Applaud Anderson for speaking out | Concord Monitor

Sign up

Log in

Contact us

Home You tell us

M/cloudy Hi 86° | Lo 63° News Obituaries Sports Opinion Community Arts & entertainment Living Photos

Advanced search

Only online


Willis arrested for 1997 rape
View our complete coverage »


Applaud Anderson for speaking out
By Monitor staff June 1, 2011 Tina Anderson's horrifying treatment by Concord's Trinity Baptist Church made her story the subject of national attention. Anderson was 15 in 1997 when she was raped and impregnated by Ernest Willis, then a church member more than twice her age. In a scene that sounds like it occurred in a distant century, Anderson was called before the congregation by its then-pastor, Chuck Phelps, and told to apologize for being pregnant. She was sent by Phelps and her mother to live with a family Phelps knew in Colorado until the baby was born and could be put up for adoption. The specifics of Anderson's case were extraordinary in one other way too: Fourteen years later, she summoned the courage to return to Concord and confront Willis, not to mention Phelps and her mother. In doing so, she set an example for women everywhere who have been doubly victimized - first by their attackers and then again by their fear of seeking justice. Anderson put a name and a face to a crime that usually goes unreported because women fear the attacks on their character and credibility that inevitably follow accusations of rape. Confronted years later, Willis admitted to statutory rape and claimed the sex was consensual. But last week, a Merrimack County Superior Court jury also found him guilty of forcibly raping Anderson on two occasions. He is now awaiting sentencing. For Anderson, the trauma of testifying in open court - not just before a judge and jury but also for an audience that stretched far beyond Concord - was mitigated by the courtroom victory. A distressing number of American woman are the victims of rape or sexual assault. One national study puts the figure at one in seven; a 2007 New Hampshire surveys found the number closer to one in four. Despite the national focus on sexual and domestic violence and the increasing empowerment of women, most rapes still go unreported. The National Institute of Justice estimates that just 31 percent are brought to the attention of authorities; a 2011 study published by the Journal of Interpersonal Violence puts the figure at 15.8 percent. Rape is typically committed by someone known to the victim, and it is a crime that rarely has

SHARE THIS Email Comments (1) Print


Search jobs

Sales Rep: Health Care - New London, NH Registered Nurse: Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association - Concord, NH More Jobs » LIVE ONLINE »
Former worker at Vt aquatic center charged HARTFORD, Vt. (AP) -- Police in Hartford, Vt., say they've…
04:01 AM

NH gov to highlight job training program HOOKSETT, N.H. (AP) -Gov. John Lynch is visiting a…
04:01 AM

Bachmann to make campaign stop in NH RAYMOND, N.H. (AP) -Republican presidential candidate…
03:31 AM

FACT CHECK: Bachmann bomblets raising eyebrows WASHINGTON (AP) -Michele Bachmann's claim|CSGroupId%3Aapproved%3ABA4A9537C4BF4594E11F4B09D8217743&CSUserId=94&CSGroupId=1[6/28/2011 4:21:57 AM]

Applaud Anderson for speaking out | Concord Monitor

witnesses. It is a hard crime to prove. Earlier this year, a committee of the Governor's Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence published a report that argues that the criminal justice system fails to prosecute or win convictions in the vast majority of rape cases. It studied 344 female sexual assault cases in New Hampshire in 2006 and found that only 13 - or 3 percent - of the 344 offenders named either pleaded guilty or were convicted. Indeed, Anderson's case might have been forgotten altogether had a former Trinity member not discussed Anderson's treatment by the church on a Facebook page founded by an activist to highlight what she believes are abuses by fundamentalist Baptist churches. That activist, Jocelyn Zichterman, claims that when she was abused by a family member as a youth, her Baptist church pressured her into remaining silent. She now considers such fundamentalist churches to be cults and has made it her cause to support victims like Anderson. Whatever you make of Zichterman's beliefs, the trial dramatized the importance for rape victims of having an experienced, caring advocate at one's side while going through a grueling, emotional trial. If rapists are going to be convicted, more victims will need the courage to do what Anderson did: confront their attackers and endure difficult questioning in the name of justice. In this case, at least, that bravery paid off.
TAGGED: Crime Law & Justice
Ernest Willis Rape New Hampshire Tina Anderson Crime Monitor editorials Monitor staff

that she…
03:01 AM

Purdue's Johnson, Moore stay together with Celts BOSTON (AP) -- Boston Celtics draft picks JaJuan Johnson…
05:47 PM

Next gay-marriage showdown could be in Minnesota ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- With New York now gearing up…
05:22 PM

Truck overturns, backs up traffic in Concord, NH CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- New Hampshire State Police are…
04:01 PM

More Live Online » CONNECT WITH US

Trinity Baptist


Comments (1)

RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Subscribe You tell us

COMMENTS Comment viewing options
Expanded Expanded viewview Date - newest Date - newest first first 50 comments per 50 comments per page page
Save settings

Customer service


Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Tina Anderson Foundation
By silentnomoreabu... - 06/03/2011 - 10:35 pm

Donate money to Jocelyn Zichterman cause via the Tina Anderson Foundation. Login or register to post comments
Log in to vote

View all tags DON'T MISS THIS


Defense asks judge for new rape trial
As he awaits his sentencing for forcibly raping a fellow Trinity Baptist Church member twice in 1997 and getting 0 her pregnant at age 15, Ernest Willis is asking…
June 7, 2011 WARNER

Assault allegations tied to city church
The Warner police said yesterday they are investigating the allegations of a California woman who recently reported 0 being sexually assaulted as a teenager about…

Greater Concord Chamber Guidebook

Concord Monitor eMarket

Real Estate Monitor

Green Guide NH

June 3, 2011 CONCORD

Rape conviction a win for advocate
When jurors found former Trinity Baptist|CSGroupId%3Aapproved%3ABA4A9537C4BF4594E11F4B09D8217743&CSUserId=94&CSGroupId=1[6/28/2011 4:21:57 AM]

Applaud Anderson for speaking out | Concord Monitor

member Ernest Willis guilty Friday afternoon of four counts of rape, it was a 0 victory for…
May 29, 2011

More Willis arrested for 1997 rape » POPULAR »

Most read content in the past 48 hours.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

I-93 truck crash snarls traffic (1,193) Homeless benches (1,136) Population in downtown drops (984) Justice accused of chokehold (950) Home Depot accused of violating trade act (923) GOP puts stamp on session (909) Bedford inn's chef from 'Hell' (736) 'Him' or 'her' banned words (533) Debt deal could lie in military cuts (417) One for the generations (417) More Popular »

Only online »
Live Online E-Edition Our blogs Web Cams Twitter / Facebook Online polls Podcasts RSS feeds

Obituaries »
Submit Obituaries Read Obituaries Obituary archives

Community »
Town-by-town Local headlines Couples Births The Concord Insider

Photos »
PhotoExtra (reprints) Photo columns Photo Blog Multimedia Web Cams Pulitzer

Advertise »
Classified Advertising Display Advertising Help Wanted Real Estate Online Advertising Preprints/Inserts Rates & specifications Print ad specifications Special sections and publications

Sports »
High schools Professional College By sport Sports blog Submit to Sports

Arts & entertainment »
Books Calendar Movies Travel & tourism TV listings

Marketplace »
Classifieds Corner Cupboard Yellow pages Dining deals Local books Photo reprints Cars Real Estate Jobs Place an ad Subscribe Public Notices

News »
Local & state Politics Nation & world Work & business Cops, courts & fires News blog Associated Press News topics Archives In print

Services »
Commercial printing Newspapers in Education

Opinion »
Editorials Letters Columns BlogsNH Submit your letter

Living »
Food Health Books Pets Travel & tourism Special Publications

You tell us »
Submit News Submit Events Submit Wedding Announcement Birth announcements Letter to the editor Contact us

Customer service: For readers For advertisers Market Power Help and information Get directions Contact us Place an ad Newspapers in Education Copyright policy
Privacy policies

Copyright 1997-2011 Concord Monitor and New Hampshire Patriot P.O. Box 1177, Concord NH 03302 603-224-5301 Advertiser profiles|CSGroupId%3Aapproved%3ABA4A9537C4BF4594E11F4B09D8217743&CSUserId=94&CSGroupId=1[6/28/2011 4:21:57 AM]