The 52-year-old DJ for a Christian music station in Pennsylvania was arrested Thursday on charges that he repeatedly raped an underage girl.
Philip Smith is facing at least 18 criminal charges, including aggravated indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age. Other charges include indecent assault of a minor, as well as rape and aggravated indecent assault without consent.
Initial reports included a full list of charges brought against Smith, but didn’t say his occupation. It was later discovered, however, that he was a DJ on WJTL-FM, a Christian music station in the area.
In response to Smith’s arrest, the station asked people to pray “for all those involved.”
It is with great sadness that we need to report that Phil Smith was arrested Thursday night. Phil has served for many years as a WJTL DJ, most recently on the 3pm-7pm shift. At this time we only know what we read in the press. Please join us in praying for all those involved and that truth and justice will prevail.
While I understand the reflex for a Christian show to consistently promote prayer, I also think there are better answers to this. A good start would have been a condemnation of the man who has been charged with incredibly horrific acts against an underage girl.
The young victim, who isn’t identified by name, reportedly met with two officers when she came to the police station to report a sexual assault.
She told police Smith had committed sexual offenses against her about 10 times at a home on St. Joseph Street in Lancaster. She said the offenses began when she was 15 and that Smith raped her after she turned 18.
After arraignment, Smith was committed to county prison on $250,000 bail.
It’s not that Smith’s arrest proves Christians are more likely than non-Christians to commit sexual crimes like these, but the story does show that Christian groups advertising their divine moral standards aren’t necessarily living up to them.
It’s also worth noting that the Bible doesn’t explicitly condemn sexual assault, except to say a rapist should marry their victim and pay a small fee to her father, which might make it easier for corrupt believers to justify these terrible actions. Abusers may also hide behind the fact that repentance is at the center of Christianity, allowing forgiveness for even the most terrible crimes.
(Thanks to Liz for the link)