Welcome to LoudounTimes.com
Loudoun Times-Mirror

A year later, allegations of abuse at Sterling’s Calvary Temple still unresolved

Former congregants of Calvary Temple protest March 20 on a sidewalk across the street from the Pentecostal church off Triple Seven Road in Sterling. Times-Mirror/Rick Wasser
A year after two women came forward alleging sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the hands of members of Calvary Temple church in Sterling, ex-congregants have mixed feelings about whether justice will ever be served.

Still, each Sunday for the last year, protesters have lined the sidewalk across the street from the Pentecostal church off Triple Seven Road.

Their mission is to keep other children and families away from the church. The number of protesters grow anytime the church holds functions, such as summer camps, car shows or Easter Egg hunts.

“Whether they're still investigating or not investigating, we're going to keep moving forward with this,” said former Calvary member Michelle Freeman on March 20 as she held a protest sign. “My initial thought is this case is stalled again.”

Chassadi Thompson, one of the two women alleging the abuse, had her case handed to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office in 2003 through a deputy, Sgt. Kevin Robinette, who also was a member of Calvary Temple. That case was eventually closed, but Loudoun County Sheriff's Office officials have yet to comment on why the investigation stopped.

Thompson's case was re-opened just days after the Times-Mirror inquired about the investigation last year.

Loudoun County Sheriff Michael Chapman declined the Times-Mirror's request for an interview about the cases, instead sending a statement via the agency's public information office.

“To comment on any aspect of the case other than to say it remains under investigation would be inappropriate at this time and could jeopardize any possible future court proceedings. At the appropriate time, the results of the investigation will be reviewed by the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney,” Public Information Officer Kraig Troxell relayed in an email.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is investigating the allegations with help from the Virginia State Police. But, the allegations run much deeper than just two victims.

Since the Times-Mirror published the first of a series of articles about the Sterling Pentecostal church, more ex-congregants came forward throughout the year, alleging they also are victims of abuse.

The magnitude of the case dates back four decades, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, and an investigation of this size takes time, Chapman told the Times-Mirror in September.

The Virginia State Police also declined to comment on the case, referring all inquiries to the Loudoun Sheriff's Office.

The church's pastor, Star Scott, did not immediately return a call for comment.

Ex-congregants who protested on March 20 said they hold on to a fading glimmer of hope that any arrests will be made. A year later, they cling to what they know will help: getting the word out about the church.

“In a lot of ways, this is the most encouraged I've felt since this started,” said one protester who asked that her name be withheld because she fears for her safety. “We've talked to visitors coming out of the church [on Sundays] and some want to know more about what's going on.”

Calvary tactics

Former Calvary Temple members to this day still deal with the physical and emotional trauma they say they endured at the hands of the church's deacons, teachers and teachers' aides.

Some choose to try and forget, refusing to join other members on the protest lines because “it's simply too hard.”

Many of the protesters still have family members inside the church that they say they were forced to leave behind in order to get away from Calvary Temple. Some watch from the sidewalk as church lets out around noon, trying to catch a glimpse of a loved one that they haven't spoken to in years.

Michael Foster, who grew up in Calvary Temple, but left several years ago, was “emotionally destroyed” by the church's teachings, his parents said.

Foster was on the protest line on March 20 along with his parents. His sister, ex-wife and nieces and nephews still attend Calvary. He hopes one day they will cross Triple Seven Road and join their family again.

The 28-year-old now produces videos that publish on YouTube that not only warn people about the church but educate on the signs of a cult. He worries someone from Calvary will eventually try and sue him over the videos.

“It's worth it to me to keep my wife, niece, nephew and sister from being abused,” Foster said. “Not only that, it's good for the community to know what's going on.”

Foster said he understands why the sheriff's office investigation may take some time, but he also worries that someone from within the church has inside knowledge of how the case is playing out.

The deputy who turned in Thompson's case to the sheriff's office in 2003, Robinette, was not re-sworn as a Loudoun law enforcement officer in January after Chapman's re-election.

Chapman's office also declined to comment on whether Robinette was not re-sworn as a deputy because of his involvement with Calvary Temple.

“I'm not saying it's not possible, that there's further corruption … but [pastor Scott] is a multimillionaire. And he's got some of the best lawyers money can buy,” Foster said.

PAST COVERAGE:

Spiritual warfare at Sterling’s Calvary Temple church
Community protests Sterling’s Calvary Temple church amid allegations of sexual abuse
Calvary Temple’s contentious history
Calvary Temple’s emotional warfare
Protests against Sterling’s Calvary Temple heat up
Virginia State Police asked to investigate Calvary Temple
State police tapped to aid in Calvary investigation

Comments


I’m sure the Sheriff’s Department is hoping the public will forget about this and it will all go away, much like it did before.  The State Police aren’t doing a very good job if it takes them this long and they’re still not done with their investigation.  Seems to me that there is something to this story and certain people do not want the truth to get out.


Thank you for keeping the community up to date on our efforts to expose Calvary Temple.  It truly has been heartbreaking for me to stand across the street of the cult and watch my friends and parents on the protest line wave to their loved ones or say “I miss you” to them and to watch them be totally ignored. 

One thing I would say about the statement I made in the article is that I do wish to be reunited with my friends and family, however my ex-wife is not included in that list.  I wish her the best and hope she and the others get out and remain safe, but I have no desire whatsoever to be reunited with her; also I am in a very good relationship with someone who I love very, very much.

Again, a huge thank you to Crystal and the staff at the Loudoun Times-Mirror working on these reports, we truly do appreciate it.

If you would like to visit my YouTube channel (as mentioned in the article) to see videos exposing Calvary Temple, you can visit:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeGMouBlaHaxLIMKQr6CXRA

We truly do care about our community and the safety of the families within.

#exposecalvarytemple #exposestarrscott

Post a comment

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Comments express only the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of this website or any associated person or entity. Any user who believes a message is objectionable can contact us at ltmeditor@loudountimes.com.

More News

As Seen IN PRINT
The Loudoun Times-Mirror

is an interactive, digital replica
of the printed newspaper.
Click here for all e-editions.
Email UPDATES