Springfield, MO RA case

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Springfield, MO RA case

Postby professorpan » Fri Sep 01, 2006 10:59 am

<!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.thekansascitychannel.com/news/9773395/detail.html">www.thekansascitychannel....etail.html</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--><br><br>Church Leaders Charged With Child Sex Abuse Leave State<br><br>SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Four southwest Missouri church leaders charged with ritual sexual abuse of children in a reclusive live-in community have left their compound and gone out of state, authorities said Thursday.<br>The departure does not violate the conditions of their bonds, set at between $30,000 and $50,000 each, as long as they appear for a preliminary hearing Oct. 2, McDonald County prosecutor Steve Geeding said. <br><br>The disappearance was discovered late Wednesday when sheriff's deputies armed with a search warrant went to the rural McDonald County compound to remove any children. Authorities in neighboring Newton County last week removed 14 children from an affiliated church after its pastor also was charged with child abuse.<br><br>Deputies accompanied by juvenile authorities Wednesday found eight children, whose ages ranged from 1 month to 16 years, among about 25 people still at the compound, which had up to 100 residents as recently as a few months ago, Deputy Mike LeSueur said.<br><br>"I found out that the accused child molesters were no longer at the compound and had left the state, so I had no probable cause to remove the children because the threat to them had left," LeSueur, who is leading the investigation, said in a telephone interview Thursday.<br>LeSueur said he did not know exactly where the defendants went.<br>The compound, called Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, is a 100-acre farm on a gravel road about 20 miles east of the county seat, Pineville, which is about 100 miles southwest of Springfield.<br><br>The church's pastor's, the Rev. Raymond Lambert, 51; his wife Patty Lambert, 49; and her brothers, church deacons Paul Epling, 53, and Tom Epling, 51, face multiple felony charges of sexually abusing young girls over a period of three decades, sometimes as part of what court documents call "a ritual or ceremony."<br><br>All four have pleaded not guilty.<br><br>In neighboring Newton County, the pastor of an affiliated church community numbering about 35 to 45 people has also been charged with sexually abusing one girl from the age of 8 until she turned 17. George Otis Johnston, 63, pleaded not guilty Monday and has a preliminary hearing set for Sept. 18.<br><br>Johnston is Raymond Lambert's uncle and Johnston's church, the Grandview Valley Baptist Church North in rural Granby, is an offshoot of the McDonald County community Lambert headed.<br><br>Investigators, noting more accusers have come forward, have said they expect the case to widened. Investigators expect the five defendants to face more charges, and they believe more people will be charged. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Springfield, MO RA case

Postby chiggerbit » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:27 am

Even if this goes to trial, I bet these people get off. Missouri is a weird state, outside the metropolitan areas (sorry, don't mean to offend, but that's what I see of NE Missouri). There was the case of Christian bootcamp, Heartland Christian Academy, which was accused of excessive paddling and making kids stand in manure pits up to their waists. The state removed the kids, and the courts returned the kids to the facility. Now the state is being sued. And I bet Heartland wins.<br><br>A little off-topic, but this is an interesting look at Missouri's faith-based attitude towards kids:<br><br> <!--EZCODE AUTOLINK START--><a href="http://www.teenliberty.org/mtnpark.htm">www.teenliberty.org/mtnpark.htm</a><!--EZCODE AUTOLINK END--> <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Springfield, MO RA case

Postby Dreams End » Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:25 am

Yeah as long as those four guys leave then the kids are safe. Glad the police are on the ball. <p></p><i></i>
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Re: Springfield, MO RA case

Postby Infernal Optimist » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:09 am

<!--EZCODE ITALIC START--><em>Yeah as long as those four guys leave then the kids are safe. Glad the police are on the ball.</em><!--EZCODE ITALIC END--><br><br>Yeah, it's not like they could come back at any time or anything (esp. since the police didn't know they left in the first place) <p></p><i></i>
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