using in their fight to exonerate Kelley. I will do this via screen shot of tweets and emails that have been posted online. The #FightForGK folks are claiming they are being "slandered." I tweeted the link to a post that I wrote on slander, etc. but received no response from the few people that I have identified as adults. I also offered, on two occasions, to post any evidence of *slander* and except for one example, which I will post, they offered me nothing else. A tweet, written by an individual that I do not know nor do I know their religious beliefs, appeared to accuse the church pastor of posting this outside the church. The church did not do so.
I would also like to point out that
Megan Brydon Meagan Agnew (Update ed. note 8/21) apologized for calling some folks "moron" in another tweet.
Years ago, I went to a pastor to help me deal with an issue in my life. He said something that I recall on an almost daily basis.
God is more interested in the process you take to get to the end result.
Here is my chief concern.
Some of the folks in this disagreement seem to not only disregard those who support Greg Kelley's conviction but also appear to accuse them of being liars and of "adding to the scars on Jesus' back."
This post is directed to the adult Christians in this fight. I did speak with Pastor Brydon on 7/28 and believe I understand his concerns.
1. It is perfectly reasonable for people to accept a jury's verdict of guilty in a pedophile case.
2. Calling a 4 year old victim a liar is wrong. In fact, statistics indicate that child victims rarely lie regarding such assaults.
3. Amy Smith, besides being a representative of SNAP and an expert on pedophilia in the church, is a Christian. #FightForGK may choose not to listen to her but they cannot deny her expertise and her faith. She has sacrificed much to bring pedophiles and those who protect them to justice.
4. If anyone knows who the "real perp" is, then report it. It is your moral and spiritual duty to do so.
Pastor Brydon told me that he believes Greg Kelly is innocent. He also told me that if Greg Kelley is found innocent, they will have the real molester in jail in 30 days. I would hope that Pastor Brydon would report his suspicions immediately to the police.
5. Telling half a truth is a lie.
Some claim that the police never interrogated Kelley without mentioning that Kelley refused to be interrogated by the police which was his legal right.
6. Some have made the Leander community, albeit unintentionally, seem like the worst place in the world to live.
Some claim that the police force, the DA, the jurors, etc. are deceitful. Why would anyone move there? The jails must be full of innocent people. I said as much to Pastor Brydon when we spoke. I have never heard a pastor speak in such a fashion regarding his chosen community. Who would choose to raise a child in Leander? Can one imagine the bullying that could go on in the schools if one is not a *star* football player?
7. When a church takes sides, it can have a chilling effect on the willingness of victims to testify. It is hard enough to speak about this unspeakable crime. Imagine how this little boy will feel about churches as he grows up. A church took a stand against him.
The church supposedly had people wear teal ribbons to show support for the victim during their GK festival. However, that got lost in the taped mouths and orange T-shirts. I asked the pastor when he would hold a similar rally for the little boy but he did not answer me.
9. The name of Jesus is being "used in vain" by Christians.
Perhaps this has upset me the most. I want you to carefully read who was the intended target of the next tweet by a member of the Brydon family. Watchkeep is the Twitter handle of Amy Smith who has done so much in standing up for the victims of pedophilia in the church.
I want to keep on this subject because it is vital to an understanding of how Christians can misuse the name of Jesus. I am going to make an assumption that anyone who uses the name of Christ and expresses a belief in Satan would consider themselves a Christian.
The following email was written by Dustin Brimberry who, until a couple of days ago, claimed he worked for Dell. Now, apparently, he is living in a Turkish romance drama. The reason I mention his place of employment is to help our readers to see that this is not an uneducated man.
Please see what he sent to Amy Smith in an email. When she asked him to not send further emails, he did not comply. I ask our regular readers to employ your "discernment skills" as you read this letter.
M. Dustin Brimberry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Let me start off by saying that I 100% support the victims that have been molested (and I believe they probably were), that is not in question. I would never support a predator, I have the facts on my side and we need to catch the actual person that did this, the longer we wait, the more likely that person is to strike again because Greg Kelley is not some monster and he did not do this! Do your research, the police destroyed communication between themselves and CPS, which the judge partially blocked at trial.
Greg is also a victim of a corrupt and evil DA, and police department. Do you really think a church would support Greg if he did this? NO. The pastor of the church was not even taking sides in the matter until he saw the real facts of the case with his own eyes. As soon as he was presented with the facts that were suppressed at trial, he quickly got on board because he saw the injustice of this whole thing.
I am extremely disappointed in your recent comments regarding the Greg Kelley case. I know that you probably published the letter from the Cedar Park Chief of Police to be used to try and smear the #FightforGK movement that is quickly gaining momentum, but that is about to backfire on you.
I love how enemies of the true and living God (though they pretend they are not), play right into his hands when they partner with satan. God loves to mock and ridicule satan, satan is always so arrogant that he always overplays his hand. That is exactly what our and all the others who clearly have no understanding of the GK case and have continued to falsely accuse an innocent young man. Your day along with all those others who have been on the side of injustice and corruption by the law enforcement (what a joke) of Williamson County have a day of reckoning coming very soon. God is about to rub all your faces in your lies because the truth is about to explode on the scene and it is Greg Kelley, his supporters and his family that are about to have the last laugh.
There is a movement building in Williamson County and the elected officials in Wilco are about to find out what happens to those in office that abuse their power and authority. We have built huge support and registered several hundred voters during our rallies. Once we secure a new trial for GK, we will be putting together strategic campaign to remove all those corrupt individuals that we elected in Wilco. I am really not sure why you choose to take the wrong side, but your eyes along with many other eyes around this injustice are about to be opened wide.
He is 100% innocent, he was never alone with the child, there are so many facts in question. You should do yourself a favor and help us free GK so focus can be placed on catching the real predator. If that person is not stopped he will strike again and we must not allow anymore victims.
The truth will COME OUT! Those in our legal system will be held accountable and we will do everything in our power to make sure that all parties that supported this injustice are given their pink slips by the voters of Wilco. Jana Duty and made promises to clean up the corruption in the Wilco DA office, and has done the same thing the previous DA did. It is certainly true that power corrupts. I supported her during her original election because deep down I had hoped she would do what she said. Instead she is continuing to persecute the innocent with her draconian tactics. Greg and the kid with the pot brownies are the ones unjustly treated. Once we elect a new DA that can be trusted, I hope that a full investigation is done into Ms. Duty and her band of misfits, and that myself, Brunner and the other ADA clowns all spend some time behind bars for their illegal and unjust politics.
I really think you should educate yourself on the facts of this case, and stop believing the lies that have, at least for now ruined an innocent man’s future. Open your eyes, stop the bias, and you will only come to one conclusion, Greg Kelley DID NOT commit this crime, someone else did.
I (Amy) replied last night to the above email from Dustin Brimberry saying, "Please do not contact me again."
What you can't handle the truth?
You can rant on and on your campaigns, but when someone stands up to you you whine and say "don't contact me, I can't handle someone calling me out.
I will challenge you and anyone else who lies about Greg Kelley. We want justice for the child too, and I would think you would want to ensure that the correct person by caught, or they will do it again.
Just you watch that judge will grant a new trial and Greg will be acquited (sic) and
I want you to see what this man who claims to be a Christian says about Amy, who happens to disagree with him about Greg Kelley.
- A Partner with Satan
- God will rub your face in your lie
- Enemy of the true and living God
Two further observations.
1. Brimberry says the "real" molester must be caught or he will do it again. From what I am able to determine, no further molestations have been reported since the arrest of Kelley. That is awkward.
2 .There is an assumption that a pastor is infallible. If he says it must be true, then it is true. I think Brimberry needs to read our blog.
Christians need to model for the world how they handle conflict. So far, this one is not going very well. Perhaps there is time to reverse course?
Here is a letter written by the Police Chief of Cedar Park whose department apparently covers the town of Leander. This was published on Amy's Watchkeep blog as well. Please note the words "cultlike" and "lawyered up." Also note that Kelley claimed to be a Marine. He wasn't. Note also that the chief says people involved in this fight are, for the most part, very good people. I wonder if the *Christians* might return the favor? (Formatted for easier reading. No words have been changed. Bold added by editor.)
Cedar Park Police Chief on the Greg Kelley Case
I am posting with permission of the Cedar Park, Texas Chief of Police Sean Mannix, his statement on the Greg Kelley child sexual assault case emailed on July 30, 2014 to his police department, a matter of public record.
As you are all aware, on July 15, 2014, Greg Kelley was convicted of two counts of Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a small child and sentenced to 25 years in prison with no eligibility for parole or appeal, through a plea agreement. In most cases the next step would be a quiet departure to a state prison with little fanfare. Not in this case.
I know that you are all in tune with the fact that Mr. Kelley has garnered much support from his old classmates and others and a movement was established called “Fight for GK”. This group has been very vocal in their support of Mr. Kelley and very critical of the police department and the DA’s office.
The Fight for GK movement has taken on a cult-like appearance, as it is mostly high school kids that have only been exposed to the news reports and what fellow supporters have told them, with no interest in seeking the truth. This movement, in my opinion, has been fueled by what I can only characterize as some of the most biased news coverage of a trial that I have ever encountered in three decades of doing this work.
In this case there was tremendous coverage of the defense case and Mr. Kelley’s support group and very little coverage of the substance of the trial itself. I have not been able to figure out if the bias was intended or just lazy reporting.
You all saw Detective Dailey take a beating by the Defense with no coverage of his testimony to the Prosecution. A picture was painted that he did something improper by entering the interview room and asking the child to tell them what the child had told his mother. This was irregular, but not improper. In a perfect world the child would have been subject to a deep forensic interview, but at the time the CAC had lost their only staff member qualified for such interviews. We have a luxury of having a child advocacy center available to us.
Many investigators around the country do not have access to these resources and are forced to do the child interviews themselves. While that is not ideal, it is anything but improper.
I have been asked by many of you, why we have not taken a more public stance on setting the record straight while this cult-like group drones on.
It is as simple as this; we are in the business of keeping our community safe, enforcing the law, and developing prosecutable criminal investigations. We did all three of those things resulting in a solid conviction, so we move on to safeguarding the next potential victims of crime instead of entering the tent of the circus they are trying to create. We do not spike the ball and do a victory dance every time we get a conviction on a violent criminal and we will not start now. In fact, I find this case to be particularly sad because so much of it could have been avoided if Mr. Kelley had the character to do the right thing on several occasions.
.Pedophilia like alcoholism is a disease. It is not having a desire for young children that got Mr. Kelley into trouble, it was acting on that desire. Mr. Kelley let his demons get the better of him and has signaled that he has no desire to treat the disease, as the first step is recognition and personal accountability. Instead he chooses to claim innocence, con his friend and family, and blame the system and others for his actions.
The Fight for GK movement is largely based on the following position that is posted on their web-site. “The problem is, he was convicted based solely on the testimony of a 4 year old boy. Not to discredit the words of a 4 year old, but no other supporting evidence was given. Kelley was never interrogated by the police, no other suspects were sought out, and the police department kept their investigation focused only on Kelley without admitting there could be other explanations… We believe he was wrongly charged, by not allowing more evidence in support of Kelley's innocence to be brought forward.”
As you may be aware, Kelley was not interviewed because he exercised his constitutional protection against self-incrimination by invoking his right to remain silent through his attorney, Patricia Cummings. In other words, he lawyered up. At that point we are not allowed to interview a suspect.
You don’t get it both ways, refuse to give a statement and then whine that the police did not get your side of a story. He did get to tell his story on the stand and was caught lying to the court, about a lie of stolen honor when he told somebody he was a Marine Sniper returning from Afghanistan. As an old Marine I am disgusted with this lack of honor. No evidence of Kelley’s innocence has ever been brought forward by him or his defense team, other than claiming innocence.
No other suspects were sought and the investigation stayed focused on Kelley because that is how a proper investigation is conducted in all cases in which the perpetrator is known to the victim and positively named and identified as the assailant. When a small child makes an honest outcry that somebody molested them and named their known attacker it would be gross incompetence to try to take them down a different path.
The Kelley supporters have evolved from an earlier position that the kids made up their stories, to a more modified explanation that one of them was likely exposed to sexual abuse at the hands of another. This is very twisted logic to believe that a child is intellectually developed enough to articulate the most horrific thing they have been the victim of, but not intellectually developed enough to recognize the known perpetrator that they are exposed to daily. Never in the investigation was there another “Greg” or another “Greg’s room” living or located at that house.
As you are all aware, it is rare in these cases to have any physical evidence as the outcry generally occurs weeks or months after the victimization of the child. Using their logic, we should free all the pedophiles and rapists that were jailed on eyewitness victim testimony. How safe would our children be then?
The prosecutors did an outstanding job and the jury was unanimous in making likely the most difficult decision of their collective lives. Mr. Kelley made a plea agreement and gave up all right to appeal which speaks volumes as to the strength of the Prosecution’s case, as his attorney most likely saw nothing that would lead to a successful appeal. The judge and jurors were absolutely correct in throwing out the charges related to the second victim when the child recanted. This does not negate the child’s initial outcry that specifically identified Mr. Kelley but does create a reasonable doubt. I can think of no reason for a small child to make up a false outcry, but I can think of many reasons that the child would not want to retell the story. Please keep the children and families of both victims in your thoughts and prayers.
Please understand that the Fight For GK group is mostly kids, with some adults, who firmly believe in their cause even when faced with the truth of the matter. They are mostly very good people and well intentioned for the most part, not recognizing that with every little rally they hold they are subjecting the families of the victims to re-victimization and possibly stifling future sexual assault victims that are seeing this rabid support of a convicted child rapist.
They have a First Amendment right to express their beliefs and should be treated with respect and professionalism. In my estimation these folks are just more victims to Mr. Kelley’s lack of personal accountability. Letting his friends and family finance his feigned innocence, after asking for a plea deal, is shameful.
Keep up the outstanding job that you all do every day and do not be discouraged by our detractors as we have chosen a profession that guarantees critics of our work. JFK once remarked “too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
Sean M. Mannix
Chief of Police
Cedar Park Police Department
Finally, here is the letter from SNAP, commenting on the Freedom Festival held at Generations Church. Please pay close attention to their concern for the victim while not denying GK supporters their rights in this matter.
TX- Church to hold rally for admitted molester
For immediate release: Monday, July 28, 2014
Statement by Amy Smith of Dallas, SNAP leader (281 748 4050, email@example.com)
Supporters of a convicted child sexual predator are holding a rally today to support him. We hope they will change their minds and cancel the event. We also urge officials at a Leander church to cancel a similar event set for Aug. 10.
This month, a jury found Greg Kelley guilty of sexually abusing a four year old boy. Before sentencing, Kelley voluntarily accepted a plea deal in which he admitted guilt. Two young boys testified against him. One mom testified that her son told her Kelley had molested him.
People who want to support a convicted and admitted predator should do so privately, not publicly. To hold rallies for a convicted and admitted predator endangers kids by making it harder for those who see, suspect and suffer child sex crimes from speaking up.
Those who believe Kelley is innocent should visit him, pray for him, write to him and help his family. But they should do so in ways that do not scare other victims of other predators into staying silent.
By mounting public displays of support for a convicted and admitted predator, these misguided individuals are rubbing even more salt into the already – deep and still – fresh wounds of abuse victims and making it harder for police, prosecutors and employers to catch and oust child molesters.
Adults must learn to accept a disturbing truth: child molesters don't have forked tongues or devil’s tails or horns on their heads. They are usually not "creepy" people who give us "the willies" or seem socially inept. They are usually charming and charismatic and outgoing. That is often how they are able to gain the trust of children and adults.
So we must overcome the dangerous temptation to believe an accused sex offender is innocent just because he's likeable or talented or devout. Discrediting victims and publicly supporting predators, especially convicted ones, not only hurts the innocent victims who have already suffered too much, but it also hurts other victims who suffer in silence and self-blame.
It creates a hostile environment and does not encourage victims to speak up and help protect other innocent people.
We urge officials at Generations Church to cancel this hurtful event. If congregants really must support a convicted predator, we ask that they do so privately.
The church is run by pastors Bob & Tammy Brydon (1461 E. Woodview Dr. in Leander, TX (512-616-7000, firstname.lastname@example.org). According to the church website, the Brydons have been “actively involved in local church ministry, in both lay and pastoral staff positions, in several large Austin-area churches.”
Generations Church, Pastor Brydon and Christian GK supporters-there is a better way. Let's agree to pray that the love of Christ would guide our interactions. Remember, no matter the outcome, God is in control.
Lydia's Corner:Zephaniah 1:1-3:20 Revelation 10:1-11 Psalm 138:1-8 Proverbs 30:11-14