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Jury Selection Completed in NH Church Rape Case - Yahoo! News

Jury Selection Completed in NH Church Rape Case - Yahoo! News

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Jury selection completed in NH church rape case - Yahoo! Newshttp://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110516/ap_on_re_us/us_church_rape_case[6/28/2011 3:49:51 AM]
Jury selection completed in NH church rape case
By LYNNE TUOHY, Associated Press – Mon May 16, 1:42 pm ET
CONCORD, N.H. – A jury was chosen Monday for the trial of a man charged with raping a 15-year-oldfellow church member who was forced to stand before the congregation and apologize for getting pregnant.A hearing on legal issues in the case of 52-year-old Ernest Willis of Gilford was set for Tuesday inMerrimack Superior Court in Concord. Opening statements in his trial were scheduled for May 23.Willis is charged with forcibly raping Christina Anderson twice during the summer of 1997, when she washis children's baby sitter and he was 39.The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they were victims of sex crimes, butAnderson, now 29, asked that her name be made public.Willis entered the courtroom without comment Monday, accompanied by his public defenders. His lawyerssay in court documents that he'll admit to having sex with the girl on one occasion but he maintains it wasconsensual.Once Anderson realized she was pregnant, she said her mother took her to their then pastor, Chuck Phelpsof Concord's Trinity Baptist Church, for counseling. Phelps arranged for her to move to Colorado to live witha Baptist family there and place her baby up for adoption. He said he did so at the request of her mother,Christine Leaf. Leaf has declined to comment on whether she sought or consented to her daughter'srelocation.Concord police officials say they tried to investigate the case but were stymied because they could notlocate Anderson. The case remained unsolved until 2010, when online posts and friends of Anderson ledpolice to her in Arizona.Prosecutor Wayne Coull said he expects Anderson to be among the first witnesses called when the trialbegins. Jurors were told to expect the trial to last four days.Phelps is also on the prosecution's list of witnesses. Anderson told police that Phelps forced her to write aletter of apology she had to read to the fundamentalist congregation.Anderson told the AP earlier this month she is nervous about testifying and having her life rehashedpublicly, but added, "It needs to be done. Justice needs to be done."One motion expected to be argued Tuesday is on defense efforts to bar testimony about Willis' offer to takeAnderson out of state for an abortion and his offer to punch her hard in the stomach to induce amiscarriage. Coull said in court documents that Willis' "willingness to use violence" is highly relevant "andclearly indicative of guilt."Follow Yahoo! News onTwitter, become a fan onFacebook
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Jury selection completed in NH church rape case - Yahoo! Newshttp://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110516/ap_on_re_us/us_church_rape_case[6/28/2011 3:49:51 AM]
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Comments 1 - 10 of 402FirstPrevNextLast
2732Mleeka
 Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:04 am PDT Report Abuse Replies (14)
I wonder if the church leaders made the rapist stand up in front of the congregation andapologize for raping a child.
 Thu May 27, 2010 07:36 am PDT Report Abuse Replies (3)
Sick. How very disgusting.
1562Missy
 Wed Jun 02, 2010 06:11 am PDT Report Abuse Replies (1)
Mr Phelps forced a victim of (at the very least) statuatory rape to apologize for getting pregnantas a result of the rape before his congregation by use of the arguement that she was at least 1 %responsible.Well, by choosing not to call the police with the girl's out of state address, Mr Phelps knowinglyallowed an investigation to stall. So doesn't that make him at least 1% responsible for justicedeferred? Will he be apologizing this Sunday? Or will he continue to blame everyone but the manin the mirror?
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Jury selection completed in NH church rape case - Yahoo! Newshttp://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110516/ap_on_re_us/us_church_rape_case[6/28/2011 3:49:51 AM]
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Comments 1 - 10 of 402FirstPrevNextLast
 Thu May 27, 2010 08:49 am PDT Report Abuse Replies (6)
How could her parents have allowed her to be humiliated like that. No matter what they havedone that is still your child. Disgusting. She should have moved far away and disowned them firstchance she got.
 Mon May 16, 2011 12:28 am PDT Report Abuse Replies (2)
Even if the claim of "consensual" sex were true, THE VICTIM WAS 15. At the least, it wasstatutory rape.
29011Christina
 Thu May 27, 2010 07:37 am PDT Report Abuse Replies (7)
That is abuse of power. How horrible to want to please God and feel guilt about being raped. Thischurch runs more like a cult. sad,sad,sad!!
2429James
 Thu May 27, 2010 07:54 am PDT Report Abuse Replies (4)
Poor kid, but sadly just another lamb being led to slaughter by people she trusted. Wake upeveryone pastors, priests, bishops what ever all they are, are humans the same as you and me.Stop putting blind trust in these people and think for yourselves.
1082Lyn
 Thu May 27, 2010 10:40 am PDT Report Abuse Replies (2)
Pastor Chuck Phelps is a joke and more than likely a liar. If he had report this to the police - shewould never have been sent away. He is a miserable excuse for a human being and he shouldbe in prison with that low-life that raped her. I would love to see them as Bubba's new toys ... butI have to wonder how many other girls did that creep abuse?
 Thu May 27, 2010 07:53 am PDT Report Abuse Replies (5)
I am so glad for all that contributed to this moment of revelation of truth. Truth can lead to healingof emotional wounds this woman sustained.It is pathetic that is so often church uses its scriptures for mind control in the name of god.I find that many christian churches have very little of what Christ was all about, sadly. Instead ofhelping an individual to freedom of delusion as a mean to an end, they placed their dogma as anend in itself.
844Janey
 Wed Jul 07, 2010 09:57 pm PDT Report Abuse Replies (5)
It's really sick. So many preachers use religion for the purpose of raping the young. He should becastrated! Rapists don't change!
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