Right-Wing Christian Cleric Caught Soliciting Underage Boys for Sex
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This post, written by Steven Reynolds, originally appeared on The All Spin Zone
CSI: Sex Crimes Among Christian Conservatives, has caught themselves another perpetrator. This one is from a megachurch in Florida. His victims are underage boys.
This one is Marshal Seymour, formerly of the Lakeland, FL megachurch First Baptist Church at the Mall. (Hey, if you look at their web site you'll see why the "Mall" in the name is so, so appropriate. These folks are marketing themselves like mad, to mothers of preschoolers, bikers. . . I'm sure they'll have a ministry for child molesters soon.) Marshal is charged paying young people for sex, or maybe just paying them to keep quiet about it. According to Tampa Bay Online:
After two weeks of investigation, Lakeland police arrested a trusted church member and accused him of sex offenses involving three boys he mentored at the church.
"This is a pastor's worst nightmare," Dennis said.
Marshal Seymour, a 40-year-old student ministry volunteer at Lakeland's prominent First Baptist Church at the Mall, turned himself in Friday night after Lakeland police issued a warrant.
Seymour met his victims through the church and paid them to perform sex acts or to keep quiet about sexual encounters, Lakeland police said. The boys were 15, 16 and 17 at the time of the incidents, which occurred during the past two years, according to arrest documents.
Seymour is charged with three counts of using a child in sexual performance and one count each of unlawful sexual activity and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
And I love this part of the article. Man, it reads a bit like the Roman Catholic child sex scandals, doesn't it, with clergy and volunteers getting caught and then just going on to another church?
The Lakeland police investigation revealed that Seymour had been arrested on felony sex charges in Mobile County, Ala., in 1998. The circumstances were similar, with Seymour accused of victimizing a boy he met at church, Lakeland police said.
However, the charges were reduced to misdemeanor assault, and Seymour was sentenced to a suspended one-year sentence in 1999, police said. That's the same year he came to Lakeland and First Baptist Church at the Mall.