Day Four of the Thomas Chantry Trial

By | July 29, 2018

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I will begin my recap of day four of the Chantry trial by explaining what the issue was with the removal of a photo of Tom Chantry from my article on the third day of the trial. Let me preface this by saying that I did not publish the article of the third day of the trial (Thursday’s activities) until Friday morning at approximately 6:30 A.M.

I entered the courtroom at approximately 8:50 A.M. for the scheduled starting time of 9:00 A.M. In the gallery were the same individuals that have been present throughout the trial – Chantry’s four supporters, a journalist from the local Verde Independent News, myself and one other man whom I don’t know. Judge Astrowsky and Counsel for both the Defense and Prosecution were in Judge Astrowsky’s chamber. They emerged at approximately 9:30 A.M. and went on the record. Judge Astrowsky then addressed the media. He defined media as not only the traditional media sources but also those who write blogs or other forms of social media. His definition applied to two of the seven of us in the gallery – Kelcie Grega of the Verde Independent News and myself. At issue was this photo, which I had included in my blog. Judge Astrowsky said the photo had put the safety of the defendant at risk and therefore ordered the media to not publish anything that could compromise the safety of the defendant. He then summarized a legal decision which he believed gave him the right to order this. (I am summarizing what Judge Astrowsky said, but will attempt to obtain a transcript next week.) He then asked both Susan Eazer and John Sears for comments. Eazer had none. Sears made it clear that he was the one who brought this matter to the attention of Judge Astrowsky and he had apparently suggested a course of action which was more restrictive than what Judge Astrowsky ordered. Sears wanted his suggestion implemented, but Judge Astrowsky believed his order was sufficient. He then advised the media to comply with his order or face further restrictions.

During the first recess, I spoke with my assistant and asked her to remove the photograph from my article published that morning. But I was surprised to find the court was not finished with the matter. After the jury members were excused for lunch Judge Astrowsky and the attorneys for both sides again addressed the issue for about five minutes. Nothing significant came from their discussion and I went to lunch. I returned from lunch at approximately 1:25 P.M. and was again surprised to find Judge Astrowsky and the attorneys in the middle of yet another discussion on the subject. As I listened I learned that Judge Astrowsky had vacated his order given in the morning. John Sears appeared to be unhappy with the decision and argued for retaining Judge Astrowsky’s order by presenting a hypothetical scenario in which bloggers may compromise the safety of those in the court. Judge Astrowsky was not persuaded.

It was now apparent that my blog was the item which caused all this angst. I am left to wonder if the safety of Sears’ client was the sole motivating factor of his bringing the photograph on my blog to the attention of Judge Astrowsky. I am also amazed that the Defense team is monitoring my blog so closely. In the window of approximately two hours, since I published my article, they had alerted the judge to their safety concerns, come up with a proposed action and were engaged in a closed meeting in the Judge’s chambers!

While I am now free to republish the photo I had removed from my blog, I have chosen not to do so. Its inclusion in my article is not necessary to the narrative of what occurred on day three of Chantry’s trial. I will add that I am a peaceful man who believes in law and order and our criminal justice system. In no way do I condone any type of illegal or criminal behavior.  That said, I fail to see how the photograph in question jeopardizes the safety of Tom Chantry. I will leave the reader to speculate on the reason Judge Astrowsky vacated his order, adding only that I am glad he did. As I have said throughout the trial, he seems like a kind, sincere, humble man dedicated to fairness and justice. The way he handled this matter has increased my respect for him.

On to the business of the trial.

The jury pool took their first hit. A juror revealed some information to the court which caused her to be excused. 14 jurors remain.

At 9:50 A.M. the State called Victim 5 to the witness stand. Now 35 years old, Victim 5 was 12 years old when Tom Chantry assaulted him by punching him with a closed fist to the left side of his face. The blow knocked him to the ground. Victim 5 stated he had never been punched that hard before. He remembers being shocked by Tom Chantry’s punch and said a bunch of adults came over to him.

The circumstances surrounding the assault were a 4th of July celebration on the grounds of the Miller Valley Baptist Church and parsonage. Tom Chantry had been the pastor of the church for approximately one month. Chantry had walked down from the front porch of the parsonage and told the children not to squirt him. Victim 5 responded by promptly squirting Chantry in the chest. Chantry then rapidly walked over to Victim 5 and “clocked” him.

Victim 5 is the brother of Victim 2. Victim 5 was never tutored by Chantry, but his brother was tutored twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Chantry would pick the two boys up from school and drive them to the church where the tutoring would take place. Victim 5 said they were always the only three in the church. He would do his homework in the church while Victim 2 was in his tutoring session in the office of Tom Chantry. Victim 5 testified that he would hear Victim 2 being spanked and then crying and whimpering every session. At this point in the questioning Victim 5 broke down and wept.

Victim 5 said he told his parents about the spankings his brother was receiving on two or three occasions. He did not know about the molestation.

Victim 5 said he was not interviewed by the ARBCA investigative committee in 2000. He was interviewed by the police in 2015 but still was not aware of the sexual molestation of his brother by Tom Chantry.

John Sears began his cross-examination of Victim 5 at 10:30 A.M. My impression was that Sears was tedious and badgered Victim 5. He would ask the same question in a slightly different manner several times. Susan Eazer objected several times stating “asked, answered.” As I recall, most of her objections were sustained. At one point Sears had repetitively asked Victim 5 about the ARBCA investigation, Victim 5 replied, obviously annoyed, that “I already told you I was not interviewed by them.”

One interesting exchange occurred when Sears was questioning Victim 5 about what he heard during the tutoring session. Sears established the fact that these sessions took place in Chantry’s office behind closed doors. Victim 5 told Sears he heard the spankings and the crying. Sears responded, but you never saw the spankings take place, correct? Victim 5 told Sears that was not correct. Sears did a double take and asked how he had seen his brother being spanked by Chantry if the spankings took place in Chantry’s office and the door was closed? Victim 5 said the door had a window and on one occasion he had looked through it and seen his brother over Tom’s lap with his pants pulled down getting spanked by Chantry’s bare hand! Sears was flabbergasted. He said this was new information and asked Victim 5 if he had ever reported this to anyone before. “No sir,” replied Victim 5. Sears challenged this new revelation but Victim 5 stuck to his guns and insisted he witnessed it.

Sears also attempted to discredit Victim 5’s statement that Chantry had punched him in the face. He said the police report stated he had been punched in the face or chest, so was it possible that had actually been punched in the chest instead of the face? Victim 5 said no, he had been punched in the face. Questioned as to why the police report said face or chest, Victim 5 said he did not know, but he had always said he had been punched in the face. Later, in the redirect, Eazer asked about this. Victim 5 offered a possible solution, saying the police interview occurred over the phone while he was in the car. He had pulled over to the side of a freeway and it was rather noisy so perhaps the police detective did not clearly hear him.

My impressions of Victim 5’s testimony is very favorable. He did a great job and I would think the jurors would agree that he was speaking truthfully about Chantry punching him in the face.

At 11:43 the State called Victim 2 to the witness stand. This was a crucial witness for the State as four of the eight criminal complaints Chantry is charged with deal with the sexual molestation of Victim 2.

In my opinion, Victim 2 came through with flying colors. His testimony was gripping, compelling and emotionally draining. I was choking back tears a few times.

In the year 2000 Victim 2 wrote to the ARBCA investigative committee that Chantry was a “Sick, Twisted Monster.” After sitting through his testimony I would agree.

It appears that shortly after Chantry arrived at the Miller Valley Baptist Church he had Victim 2 in his sights. He wrote a letter to Victim 2’s parents stating that he was a very bright child and school wouldn’t be challenging enough for him. He proposed they let him tutor their son, stating that he had been tutored when he was young and it had been very beneficial for him. The parents of Victim 2 agreed and shortly thereafter, in August or September of 1995 the tutoring lessons began. These lessons took place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Miller Valley Baptist Church.

Victim 2 stated that the first tutoring session was normal, but after that, he received spankings every session. The molestation began in October of 1995. After spanking him Chantry would have him sit in his lap and rub his butt and then work his way to his genitals. This took place every session, initially through his clothes, but later with his pants pulled down. Chantry typically fondled him for 10 minutes.

Sometimes Victim 2 was spanked as he lay across Chantry’s knees, other times bent over a desk, other times he was standing and was told to bend over and grab his ankles. Different instruments were used in the spankings, sometimes it was Chantry’s hand, sometimes a long, green willow switch, sometimes a paddle that Chantry had hand-crafted.

Victim 2 recalled being told many times by Chantry that “disobeying me is disobeying God.” He believed Chantry. He was also told that Chantry was doing this for his benefit and he was not to tell anyone what took place in the tutoring sessions.

During Christmas vacation Victim 2’s parents were taking a trip to Phoenix. Chantry volunteered to babysit Victim 2 at his house so the parents would not have to rush home that night. There was a tutoring class scheduled for the next morning, so it worked well to have Victim 2 spend the night at the parsonage, alone with Tom.

Chantry had obviously been planning this sleep over for some time. It seems Tom did a little woodworking on the side because shortly after Victim 2 arrived at the parsonage he unveiled a new, custom-made paddle he had crafted. It had a custom fitted handle and was nicely varnished. Victim 2 said Tom was quite proud of it.

Tom then instructed Victim 2 in a little church history. He told him that the church used to have monks. The senior monks had younger monks under them and they would punish them for sins that they had not found out about. Tom was now going to do the same to Victim 2. He instructed him to pull his pants down because he “wanted to see his butt turn red.” After the spanking he was, as usual, forced to sit on Tom’s lap while, for the first time, Tom rubbed his butt and then fondled his genitals skin to skin.

I could relate more of the horrors victim 2 was forced to endure, but I think this is sufficient to convince you that Victim 2’s description of Chantry of being a sick, twisted monster” is accurate.

Victim 2 told repeatedly told his parents of the spankings. Their response was that he must have done something to deserve it, and he needed to study harder. They also told him he was fortunate to be able to be tutored by the pastor. He never told his parents of the sexual molestation because he felt he would not be believed,  was ashamed and felt that somehow it was his fault.

Victim 2 was ten years old when all this physical and sexual abuse occurred in 1995. In 2006 he wanted to confront Chantry. He tracked him down and wrote him a letter through his church stating that he wanted to speak with him. Chantry had a friend of his, Don Lindblad (an ARBCA pastor in the Seattle area) respond to Victim 2. Lindblad told him that Chantry was not interested in speaking with him. Victim 2 persisted and told Lindblad he wasn’t going away. Chantry finally agreed to a three-way phone call between him, Lindblad and Victim 2. Unfortunately, Victim 2 did not receive much satisfaction from the phone call.

Susan Eazer questioned Victim 2 why he had never told anyone about the sexual molestation? He responded, “Because I never have liked talking about it. I don’t like talking about it here today.”

Powerful stuff. May God grant him justice.

 

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shauna

You know as I went to Chantry’s blog and found this open letter to the abortive mother I found his post offensive in the sense of who is he to lecture anyone on any subject regarding children? I am against abortion however is this the guy that should have been posting his opinion about such topics to unbelievers? This post was written in 2015 by Chantry and pay close attention to the phrase of his I am going to single out.

Now I understand that “abortive mother” is a diverse group. For starters, there are about 58,000,000 of you. You could hardly fit into one simple category. A few of you believe you did a good thing. Others have doubts, even if you put on a brave face to the world. Others have deep regrets. Some are depressed, some convicted. Some have come to have peace with what you now believe was a very poor decision. Some of you are my sisters in Christ – saved for exactly the same reason as myself: because Jesus saves sinners like me whose souls are home to unspeakable evil and who sometimes act on it.

because Jesus saves sinners like me whose souls are home to unspeakable evil and who sometimes act on it.

Was he revealing something about himself here? I think so!

http://confessingbaptist.com/an-open-letter-to-the-abortive-mother-tom-chantry/#comment-49770

Just clarifying that I am the assistant Todd speaks of in this article. I immediately complied with the judges’ order to take down the picture in question. Like Todd, I would comply with any order from a judge whether I agreed with it or not. This is especially true regarding perceived security issues.

I don’t wish to speculate further about a matter that appears to have been resolved. I will say that any concerns about security issues can be discussed with Todd directly. Just send him an e-mail at the address listed on this site’s contact page.

People can also write to me, although Todd’s a better sounding board for security issues, as this is his blog.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for your prayers and support. Just an FYI that Todd will be in court today, and I have several professional commitments. Therefore, comment moderation may be slower. We may need up to a 24-hour window to approve everything, although the time-frame will likely be shorter.

I apologize for this. Please also note that you can sign up to receive comments even if you don’t want to comment yourself. Just select that option from the drop-down menu.

Also, I deeply regret getting grouchy with people, one day, who were trying to make this blog’s coverage as accurate as possible.

Please let us know about any problems including spelling errors. If you’re a grammar teacher, perhaps consider cutting us some slack unless the error is so bad that a sentence’s meaning is unclear. 😉

Also, you can e-mail either Todd or myself from the contact page. We can’t guarantee that e-mail correspondence will remain confidential, yet try to keep it private.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Kathleen

I too, was wondering why the fact, that the parents allowed this to happen, was not seen as very questionable parenting. I think that maybe if this was happening now, the parents and the church might be held culpable? Shauna as well as others make some very good points on this.

I hope the victims get as much therapy as they need to get over this. I can’t imagine a little defenseless boy having to live thru this knowing that his parents are not protecting him. I don’t know if they will ever get over it.

Sonja

Thanks for this hard work Todd and Jana (and those yet unnamed). Hoping this was a good day of rest before going back into the lion’s den tomorrow.

Question — what have you observed from Chantry’s body language if he has any? I doubt you can see his face so won’t ask about that.

Shauna2

where are my comments going? I have tried twice to reply and thank you, barbara, and tiffany and also apologize to tiffany if I had offended her. I don’t want my comment to remain without making sure she knows that I didn’t mean to say anything not supportive of her comments. I think we just disagree on one thing and that is ok.

I want to thank everyone for their prayers for me and Todd in particular. Covering this trial and helping to cover this trial was very difficult for both of us for understandable reasons.

For me, it was also a milestone event. I was molested pretty badly on a crowded train in Japan at age 19. I’m presently 39. I’ve seldom discussed this, because as others who have been abused know, any kind of sexual abuse tends to be humiliating to talk with others about. People have hurt me by asking why I didn’t fight back or report the guy. In part, they don’t understand that I wasn’t in my home country and had no way of proving what happened. At the time, the Japanese police would not have been sympathetic. I am told that that this changed, and that there are now cameras on many trains.

When I was being repeatedly groped in a crowded train, it was also hard to believe it was happening. Nor was my experience unusual, sadly. All the western women at Berlitz, where I was teaching English, had also been molested on trains, if not as badly as I was. No one ever said so, but the mentality was that we were women living in a country that may have laws about rape and molestation , on the books, but didn’t really believe in enforcing them. If we wanted to live in Japan, we should accept that if we were molested or even raped there would not legal recourse for us, as there would be in our home countries. Japanese women were also in the same boat, yet had grown up accepting their country’s social mores about sexual harassment.

I bought all of the above at age 19. Now it makes me sick. My parents were diplomats, and I’ve lived in many rough places in the world. Japan was the only country in which I was molested and subtly told that that shouldn’t be a big deal to me. Perhaps I was more sheltered in other places, yet Japan has been widely criticized for allowing women to be abused, as a matter of course. Nor should anyone use a cultural argument as an excuse for groping genitals. Yes, different countries have different standards about appropriate touching, yet grabbing genitals should universally be considered crossing the line, in my view, in 2018.

Another reason I haven’t talked about this is that being molested on a train is less traumatic than being raped as a child or suffering other atrocities that this blog covers. However, that doesn’t mean that I should be trivializing it. I realized that this week.

What triggered me was the defense team’s attempt to discredit witnesses by badgering them about details pertaining to abuse, which also seem irrelevant to me, although I’m not privy to everything the jury sees, etc. etc.. I remember being molested very well. However, if someone were to ask me what color my pants were that day or whether the perpetrator grabbed my left leg before groping my genitals, I probably wouldn’t be able to answer those questions.

I understand that Tom Chantry has the right to a fair trial and an excellent attorney. However, certain strategies for discrediting people seem morally abhorrent to me too.

So again, thanks for your prayers for me and Todd. I don’t know how this trial will end. However, I am glad that victims have at least had a chance to face their abuser in court and speak their truth about what he did to them. In many countries, that would never happen.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Serving Kids in Japan

“Sears also attempted to discredit Victim 5’s statement that Chantry had punched him in the face. He said the police report stated he had been punched in the face or chest, so was it possible that had actually been punched in the chest instead of the face?”

How, exactly, does this affect the victim’s credibility? What does it matter where Chantry punched him? A grown man punching a boy — or anyone, for that matter — in the either face or chest is abusive and criminal. Did Sears simply concede that Chantry punched him? If so, I fail to see how that helps his case.

Thanks Todd. You are continuing to do a great job of covering this case.
And thanks Janna and others who may be assisting you. 🙂

Deana Holmes

Todd,

Thank you ever so much for your thorough reporting on this case, including the sidebars! It gives a good flavor of what’s going on. I don’t know if I could be in the courtroom with that stomach-churning testimony from the victims. Victim 5’s testimony about how he saw Victim 2 spanked through the window in Chantry’s office door had to be a surprise to both the prosecution and defense. Both sides probably made calls after court to line up witnesses to confirm or not whether the office door had a window in it at the time, because that’s awesome first-hand evidence.

I was very disturbed that at least for a little bit, the judge was willing to entertain the possibility of removing a picture of the defendant from a website. It’s a good thing he walked that back. But I’d say to John Sears: Dude, you did learn about the First Amendment in law school, right? And you do know the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a mugshot of your client and it is not at all flattering, no?

Not that I have a kajillion followers on Facebook, but I did put up a link to this post there.

Amy M

Potential explanation for why the Judge reversed himself, with no new evidence presented, in just a matter of hours:

We don’t really know what happened during the lunch break. His reversal likely wasn’t due to The Verde Independent or another media outlet publishing a diatribe on the sanctity of the First Amendment, simply because there wasn’t enough time for that to have happened. Judge Astrowsky already made the decision that this case would be tried in open court. He can’t suddenly seal it off mid-trial, absent some sort of major event. Courts are open for a very good reason – treading on that right is a serious act.

Was the Judge contacted, off the record, by a publisher friend or a friendly advisor letting him know how badly this act may be spun by the press? Did Easer bring forward an argument during the lunch break? Did Sears push the Judge too hard on a different argument? We may never know what prompted this reversal.

The reality is that Judge Astrowsky is an elected official who serves on the bench in the fourth most populous county in the entire U.S. When he returns home, he has to face life under the watchful eye of the Gannett Publishing empire. As Mark Twain once said, “Never quarrel with a man who buys ink by the barrel.” Back in Phoenix, Judge Astrowsky stepping on the First Amendment rights of journalists is beyond a faux pas – it’s a dog that won’t hunt. Maybe he just needed a few minutes in solace to remember he is going back home in 3+ weeks and that this may end up being his one case that receives the most news coverage.

No elected officials want a record of themselves stepping on First Amendment rights. It’s likely that he simply reconsidered his position. FTR he now serves in Maricopa County Family Court, although until recently he served in Criminal Court and earlier in his career he even briefly worked for prosecutors involved with sex crimes against children.

IF Tom Chantry’s life was truly in danger, as can be the case for certain defendants, particularly those involved in organized crime/gangs, then Todd would be seeing manifestations of such a threat level.

There appeared to have been only one Deputy escorting Chantry to the parking lot and he was wearing a thin nylon polo shirt. When a defendant is receiving serious death threats, body armor is involved. Kevlar vests with ceramic plates are fully visible on both agents and defendant. The defendant typically receives both a bullet proof vest as well as Kevlar that extends below the waist to cover the mid-thigh for added protection. You could not possibly miss that.

There are also multiple agents assigned to such high risk defendants, so if there is any open fire, one agent can take the defendant to safety while another one lays down suppressing fire and another one engages in return fire. For defendants in really serious danger, you may even see snipers on the roof. We are not seeing any of that here, nor would you expect to in such a case.

I’m sure some hotheads have said some stupid stuff on the internet, but it doesn’t seem likely that Chantry’s life is in immediate jeopardy. It’s clear that while the Yavapai County Sheriff may be affording some additional security due to the well publicized nature of the case, they are not treating the defendant like he’s in mortal danger. We don’t know why the venue was changed from Prescott to Verde Valley, but that was likely at the behest of Sears, who has also been trying to use death threats to garner more continuances. He seems to see this as the one area he may be able to make headway on, so he’s milking it.

If the jurors are seeing any of this, Sears may also simply be engaging in theatrics, designed to make the jurors feel sympathy for the defendant. Sears has already tipped his hand telling us his goal is to make it sound like Chantry is the victim – the well meaning pastor who is being persecuted. Sears can try to add gravitas to his silly claims if he can make it sound like the Chantry clan have to live in constant fear. Sympathy/Empathy for defendants is a powerful tool. Sears may be looking for a hung jury, more than for an acquittal. His best bet is to get a few jurors to feel bad for the Chantrys. I sincerely hope that the jurors understand how much stagecraft is involved in both modern ministry and criminal defenses.

I am glad that Judge Astrowsky appears to be more unwilling now to help Sears with this narrative. I do believe some of this may have been influenced by the Judge’s recollection that Gannett does not look favorably upon elected officials who try to clamp down on the media’s constitutional rights. It is still a good idea to not come across as antagonistic, so I admire your restraint Todd.

MW

Do you know if anyone saw Chantry punch Victim 5? It sounds like he mentioned a bunch of adults came over to him following the incident and it made me wonder if there were witnesses.

Dee Parsons
Dee Parsons

Well done, Todd. I believe that the judge was in error in his first move to limit the freedom of social media reporters. I am grateful that he revisited the issue and vacated his order. It appears to me that Chantry’s attorney is trying to make Chantry sound like a victim of social media. I wonder what he would say if he learned that I believe that I, as a blogger, was a victim of the over the top defenders of Tom Chantry as I have documented on my blog?

Thanks for the recap Todd. My impressions of what you have written is that it is interesting that a simple photo on a blog which does not appear to have all that much traffic would gather that much focus. The only reason that I can think of is because Satan and his pawns love to hide in dark places like the cockroaches that they are. In this spiritual battle, “reasonable” does not exist. Let me encourage you to look at the bigger picture. We do not struggle against flesh and blood. I think this is good news because it means that the Devil has noticed what you are doing. He sees you and this blog as a threat, so you are doing something right. When I have stepped out myself to do what is right I have noticed a pretty consistent over-reaction from the enemy coming quickly. When I do not see it, then I wonder if I am on the right track or being near as effective as I hoped. So, do not be surprised if this kind of thing continues. The war is real, as are the casualties, but normally all we see are the pawns being moved. We cannot see the spiritual influences behind the moves.
I also wanted to say that I have a heart that also wants to do what you are doing. One of the great problems with The Church today is that it has no internal police force. There is no one inside with the authority to bring correction into out-of-control churches. This, I think, is because of an over-reaction to our history when, actually not that long ago, there were bishops who had this authority, but almost all of them were corrupted by the power and could not be trusted. They became the abusers and there was no earthly power to correct them. Now The Church swings to the opposite extreme and there is so much lawlessness that the civil authorities are the only hope for correction and even that proves too weak for justice to be had much of the time. Justice is the foundation of God’s thrown, His very authority, and His Word tells us that we are supposed to hold each other accountable.
I would love to help personally be a part of what people like you are doing, but I lack both the resources and the practical wisdom on how to proceed to do something to help fix this mess. If God were to provide both, then I would be in the trenches with you there. We need faithful people who will expose this stuff. We also need God’s help and His power to bring it out into the light so that more people can see it. The current lawless state of matters does need to end. I keep praying to God that He would bring about that change and I have done what I could myself to see this happen. Narcissism in church leaders does need to be exposed, along with the idolatry of the people who worship the narcissist leader taking his throne inside God’s Church thereby defiling and desecrating it. All of these narcissists are abusive leaders with zero Godly character. Some are womanizers, some are greedy, they all want people to be devoted to them, instead of Jesus Christ, and some are child-molesting Sons of the Devil.
Beyond all of that, it looks like Sear’s strategy is back-firing on him, if your descriptions are accurate. Being overly aggressive against people who were once abused as children is likely to create additional sympathy in the jury for those same witnesses. And Sear’s sharp, repetitive line of questioning brought out an eye witness account no one knew about through a window. I think these things only strengthen the prosecutors position. Thanks again!

Headless Unicorn Guy

“There was a tutoring class scheduled for the next morning, so it worked well to have Victim 2 spend the night at the parsonage, alone with Tom.

Chantry had obviously been planning this sleep over for some time. ”

Standard sexual predator M.O.
Groomed and pre-planned in advance (even to making “special equipment”).

We had a sexual predator who used a similar M.O. at Furry conventions years ago (and I’m sure he wasn’t the only one). He’d offer a room share at the con hotel to the (scoped out and younger) prey. Offering a room share is not suspicious in and of itself, as congoers often share hotel rooms to save money. However, when the prey got to the con, the room turned out to be a single and…

“Tom then instructed Victim 2 in a little church history. He told him that the church used to have monks.”

Church History(TM) straight out of the Da Vinci Code
Setting up for a little sexual sadism session like that Smyth guy in South Africa, except without both of them being nekkid. And apparently no pool of blood on the floor at the end of the session.

Headless Unicorn Guy

Sometimes Victim 2 was spanked as he lay across Chantry’s knees, other times bent over a desk, other times he was standing and was told to bend over and grab his ankles.

Don’t know about the meaning of that where you are, but where I am the expression “bend over and grab your ankles” has a secondary meaning of code words for anal rape.

Victim 2 recalled being told many times by Chantry that “disobeying me is disobeying God.”

“If You Question Anything I Do
YOU REBEL AGAINST THE FATHER, TOO!”
— Steve Taylor, “I Manipulate”

Shauna

I am following this and thank you for being there. My heart truly is saddened for these now men who were abused and violated by this monster! As a mother of a child who had been abused by a church member, I just get so angry at the protection and trust these animals are given by the church and even parents. I can not imagine for one minute of one second not believing my child and then handing him over. I hope the parents of these courageous men have made things right with their sons and are supporting them. Tom Chantry is a sick twisted human being who should rot in prison. The church and men who protected him and knew need to be rotting there as well! As far as I’m concerned they participated in the abuse with their protection of him and their silence! I hope the victims have had healing and someone to help them work through the trauma they endured. If they are reading your blog and the comments here I hope they see mine and know that they are and never did anything to deserve what this animal did to them. I want them to know that talking about it is putting all the shame on their perpetrator because he’s the one who is vile, filthy, dirty, scum and not them. They are pure and innocent and everything they did in order to survive those times of the abuse they did it right. My son couldn’t even scream out to me and I had been in the other room. He had a sharp object placed to his throat and was told he would die along with me had he screamed. My baby survived to this day he says he should have screamed should have fought. He blamed himself and every chance every opportunity I tell him he did everything right to survive that he did what anyone any adult would do to survive and that it’s not his fault. The perpetrator is the animal he’s the one who did it. I say to these brave, beautiful, wonderful boys who are now men that you survived, you didn’t do anything wrong, he’s the animal and he carry’s all the shame and the guilt not you. As I think back to the night my son was abused and reading your blog I am choked up and my heart grieves their loss along with my son. They are so amazing as my son is because he to spoke up and stood his ground against his perpetrator. He has told his story and has fought accusations and slander. He is now 18 and is one of the most courageous people I know and have the privilege of calling son. These men model for my son and many more courage because I can’t imagine it’s not easy for them to relive the abuse. I think what breaks my heart the most is that they suffered in silence carrying such a heavy burden for so long with no support during that time. I hope nothing I have said here is offensive I just want them to know how impressed I am with them. That anyone reading their story needs to 100% back them.

Besides the obvious crimes of abuse against these poor victims, three things stand out to me which continue to prove our points on why victims don’t report sooner:
1) What church people want a Pastor who punched a child in the face – regardless of his “apology”? This incident after only being there for one month as Pastor sent a very strong message that he was in charge, he would not be punished, he was invincible and powerful. That should have been met with charges and immediate firing.

2) His power to the victim proven by the fact that victim 5 after already having been punched he now witnesses and endures hearing his brother being spanked weekly by this monster and his parents don’t believe him.

3) This victim #2 endures all of this and knows his brother is outside, and gets the message that this is “normal” because his parents allowed him to be there, his brother is outside, he’s special/chosen because it’s just him, and this is reiterated by the parents, there must have been signs of a change from the trauma even while he tries to tell his parents (not believed) and yet he’s sent back
Power

4) The poor child cries for help and is not believed – typical of victims up against powerful “good” “godlike” leaders

5) Tom, the monster/Pastor/Teacher, tells this victim that to disobey him is to disobey God – which immediately throws every thought of this not feeling right into a moral and spiritual controversy because any thoughts against his Pastor/Abuser immediately contradicts his young faith – and the position of his very religious families dedication to the “church”. This is a psychological and spiritual abuse that is incredibly hard to untangle.
He furthers this point by his twisted tale of Monks and how this is “normal”

6) The victims are children, they want to “be good” and receive approval of their parents and leaders

7) Because he is not believed, and due to the hero worship
of this Pastor along with I’m sure many messages from the pulpit that elevate his power and hold on them, the parents continue to hand him over to his abuser every week and then entrust him for a sleepover “babysitting” – I’m sure the parents griev this decision – but they are sucked in and brainwashed, never seeing this man as anything but a “godly” spiritual leader. However, this further solidified (concretely) to this victim and his brother that this man has all power, they will not be rescued or believed, and that this is expected – why would they tell again? The power play is solid.

8) The victim is taught that this is discipline – furthering the power play and also attributing guilt – the victim thought he “deserved” this punishment. The biggest crime and the hardest part to overcome – he blames himself and can’t think clearly, brainwashing. And the parents tell him to submit because “he must have done something wrong and he needed to study harder”. I am not judging the parents, I’ll reserve my own thoughts on this, however this message by brainwashed followers of a leader in the church is all too common and it is continually manipulated by the perpetrator in conversations. Make no mistake, it is a constant work in action to confuse even their own questioning and doubts.
The victim also watches this manipulation of his parents, and realizes he won’t be rescued, it’s hopeless.

This is the incredible mind games, power plays, manipulation, control and power that are wielded to allow perpetrators to prey on people in the church.
It is the same in Hollywood for movie roles and furthering of careers (and standing up means being blacklisted), it is the same in business corporate settings, and the potential to “be ruined” or demoted. Those are adults….imagine the confusion and devastation on a young child or youth in a youth group – they are not only up against their entire church, but their parents and family, and most confusingly – God (they have been led to believe) – whom can they trust?

We have to start a new discussion and we must tell
our children what is never safe – and not teach or children to implicitly trust “men of God”, and not treat them as powerful leaders to our children. We must understand what’s at stake. No one is to be idolized this way. And when they seem to demand it, beware. When they want you to submit or agree to things that seem “off”, question it.
We are sheep that have ONE shepherd, the earthly ones need to be questioned and evaluated daily and constantly- when your earthly shepherd becomes unquestionable and powerful – beware.

I grieve and pray for these victims – we will never know what the impact does to their daily lives and how it has altered everything. God never intended this for anyone, His way is peace and love and protection and abundance as we grow in faith with and for Him – never for man.

Thank you Todd for the heart wrenching coverage, people NEED to understand the workings of predator Pastors.

JHenry

It would appear that the defense fears the social media reporting of this case. Perhaps the abusers in the church resent that social media has knocked down the ‘Don’t tell’ door and allowed truth to flow forth.