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Breaking news: Bishop Charles Brown sexual abuse survivors speak out publicly

September 19, 2012 5 comments

New ground has been broken in favor of COGIC clergy sexual abuse survivors. The three victims of Bishop Charles Brown are telling their story publicly for the first time. Brown, who currently sits as pastor of the Williams Temple COGIC in Houston escaped prison earlier this year on a legal technicality.

Four days after that ruling,  the denomination’s General Board immediately reinstated Blake’s longtime friend to office. The previous suspension was lifted “without further comment”.  This left the impression that Brown was not guilty.  But Brown was never exonerated of his sexual crimes against the three young girls, thus he should have never been reinstated.   Report COGIC Abuse also published an exclusive report exposing the General Board who secretly paid off the victims.

But now, those women are speaking out in an exclusive interview with Dunamis Word blog which has helped to document the coverup and complicity by the Blake administration.

The time has come to hold Bishop Charles Blake, Sr. accountable for his role in these matters. According to one of the victims only one other person knew them as well as Brown knew them.

[…]one of the survivors states that until the interviews, which can be heard above, only ONE other person in the church has ever made contact with any of them. That was the Bishop Charles E. Blake, who spoke to one of the victims, as he knew them very well for a number of years. Unfortunately, that conversation was over some 15 years ago before Bishop Blake became Presiding Bishop.”

Report COGIC Abuse calls on faithful bishops in the church to immediately remove Bishop Charles Brown from office and launch a full and independent investigation as to Bishop Blake’s personal knowledge of these crimes. There is nothing more important than the truth.

Read the story and listen to the audio interviews here.

Judge dismisses sex crimes case against Bishop Charles Brown

March 4, 2012 Leave a comment

**UPDATED** scroll down

On a legal technicality, a Louisiana parish judge has dismissed sex crimes cases against COGIC Bishop Charles Brown saying  the charges were filed after the statue of limitations had expired.[source]

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported the story March 2nd after the ruling.

Criminal District Judge Karen Herman ruled that the statute of limitations, as it was written when the alleged sexual attacks took place, had long ago run out.

Brown, the jurisdictional bishop for Greater New Orleans in the Church of God in Christ, based in Memphis, Tenn., also was pastor of Full Gospel Church of God in Christ in New Orleans, though he spent much of his time leading a congregation in Houston. The Church of God in Christ suspended him after learning of the first allegation, which came to light in September.

Brown faced a count of forcible rape, two counts of sexual battery and two counts of indecent behavior with a juvenile.

There is no statute of limitations any longer for forcible rape in Louisiana. State law allows prosecution of sexual battery, indecent behavior with a juvenile or other sex crimes against people under 17 for 30 years after the victim becomes an adult.

But that wasn’t the case when the crimes allegedly were committed, between 1977 and 1989. Then, the victims were required to report them no later than 10 years after they turned 17. Forcible rape carried a six-year statute when the woman said Brown raped her, Herman found.

The last of the statutes under the indictment ran out in 1991, Brown’s attorney argued. Herman quashed the rape count in January, and the other four counts Friday.

Brown’s attorney called the ruling “bittersweet”. “He actually wanted to face his accusers,” said Johnson, who claimed the case was “set up for a money grab” by the women. Brown hopes to be reinstated with the church, he said.

Take the poll: based on the ruling should Bishop Blake reinstate Charles Brown to his former positions? If you would like to leave a comment to support your view, use the post comment link.

UPDATE MARCH 21, 2011

Four days after a Louisiana judge dismissed charges against COGIC bishop Charles Brown, the COGIC issued a brief but tersely worded statement saying that it was immediately lifting Brown’s suspension without further comment. Its unclear if Brown will be reassigned or allowed to simply step back into his former positions.

Bishop Charles Brown “remanded” on nearly $1million bond

December 3, 2011 Leave a comment

A stunning development in the case of COGIC bishop Charles Brown of New Orleans. The New Orleans Times-Picayune posted on December 2nd that the allegations against Brown have deepened.

With supporters packing a courtroom gallery like a church nave, Bishop Charles E. Brown pleaded not guilty Friday to sex crimes against three juveniles dating as far back as 1977. Judge Karen Herman remanded Brown, the 59-year-old spiritual head of a local Pentecostal church, to jail Friday in lieu of $900,000 bond from a grand jury indictment handed up last month.

Several of his supporters, many of them women who dressed up and wore hats, appeared ready on Friday to chip in for the bond. Brown is scheduled to return to court Monday with the paperwork.

Brown faces a count of forcible rape and two counts each of sexual battery and committing a lewd act on a juvenile in three alleged crimes all dating back at least 30 years.

Police originally booked Brown with aggravated rape on June 28, after an unidentified 39-year-old woman called the NOPD’s child abuse unit in March to report that Brown had molested her between the ages of 14 and 16. According to police, the woman said Brown had been her aunt’s boyfriend and committed the acts at his home.

Since then, at least two other people have come forward with accusations against him, according to the indictment. One of them, now 47, claims Brown committed indecent behavior and sexual battery sometime between her 13th and 17th birthdays, according to the indictment.

Brown forcibly raped another woman, identified only as “G.H.,” in 1977, when she was 17, the indictment states. A brief police report says that woman reported the incident Sept. 28, after The Times-Picayune reported on the first allegation.

Brown, who was a long time personal friend of  current Presiding Bishop Charles Blake, Sr was handcuffed and jailed on the judges orders.

The news report said that COGIC officials “suspended” Brown after learning of the first allegation.

No word on whether COGIC has suspended Supt Thomas A. Wiggins, Jr. of Wilmington, NC who on last week confessed to multiple sex crimes against a 14 year old.

COGIC Bishop booked on sexual battery charges

September 21, 2011 1 comment

New Orleans – The Times-Picayune reported last night that Bishop Charles E. Brown, I, bishop of the Church of God in Christ Greater New Orleans Jurisdiction was booked on charges of sexual battery in June. Brown was released after posting a $25,000 bail. But the story quickly raised more troubling issues about Brown, his past, COGIC’s so-called zero tolerance sexual abuse policy and his association with the church’s presiding bishop.

According to the paper, Brown seemed to have made a very foolish decision to contact the woman he is alleged to have molested. [source]

The spiritual head of a local Pentecostal denomination has been arrested and booked with sexual battery on a teenage girl more than 23 years ago. New Orleans court records show that Bishop Charles E. Brown, 58, was released on $25,000 bond.

Brown, who since Hurricane Katrina has divided his time between New Orleans and Houston, is the jurisdictional bishop for Greater New Orleans in the Church of God in Christ, a Pentecostal denomination with headquarters in Memphis. He is also pastor of a local congregation, Full Gospel Church of God in Christ.

Brown was arrested June 28, according to police records.

Several attempts to contact Brown at his home in Houston were unsuccessful. Court records did not list a lawyer. And denominational officials in Los Angeles and Lafayette who would know about the arrest either were unavailable or did not respond to an inquiry.

A police affidavit supporting the arrest warrant said an unidentified 39-year-old woman called the department’s child abuse unit in March to report that Brown molested her between the ages of 14 and 16.

The woman said at the time Brown was her aunt’s boyfriend, and the acts occurred at his home.

She told police Brown recently reached out and asked to “friend” her on Facebook. She told him she knew him to be an abuser and decided then to go to the police, the affidavit said.

Brown originally was arrested and booked with aggravated rape. But Magistrate Commissioner Harry Cantrell said the specific facts alleged by the woman supported only the lesser accusation of sexual battery.”

Brown, pastor of Williams Temple COGIC in Houston and two other churches, was a prominent figure in pre-Katrina New Orleans. His bio connects him with several powerful civic and religious leaders around the country including serving as a board member with Dr. Fredrick Price of LA, Bishop IV Hilliard in Houston, as the “spiritual advisor” to former Katrina-era NO mayor Ray Nagin and ironically as a board member of Bishop Blake’s “Save Africa’s Children” charity. Within his denomination, Brown was the former Chief Operating Officer of the church until he resigned after a fallout with Blake over a Houston church he now pastors.

What’s troubling is that the the police report alleges the crime occured about 23 years ago. That would put the timeline of the crime about 1990-91. During that time, according to Brown’s bio, he was:

  • Director; Youth Church, [COGIC] UNAC/AIM 1980-1997.
  • Executive Board Member; General Assembly of the Church of God in Christ, 1984 to present.
  • Board Member; Fellowship of Inner City Word of Faith Ministries (FICWFM), Dr. F. K. C. Price, Founder. (1990-Present).

The woman alleges that Brown committed the crime while he was her aunt’s boyfriend. Just a few weeks ago, we told you about the case of adulterer and deadbeat father Joseph Hogan. The biblical requirements for the office of a bishop mean nothing to COGIC leadership. If blatant adultery and sexual immorality doesn’t disqualify a man from the office, what will? Sources told Report COGIC Abuse that despite the hard evidence on Hogan, COGIC will consecrate him to bishop.

Although Brown was arrested in June, he still holds his office of pastor and bishop in the Church of God in Christ. Report COGIC Abuse has learned that the denomination passed a resolution giving bishops the power to immediately remove a local church pastor upon allegations of sexual misconduct or criminal sexual activity until an investigation is concluded. But there was no clause for the bishops to remove those in their own ranks.

As the Times-Picayune story noted, church officials aren’t responding even though there is evidence that all members of the church’s “general board” —including Charles E. Blake— were made aware of Brown’s situation prior to the story going public.