How Pastor Chuck Phelps "Church Disciplined" a 15-Year-Old Pregnant Rape Victim

A 38-year-old man rapes a 15-year-old girl. The girl and her mother tell their pastor what happened and he promptly reports the accusation to police and child welfare authorities. So far, so good, but since this story is about religion and female persons don't get your hopes up.

The pastor then decides the rape victim needs to be "church-disciplined" so church leaders make the girl apologize to the congregation for, you know, getting pregnant out of wedlock. The pastor also counsels the mother to ship her pregnant daughter off to another state which forces authorities to shelve the initial investigation since they don't have a victim to testify:

CONCORD, N.H. – Tina Anderson was a scared 15-year-old when she was summoned by church leaders to stand before her congregation and apologize for getting pregnant out of wedlock.

Just minutes earlier in that evening service in 1997, a longtime church member admitted publicly that he had been unfaithful to his wife.

Now, 13 years later, Ernie Willis is charged with raping Anderson, and police are investigating what church leaders knew about the assault and whether they shipped Anderson out of state to keep the matter quiet.

When the pastor heard Anderson's allegations, he told her that if she had "lived in the Old Testament," she would have been stoned to death for not reporting the attack sooner.

"He also said I had 'allowed myself to be put in a compromising situation,' Anderson said. The pastor decided she needed to be "church-disciplined."

"I was completely humiliated," Anderson said, her voice quavering at the memory. "I hoped it was a nightmare I'd wake up from, and it wouldn't be true anymore