A pastor in Idaho has been arrested and charged with sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl whose family sent the child to his unregulated home church for anxiety issues. (“Sexual abuse” is the term used in the police report; we’re not trying to soften any language.)
Welty has been involved with several churches, including the Common Ground Riders Church and Calvary Chapel Church. The latter has already tried to distance itself from the pastor, saying that Welty did some sound production and music work for them, but he wasn’t a pastor and stopped attending the church last year.
According to the prosecution, the victim was staying with Welty’s family for the weekend, as the “family believed that spending time at the pastor’s home would be helpful to her” because of present anxieties. The victim said that Welty entered her bedroom, had her undress and gave her a massage, touching her chest and genitals, according to prosecutors. The incident lasted between 30 minutes and an hour and stopped when Welty’s wife interrupted, they said.
Welty confessed to having “struggled with such behaviors before” but never with someone as young as the victim, according to court documents.
Is that comment supposed to inspire empathy for him…? If you “struggle” with the desire to molest children — which is a whole other issue — then starting a home church and having an underage girl stay with you should be non-starters…
Plenty of churches have been under fire lately for a lack of proper oversight, but home churches, by definition, often lack even that. There’s almost literally no system in place to prevent abuse — and certainly no regulation from the government.
It’s almost worse to think about a pastor’s abuse knowing that there’s no one to blame for not keeping tabs on him. But at least this guy got caught before he could attack anyone again.