5/21/2014CONCORD: Pastor: No cover-up of alleged rape | Concord Monitor http://www.concordmonitor.com/news/4701849-95/rape-trinitybaptistchurch-chuckphelps-ernestwillis?print=true2/4
I'm not in the ministry to hide felons,' Phelps said. 'I'm not in the ministry to hide child abuse.'Deputy Police Chief John Duval yesterday declined to comment on Phelps's statements or the eventsof 1997, saying the case is still under investigation.Be responsible'illis was charged nearly 13 years after the woman says he raped her twice, once while he waseaching her to drive and a second time at her Concord house when she was home alone. Shebecame pregnant and told a neighbor and then her mother, who contacted Phelps, she told the policein a statement.ccording to the woman, Phelps said she shared some guilt in the situation and had her write a letter asking forgiveness from the church for 'allowing a compromising situation to occur' that led toimmorality.'Phelps said yesterday that he didn't tell the woman she was responsible for what happened but thatshe needed to be responsible by avoiding contact with Willis, whose children she baby-sat.She's not responsible for being raped. Of course not. She was an underage minor. That's why Icalled' the police, Phelps said.Phelps said he told her to 'be responsible, don't allow yourself to be around a person you know to bedangerous. She knew this person was dangerous after the first time, but she continued to be aroundhim. . . . She needed to be responsible.'t a church meeting, the woman said, Willis confessed to being unfaithful to his wife and Phelps readher letter about her pregnancy as she stood before the congregation.Phelps said the meeting was not any sort of punishment, but was intended to inform the congregationand create a safe environment for people to help the woman with her pregnancy.I expected Ernie Willis to be arrested,' Phelps said. 'So to prepare the church for his imminent arrest, Icommunicated with the church or had him communicate with the church that he had been unfaithful tohis marital vows. And to the young lady, she was with child, she needed help. . . . There was nodiscipline. Discipline implies she was put out. She was not put out. She was embraced.'The woman told the police Phelps helped move her to Colorado after she came forward. There, shesaid, she was home-schooled, was kept away from people her own age and gave birth to her daughter, who was then adopted.Phelps said the woman was sent away in accordance with her mother's wishes, to continue her studies in a safe home. He said that he knew the couple the woman stayed with through his previousork as a minister in Colorado and that they were experienced in home-schooling.