Back in 2014, a documentary film came out all about Victory Church in Rochester, New York. The movie was called Fight Church because a pastor named Paul Burress was teaching members of Victory how to beat the shit out of each other (in the name of Jesus).
So much for turning the other cheek. Then again, maybe if Jesus knew some MMA moves, he could’ve avoided the whole crucifixion thing…
Obviously, the apparent hypocrisy of a Christian church promoting violence, even in sport, was the focus of the film. While the church no longer mentions Burress on its website, it still hosts MMA classes.
It wasn’t long, however, before allegations of sexual abuse came out against Burress. Former church members claimed that Burress had acted inappropriately and both he and executive pastor Dr. Al Ogden demanded silence about these accusations. They even threatened to publicize the accusers’ “sins,” revealed to the men during private counseling sessions. Very disturbing stuff all around.
No arrests were made at that time. It’s unclear if the women dropped the case for lack of evidence or because they wanted to avoid repercussions.
I thought it was the last we’d hear of Burress. But I was wrong. He was arrested this past Friday for reasons that don’t seem shocking in the least.
The Rochester Democrat And Chronicle reports:
On Friday morning… [Burress] was arrested by Monroe County sheriff’s deputies on two counts of forcible touching, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. John Helfer. Helfer verified the person arrested was the minister noted for his “Fight Church” activities.
The charges arose from separate incidents in February, Helfer said. The complainants are adult females.
The offense in question, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, is defined in the state penal law as forcibly touching “the sexual or other intimate parts of another person.”
One former member of the church, having spoken to one of the women filing charges against Burress, said that there were more victims out there. It suggests that this won’t be the last accusation leveled against the violence-hungry man of God.
(Thanks to @coasty30 for the link)