Pedophile Tom Chantry – Prison Sentence “Will Destroy Me!”

By | July 20, 2019

“I’ve done something I can’t recover from.”
-Tom Chantry, caught in a rare moment of prophetic honesty.

Don Lindblad: “Imagine our surprise, then, when we were asked to meet with the investigators about an hour later.  Instead of pressing for some form of church discipline or civil charges, they told us they wanted to give Tom back his life.  They believed he had not been forthcoming, that he was far guiltier than what he was willing to admit, but they also believed he was a gifted young man and should return to the ministry someday.”
Exhibit 153 in Court Documents
Don Lindblad’s Review for Earl Blackburn
April 15, 2002

“I have learned two painful lessons as a believer – my undue admiration of and attention to a former pastor who preached the heresy of “Christian Reconstructionism,” and then Chantry, who preached the gospel of himself since he was his own god.”

-Former member of Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Hales Corners, WI

Below are photos of friends/enablers/ARBCA conspirators in the coverup of Chantry’s crimes and family members of Tom Chantry that couldn’t make it to his sentencing. We don’t want to forget them!

Judy Rogers, Tom’s sister and former IRBS employee.

Earl Blackburn, Tom’s close friend. Recently retired from his ARBCA pastorate.

 

Larry Vincent, ARBCA pastor from Mansfield, TX was a friend of Chantry’s and preached at his church once while Chantry was in jail.

 

David Dykstra, ARBCA pastor, attended a few days of Chantry’s first trial. Co-authored “Holding Communion Together” with Chantry.

 

John Giarrizzo, ARBCA pastor in Gilbert, AZ. Chantry fled to his house after resigning from MVBC.

Tom Chantry’s longtime friend and enabler, ARBCA pastor Don Lindblad.

Tom Lyon, ARBCA pastor. Allowed Chantry to preach at his church 6 months after fleeing MVBC. Officiated Chantry’s wedding and preached at Chantry’s installation service at Christ Reformed Baptist Church, Hales Corners, WI.

My article is based largely on the eyewitness account of Chantry’s sentencing by Cheryl Watson. I commend her to readers of this blog. You will find her account here.

Tom Chantry has always been all about Tom Chantry, a textbook example of a narcissist, he remained true to form at his sentencing. His sadistic physical and sexual abuse of children has ruined the lives of numerous victims and their families, yet even at his sentencing, he denied everything.  He did not get justice, he has been slandered, his reputation has been destroyed, he will be destroyed.

“It’s hard for me to believe his parents were unaware of his predilection for spankings. I’ve known Tom since he was six years old, and watched him matriculate through the Grace Baptist Christian school in Carlisle, PA, where a favorite playtime game of his was what he called ‘baby’. That’s where he orchestrated scenarios where his playmates were ‘bad babies’ and needed to be spanked. He, of course, meted out the necessary punishment. Perhaps his parents and the school mistook this playtime activity of their own harsh discipline approach, I was not a discipline problem as a child, but that didn’t stop several of the teachers at that school from singling me out for viscous beatings – at times for small infractions, and at other times for infractions manufactured out of thin air.”

-Comment on my blog

The bottom line is Tom Chantry has led a privileged life and is accustomed to getting what he wants. Up until his sentencing, he has never been held accountable for his actions. He appears to be unable to comprehend that the game is up, people are no longer buying his lies.

He said that this verdict and sentence will fix nothing, will turn his wife into a widow with a living husband, and, “It will destroy me.”  He stated that there was no justice in this verdict, and that he has been slandered and his reputation destroyed. “This is not justice.”

-Cheryl Watson

“She (Prosecutor Susan Eazer) also spoke of how Tom Chantry denied everything under oath, even some of the spanking. Tom’s testimony proves that he is a prolific liar, which makes him very dangerous.”

Cheryl Watson

Life is ironic.  While Al Huber and his daughter, Karen were attending the sentencing of Tom Chantry, I was on the road, mere miles from the Rockford home of the Hubers.

Both Al Huber and Karen (Huber) Chantry believe Tom is innocent of all charges. It’s hard to believe that any rational adult could hold to this belief after sitting through the trials of Chantry and hearing the testimony of the young men and woman that Chantry sexually abused and/or assaulted, but Karen wrote as much to her (what now must be a handful) supporters, stating “Friends, Tom is not guilty of these allegations, but there he sits.” (In Yavapai County Jail.)

Chantry Update by Karen Cha… by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

 

The only two supporters Chantry had in the courtroom, both Al and Karen addressed the Court. They both hoped to minimize what two trials had made obvious – that Tom Chantry is a sick, sadistic sexual pervert. ARBCA pastor Al Huber stated:

“Whatever he did in the past, he isn’t the same.”

First of all, what is it that Chantry did in the past, Al and Karen? It’s not a set of vague charges floating around in the netherworld. Tom was charged and convicted of horrific acts of violence and sexual perversion. We saw his victims, we listened to their tortured testimony.

“Whatever he did in the past, he isn’t the same.”

Really? How do you know that? Perhaps his recent statement that the Prosecutor should be hung and the Judge put in prison for life is evidence of Chantry’s newfound Christian character? Perhaps the letters of support for Chantry, included in the presentence memorandum by Chantry’s Defense Counsel show Tom to be a changed man? (I refer to the letters from Claire Kronshage and her son, James Johnson which, in my opinion, demonstrates a textbook example of a pedophile grooming a mother and her son for what would likely have been another case of sexual abuse had Chantry not been arrested.)

Thomas Chantry Sentence Mem… by Todd Wilhelm on Scribd

 

Former Miller Valley Baptist Church pastor Bob Selph also showed up at the sentencing to speak on behalf of the victim.  As much as I hate to say it, I agree with Tom Chantry on this when Chantry said: “Bob Selph finally arrived now that he can’t take the stand.”

Where have you been for the last 19 years, Bob? I have read your sorry letters attempting to explain your and ARBCA’s actions, and I didn’t buy what you said. I don’t know your heart, but I hope you have truly repented and asked the forgiveness of all of the MVBC families you abandoned in their time of need.

Finally, I would like to address the sentence handed down by Judge Astrowsky.

The Judge could have imposed anywhere between 10-24 years of prison time per count. Seventeen years was the preemptive sentence. If the Judge believed there were mitigating circumstances in favor of giving Chantry a lighter sentence, he could reduce the prison time. If adverse circumstances were proved, which they were, the Judge had the liberty to increase the prison time. The Judge disregarded the mitigating circumstances presented by the Defense and sentenced Chantry to the maximum prison time allowed on all four counts of sexual molestation of a child.

Great, thank you Judge Astrowsky.

But then the Judge chose to run all four counts concurrently. Why? I don’t pretend to know anything about the legal system, so perhaps I shouldn’t comment, but it baffles me why the Judge would give Chantry the maximum sentence and then basically undermine the sentence by effectively reducing the time to 1/4 of what it could have been had the Judge ran the sentences consecutively.

One rarely gets everything they hope for in life and such is my feeling in this case. Nevertheless,  I do take solace in the fact that Chantry will be in prison until he is 72 years old, unable to molest any more children for a good, long time, and that is really why I write.  My goal is to protect children from abusers. That has been accomplished in this case.

Finally, I wanted to reprint this letter from one of Chantry’s victims. I hope she doesn’t mind that I did so. I thought it was very good.

P.S. Tom Chantry will be appealing the sentence. No surprise there.

96
Submit Comment

2000
  Subscribe  
newest oldest
Notify of

Hi Everyone: you all are lovely, whether you agree with me or Todd or not. However, I just deleted a bunch of comments, posted and unposted, from someone whose unpleasant and immature behavior has just gotten her banned from this site.

Sorry about the distraction. I should have pulled the plug on that commenter earlier.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Douglas Belardi

Is Chantry in jail or is he in prison NOW?

JAH

Does anyone know how many churches were associated with ARBCA at it’s peak?

Former CRBC Member - WI

Some Sunday night in January, 2017 (I believe), an ARBCA contingent of stooges came to CRBC in Hales Corners, WI in an attempt to do “damage control” with the members. This was because the ONE overwhelmed and inept elder was pressured by the members for answers so I suspect that he arranged the meeting. The church was packed (many witnesses) and the meeting lasted for five hours. Don Lindblad did most of the “lying” as they sat upon the dais and described the situation and in their lame and twisted way, defended Chantry. I sat up front and listened intently. Lindblad kept reiterating that “only spanking was involved.” I asked the very first question: “Was there any confirmed or suspected sexual abuse/molestation of children? Lindblad looked at me and said, “NO.”

Douglas Belardi
Elizabeth

Five hours! Wow. Was Chantry there that evening? That was his church, right? Can you remember the “mood” of the members? I mean, generally speaking, of course, were they supportive of him or was suspicion beginning to creep in. Early 2017 was pretty early in this debacle, to the best of my memory.

Former CRBC Member- WI

This is most difficult for me to recall since it was so surreal and I have tried (with God’s grace) to distance myself from it. Whenever I tried I would think of Todd, Janna, and Brent mired in the MUCK of this and would take courage and forge onward.

Now, if I and many others at CRBC were both spiritually and emotionally torn asunder by this this long sordid affair – I cannot even begin to imagine what the REAL abuse victims and their parents went through since this type of wickedness and crime leaves a wide swath of walking wounded. This is something that the ARBCA stooges and both Walter and the “other Chantry” do not CARE to understand in the least since it is ALL about them.

Lindblad did most of the blithering on the dais, as I said. He sounded very convincing and seemed upright and to be a man of integrity. The other stooges were there to offer support, I suppose. I, myself, was duped by the lies because when Lindblad denied any sexual abuse/molestation I reasoned that Chantry’s “spankings” were initiated to very undisciplined and out of control children and then to the simple over-zealousness of a young and immature pastor – like I am sure most in the congregation did – since that is the way it was SPUN.

I would say that 70% of the members believed the ARBCA account of the incidences. 15% were doubtful and unsure and 15% did not believe a word of it. A few members left immediately. The 30% who were unsure and who did not believe the ARBCA account remained at the church for a few months while private discussions were taking place. Then they left for other churches. I remained but my thinking was changing because of Todd’s painful (excruciating coverage) honest, insightful, and outstanding reporting of the trials which then allowed me to piece the seemingly disparate accounts together. The small band loyal to Chantry remain together in their delusions as a cult with
the ARBCA cult which appears to be melting down quickly.

Ciaran

Do you remember the names of the members of the “ARBCA contingent of stooges”?

Douglas Belardi

Don Lindbladt and Steve Martin

Headless Unicorn Guy

Pedophile Tom Chantry – Prison Sentence “Will Destroy Me!”

Poor Poor Pitiful MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

[…] Pedophile Tom Chantry – Prison Sentence “Will Destroy Me!” Tags:Church discipline, Unbiblical churchianity […]

JAH

The fact that Grace Baptist, Carlisle PA has now withdrawn from ARBCA is a hugely significant development considering the history. This could have a knock-on effect with other churches. I wonder how much (if any recently) financial support they were giving to ARBCA!

JAH

Will ARBCA and Solid Grounds Books still be promoting “Holding Communion Together” now that TJC is a convicted pedophile?

Another former member

I believe it’s out of print. You can find it on Amazon for a cool $592 (used). I think I saw a photo of one online some years back with a few bullet holes in it… maybe the owner would be willing to part with that copy?

Samuel Conner

Am curious about something, Todd:

TJC appeared to be upset with Bob Selph for appearing after the trials to speak at sentencing on behalf of the victims. You reluctantly agreed with TJC that (I guess) Selph seemed to have been hiding up to that point.

IIRC, Selph is not unimplicated in the cover-up of TJC’s crimes. IIRC from your prior reporting, he knew about and had seen the “Level 1/confidential” report of the “informal council.”

That being the case, why would TJC have wanted BS to have appeared to testify under oath at the trials? Did he expect that BS would have perjured himself in order to protect TJC? Doesn’t the calling of attention, at the sentencing hearing, to BS’s knowledge of the matter (implied by the implication that BS had been hiding up to that point) inculpate rather than exculpate TJC?

Perhaps this is another example of TJC not being able to restrain his anger and verbally harming his interests in consequence.

Just a though

Given that child molesters and abusers are considered the absolute scum of the earth by all the other prisoners, I suspect it will only get worse for Tom Chantry. He will be spending his entire time in prison looking behind his back to avoid getting shanked in the kidneys.

Macleod

He will burn in hell, for eternity. Deservedly so….Hopefully, his enablers will be there with him

Samuel Conner

It looks like the “under the sun wrath of God” that Paul describes in Romans 1 has already caught up with him.

It remains to be seen what the “under the sun” consequences will be for the enablers.

Elizabeth

I find it odd that his parents have been so absent during both trials and now the sentencing. And seemingly they didn’t even write a letter requesting leniency in sentencing. I guess they’re pretty old, but old people do travel. Maybe the shame of this, especially to such a revered icon as his dad apparently was, and also fear of their son going to prison was just too much for them. Still, seeing as how much influence Walt Chantry had/has…why on earth would he at least not show some measure of public support for his only son? His father-in-law certainly has made his presence known

I agree, Walt Chantry and his wife could still issue a statement even if they are not in good health.

Perhaps they’ve been advised not to given Walt’s role in covering up Tom’s physical and sexual abuse of children.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Douglas Belardi

Walt is more interested in protecting the shattered pieces on his legacy than in defending his son NOW, knowing he helped create the “monster”

WST

I’d like to address the assumptions that are made of Chantrys’ supporters believing he is 100% innocent. I know many of these people quite well and have known them for many years, they don’t believe he’s actually “innocent” of anything he’s been accused and/or convicted of, in fact they know he’s guilty of the crimes he’s now been convicted of. These people simply believe that Chantry is Christian and is above any laws of the common man and, like Chantry himself, believe any and all courts of law have no right in Gods world of holding him accountable for anything. They wholeheartedly believe that child molestation is a moral issue to be instantly forgiven by God rather than the illegal, disgusting issue it actually is. The monster is finally exposed and caged, the enablers are finally exposed and humbled.

Thanks, I agree 100 percent.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Douglas Belardi

me too

Another former member

WST, I think I would avoid painting pictures in such broad strokes. I would also avoid making statements about what others may or may not “know”. While there are most certainly those who fall into the category you describe, you must remember that Tom is anything but stupid. He has been given the benefit of the doubt by many over the years (for various reasons, whether it be naivete, his background, his upbringing, his position, etc.), and he has been very clever and selective, as another commenter pointed out, where his friends, followers and victims are concerned. As someone else pointed out, as soon as he is taken to task for his shortcomings, his m.o. is to counter-attack with (false) accusations and then to silence his opponent (i.e. blocking on social media). I am sure that there are still plenty of people who sincerely believe in his innocence, many of whom probably do not have the courage and/or the stomach to delve any deeper into the issue than the information they are spoon fed from those around them.

I agree with what you’ve said. However, I do think, and you probably agree, that all adults have an inherent responsibility to protect children from physical and sexual abuse.

Therefore spoon-fed individuals need to develop a spine, in my view. If they refuse to do so, I hope that their churches are shunned by everyone.

Protecting children from someone like Chantry is not just about being a good Christian to me. It simply reflects a basic sense of adulthood and human decency.

Thanks for sharing your perspective.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Another former member

I do indeed agree wholeheartedly, Janna. As you say, protecting children from predators is certainly not a responsibility that should be reserved for a few individuals in specific settings. Every adult should be constantly vigilant, watching for even the slightest hints of deviant behavior. As a child, I recognized traits in Tom that I thought at the time were simply odd, or off (and looking back now as an adult, I am able to recognize them for the warning signals that they were), so I too am astounded (and in some cases find it difficult to believe) that none of the adults in his life (parents, teachers, professors, etc.) picked up on any of the signals and, if they did, neglected to bring them to light.

In any case, my comment was not meant in any way, shape or form to excuse those who remain ignorant to the facts (wilfully or through a lack of diligence. I was merely stating that I believe it is irresponsible to make blanket statements about what people “know” or sincerely believe to be true, The world is full of people who are sincere, but wrong.

Thanks for the follow-up. I knew what you meant. I just wanted to clarify my opinions about certain adults for others who are reading.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Douglas Belardi

Timeline of Events
** Out of respect for the victims, their names and the names of their families have been changed.
Jun 18, 1995 Interim Pastor Tom Chantry’s first Sunday in Prescott [MVBC Timeline]
July 4, 1995 4
The 4th of July incident with Tom and Mitch Jones and first observation of “inappropriate and unusual” behavior by Tom in a social environment. [MVBC Timeline]
Sep 27, 1995 MVB Annual Business Mtg. Vote to call to Tom as Senior Pastor [MVBC Timeline

MVBC should NEVER have “called” this manster “called” as a “pastor”

a former Carlisle ARBCA church attendee

I agree that Tom should never have been allowed to become a pastor. However, I think we must remember that hindsight is 20/20. Chantry was practically royalty back in the 90s. Very few people talked about pedophilia, especially in the church. (I do remember my father taking me an my siblings to a pedophile awareness seminar though.)
While I think the parents should have gone to the police when this all happened, I doubt that Tom would have been convicted of molestation. The kids may not have recognized it for what it was until they were adults. The police may have seriously bungled the investigation (seems that happened anyway). The kids would likely not have been believed given the different tolerance level between then and now. If he were convicted of child abuse for excessive spanking, then he would have been seen as suffering for the sake of Christ at the hands of an antiChristian judicial system.

Douglas Belardi

when je punched a kid out on July 4th two weeks after his first appearance at MVBC, that SHOULD have raised a thousand RED FLAGS

a former Carlisle ARBCA church attendee

I couldn’t agree more regarding a new pastor punching a child. If his last name hadn’t been Chantry, he probably would not have been called by the church.
Regarding the molestation charges, I will defer to your more thorough understanding of the case. It just seems as though there is less tolerance of this type of behavior now than there was 20 years ago. However, if the Informal Council did hear clear evidence of molestation, I don’t know how they have lived with themselves since then. Even if his name was Chantry, there can be no excuse for failure to notify the authorities of molestation. I look forward to reading your findings about what the men of the Informal Council knew.

Thanks for your great comment. This blog and others have already extensively written about what the informal council knew. They were foolish enough to put their findings in writing, and that information was later disseminated by good people.

There’s just a lot of material about Tom Chantry on this blog, and I’m sensitive to how overwhelming that can be.

I believe that Tom Chantry’s first lawyer argued that, in their capacity as clergy, members of Chantry’s 3-person ARBCA investigative committee were even legally required to report the allegations of abuse against him 20 years ago.

I’m not remembering why the lawyer argued that, yet he thought it would benefit his client in some way and wanted to discredit the council as well.

One of those members is a lawyer. Another has an extensive law enforcement background. They cannot argue that they were naive about reporting requirements or their responsibility to protect children.

There appears to be reason to think that those individuals also knew that Chantry was sexually abusing children, although I don’t believe the evidence regarding their possible failure to report sexual abuse is as strong. This is likely because it takes victims longer to report the horror of sexual abuse versus the more socially acceptable horror of physical abuse.

I am not aware that any of the 3 people on Chantry’s investigation committee have apologized to victims for not reporting child abuse, or made public statements of any kind about Tom Chantry’s convictions for committing child physical and sexual abuse.

I can tell you that Tom Chantry has been formally convicted of molestation pertaining to deliberately and extensively fondling the genitalia of children on multiple occasions.

No need to take anyone’s word for that. We have the primary source documents pertaining to the convictions.

I imagine you and I agree that the molestation I have just described was no more acceptable 20 years ago than it is now. This is not a borderline case regarding criminal conduct.

Todd’s already out of town and I’m leaving town for a wedding tomorrow. Is there any chance this blog’s readers could provide links to articles about what the informal council knew?

They don’t have to be from just this blog, although I will not approve comments saying that the council knew nothing because that’s just an outright lie, based on the primary source documents available publicly.

If so, Todd and I would really appreciate that help.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

a former Carlisle ARBCA church attendee

I absolutely agree that molestation was just as wrong and unacceptable 20 years ago as it is today. However, it is my perception that victims are more likely to report today and more likely to be believed today.

Broadly speaking, this is probably true about victims being believed more often although each case is individual.

However, it’s still hard for victims to discuss, much less publicly, such a personal issue as is sexual abuse.

And if they go to court, they will be called liars by defense attorneys. I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to sexually abused and then publicly accused of lying about the abuse.

Thanks again for your comments. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Yes, I was mostly pointing out that child victims in particular might have been less likely to tell Tom Chantry’s informal ARBCA committee about sexual abuse versus physical abuse, in the past.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

WST

Yes, the broad strokes are irresponsible and wrong on my behalf. Many people who know him still do indeed believe he is truly innocent of all that he is convicted of. They have simply been conned by the best of the best.

Thanks for the comment. As a moderator and close friend of Todd, I feel comfortable saying the following:

I think it’s best if people say what’s really on their minds initially, within reason. I stick my foot in my mouth all the time, and often have to apologize about that later. Yet the alternative is often being too anxious about offending someone to comment at all.

I don’t think that what you said initially was wrong morally, it merely reflected your frame of mind and perspective at that time.

The above is just my opinion.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Alfred

right you are, human responsibility is not diminished by my trite answer

Former CRBC member - WI

I disagree. Many of Chantry’s waning group of supporters still believe in his innocence simply because they believe that the kids he abused and molested were lying. Like ARBCA, they are a cult of misfit non-Christians whose leader was Walt Chantry who manipulated the stooges in ARBCA for no other reason than to protect his misfit son and preserve his legacy. I agree that Chantry et al. believe that he is above the law and that the laws do not apply to him (ignoring Romans 13). That is why he may never repent of his crimes and why his non-Christian followers will remain in the dark. That is how entitled narcissists think and Chantry is one indeed and his dwindling band of admirers-followers are blinded goats still in blind submission to ARBCA for what they, themselves can get out of it – mostly false prestige.

Thanks for sharing your perspective. I think that your insight is also excellent.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Mr. Jesperson

Thanks for staying on top of this for so long. There is little reward here on earth for doing things like this, but I am convinced the reward in heaven will be great for exposing truly criminal activity in orgs that call themselves a church, but are clearly not by scriptural standards. May all the ARBCA churches be replaced with ones that actually promote Jesus and His Kingdom, instead of their own which end up just as festering cesspools. The real Jesus makes lives better. I know this to be true because I have experienced it. The neo-Pharisees just bare bad fruit and harm their own flocks. You will know them by their fruit.

Thanks. For me, helping victims actually brings many earthly rewards.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

I should clarify that I mean emotional and spiritual rewards, not financial rewards.

Perhaps God has blessed me by setting the bar relatively low. If a single child was saved from abuse because his or her parents declined to attend a pedophile-ridden church discussed on this blog, that’s enough for me.

Sexual abuse in any context is horrible. However, telling a child that God will send him or her to hell if he or she tells others that he or she has been molested, is evil beyond imagining to me.

I believe it is the duty of all adults to protect children irrespective of their religious beliefs.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Douglas Belardi

Prison Sentence “Will Destroy Me!”
even as he has “destroyed” so many lives

Well, at least Tom will have time to read the Constitution. He seems confused about the entire concept of the seperation of powers between different branches of the government.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Douglas Belardi

I’m sure saint tommy will be writing his prison epistles for the “faithfull” arbca-philes proclaiming his persecution for “Christ’s sake”

Fromer CRBC member - WI

Not only destroyed or, at the very least, scarred the lives and souls of all the kids (including his three good, but seriously confused, boys) and many other kids who we do not know about? What about the ravages done to the faith of the believers in those churches where Tommy practiced his brand of “ARBCA Christian sorcery” unchallenged and unabated for so long? How many churches were split by lies and deception and how many sincere believers suffered emotional pain and trauma over this 20 year conspiracy to escape justice and the truth – just because of his father’s pride-filled legacy. Hey Walter, was it worth it since now your legacy has been ripped to shreds by the flesh of your own flesh and tossed in to the garbage bin of Reformed Baptist history where it belongs. God will not be mocked even by an earth-dwelling “legend.”

Douglas Belardi

what amazes me (or not) is that at HeritageBC in Mansfield,TX,( home of irBS) as best I can tell from the live-stream Sunday morning services, is that the vast majority of people who were there when I left are still there and imbibing the same lies and deception in spite of tthe overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Thus I lack any real sympathy for those who choose to remain in such a corrupt system

Paul Schmidt

What? Tom Chantry, the darling poster boy of ARBCA, sentenced to 24 years in prison for crimes against children?

How can this be? The entire situation was, after all, as Pastor Tom Lyon of Providence Reformed Baptist Church told me in early June 2017, “just some spankings.”

Just some spankings. … That breathtakingly ignorant, resonant, dismissive statement sums up ARBCA’s outlook and motivation throughout this heartbreaking, infuriating matter.

Oh, and you white-washed sepulchres who’ll dutifully sit tomorrow in the pews of ARBCA churches, those of you who surreptitiously read this blog and others and who know the truth now, the stark, horrific facts of children tortured, why are you still there, listening to the blather of wolves in the pulpit? You cowards! You are more afraid of your church, your elders and your deacons than you are of God. Every minute you remain in that pew you make a statement: you meekly accept what Chantry did, what ARBCA did, what your elders did or failed to do. Through your presence and spinelessness, you condone it, all of it. Right down to the last blow striking the last child.

If you are not cowards, then you are indifferent. You say, “God’s will has been done,” thinking this piousness excuses you. You thus choose to stand with a pedophile and his woeful band of excuse-makers and enablers. You have no compassion. If you have children, I pity them. I would not be surprised if you beat them in the same manner as Chantry beat his victims. I’ve known some parents in Reformed Baptist circles who came quite close.

You all sicken me. ARBCA sickens me. May God in His mercy burn ARBCA to the ground and destroy those remaining churches still supporting it — and may nothing rise from the ashes.

I think this is a great comment. I just want to add that this blog supports metaphorically, not literally, burning ARBCA to the ground.

I’m sure that’s also what the poster meant.

We just have to be careful because one of Chantry’s lawyers argued that this blog may be fomenting violence. He had no evidence to back that contention up, yet tried to shut down Todd’s right to free speech anyway.

Thanks.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Paul Schmidt

Yes, my final remarks were figurative. Had I meant them literally, I would have included the new IRBS seminary, an actual structure.

That’s a great point. I’m really sorry about the disclaimer. Chantry is very angry now and his lawyers have a long history of grasping at metaphorical straws.

Sigh.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Douglas Belardi

irBS is currently meeting at Hertage Baptist Church in Mansfield, TX

Former Member of CRBC - WI

Al Huber and his daughter are (willingly???) DUPED by Tommy Chantry even though Al has/had close ties with ARBCA – that’s a hard pill to swallow but we’ll give him the benefit of the dupe. Now, how does one explain Dale Smith’s role being in and around the AC since maybe 2000 at least? Hmmm? Now, we cannot give anyone in Rockford the “benefit of the dupe” can we? It is time for the Rockford church to wake up and smell the coffee.

Sue Cutler

“Whatever he did in the past, he isn’t the same.”

I too wondered at what his wife and father-in-law meant by this sentence.

Sonja

That was very telling. Didn’t Karen assure folks that he was innocent of all charges? So how isn’t he the same?

Pedophiles never change. They’re hardwired to be predators of children.

In my view, the sentence was irrelevant to the subject being discussed.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

To clarify, I think that Tom Chantry is obviously still responsible for his past criminal actions even if he has changed for the better in some vague, unexplained way.

Therefore, I don’t know what Al Huber was getting at either, Sue. In all fairness, I don’t have access to the whole transcript yet.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

a former Carlisle ARBCA church attendee

It will be interesting to understand the context of that statement better. It suggests to me that either they are assuming he did what he was accused of and has changed since then or else that prison has changed him.
In my opinion, whether he has changed or not since committing these crimes is meaningless and completely irrelevant unless he has also admitted his guilt, repented, and asked forgiveness from the children, the MVBChurch, the church in Hales Corner, and all the other churches that have been split and relationships destroyed because of his and his father’s pride.

Thanks, I’m also hoping that the full transcript of the hearing puts the relevant statement, suggesting that Tom Chantry is a changed person, in context.

I believe that if Tom Chantry has really changed for the better he would understand why he needs to go to prison, as opposed to having delivered a bizarre rant claiming that the jury’s verdict should be set aside just because he doesn’t like the idea of going to prison and perceives himself to be a Godly man.

Yes, his prison sentence may be hard on his family. Perhaps Tom should have considered that before he broke the law. God invented the concept of cause and effect.

Verbally attacking the entire secular legal justice system also undermines his pleas for leniency from that system, in my view. Does he really believe that the secular legal system is ungodly and should be ignored by pastors?

If so, then he certainly deserves no leniency from a justice system he doesn’t respect, in my view.

Chantry’s statements about the executive and legislative branch also seem unbelievably ignorant to me.

The legislative branch cannot be directly involved with Chantry’s specific case. That’s not their department. In theory, the executive branch, in the person of the Governor of Arizona, could probably pardon Chantry. However, even the Governor could not pardon Chantry until he was convicted and sentenced, to my knowledge.

The Governor or Arizona cannot seek to influence a judge or jury at any time.

So I really don’t think that the government has mistreated Chantry in the ways he imagines it has. His failure to understand the rationale behind the seperation of powers in the US Constitution undermines the defense’s contention that Chantry is intelligent and educated, in my opinion.

In my view, Tom Chantry also owes a debt to society in general, not just an apology to those whom he has harmed most directly or people in his religious sphere.

Sending individuals who have committed crimes to prison is meant to act as a deterrent to all citizens who may just be thinking of breaking the law, as opposed to only being a punishment for those who already have.

Tom Chantry doesn’t seem to understand that either.

Plus, I’m going to be real and acknowledge I think that relative financial resources often play a big and perhaps unfair role in the outcomes of a large number of criminal trials in the United States. Many, if not most, U.S. citizens are likely to agree with me about this problematic issue.

Tom Chantry was defended by first-rate lawyers who relied on assistance from first-rate private investigators. His friends and family were able to raise $250,000 to bail him out of jail for a time.

Tom Chantry’s combined defense costs were at least six figures and possibly even seven figures.

If anything, the deck was heavily stacked in Tom Chantry’s corner and the jury/legal justice system still found him guilty and deserving of a long prison sentence.

Chantry’s time in prison must have shown him how relatively priveleged he is compared to most other inmates.

Therefore, how can Tom Chantry be whining about how he is is a victim of misconduct regarding the criminal justice system if he has suddenly become a good, thoughtful person?

Again, I’m hoping that the transcript clears some of my questions up.

Thanks again for your thoughts.

Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Samuel Conner

This is speculative, but it is conceivable to me that TJC’s request to the judge to reverse the jury verdict may be rooted in a conception of the function of the civil magistracy that resembles aspects of classic Reformed political theory.

Caveat — my knowledge of Reformed political theory is entirely second-hand, but what I have been told seems plausible to me.

Civil authority is a manifestation of God’s “common grace” restraint of evil. My understanding of the Reformed “take” on common grace is that to the extent it benefits non-elect persons, that is an accidental overflow of God’s goodness toward the elect. Common grace, civil order, the authority of magistrates, is all there for the benefit of the elect, and especially of the Church.

Separation of powers on this reading actually looks “un-biblical”, since the civil authorities are understood to serve, within God’s purposes, functions related to protection of the elect, protection of the Church, protection of the ministry of the Gospel.

Within Reformed ecclesiology, as I understand it, the ordained gospel ministers are extremely important, because they are indispensible to gospel preaching, administration of the sacraments, and imposition of church discipline, three key marks of a true christian church.

Putting all this together, it’s conceivable to me that one could cobble together a justification for judicial overthrow of the jury verdict along the lines of: * gospel ministers are essential to the ministry of the gospel, * there were not two unimpeachable witnesses of any of the charged acts, * civil magistrates should abide by the biblical standard of “two witnesses” for charges brought against presbyters, * conviction of a gospel minister would damage the Gospel and the Church, * civil magistrates’ highest loyalty should be to God, and thus to the protection of the Gospel and the Church.

QED

It’s a speculation.

Cheryl Watson

I can’t recall off the top of my head everything Tom said, but he was arguing from a secular legal standpoint, not an ecclesiastical standpoint. He spoke about his rights as an American and stated that they had been violated. He also had a lot to say about (against) the AZ laws. His request to the judge was that he free him on the basis that he was an innocent man whose rights had been trampled and who had been unjustly convicted.

That is my paraphrase based on my notes and memory. I have ordered the transcript of the sentencing and will post it when I receive it (estimated to be around August 6th).

Thanks, Cheryl. In my view, Tom Chantry does not seem to understand that, regarding sentencing in the context of criminal trials, judges must honor a jury’s verdict as opposed to arbitrarily setting it aside because they may not agree with it.

This does not always appear to be the case for civil trials in which judges could have the power to set aside jury verdicts,in some instances.

Therefore, it was ridiculous for Tom Chantry to be swearing oaths and asking the judge to set him free on the grounds that he should be presumed innocent after having already been found guilty by a jury of his peers.

The guy really needs to do some legal research in prison, in my view.

It seems that Al Huber and Karen Chantry, by contrast, got the memo about the judge needing to presume guilt when sentencing Tom.

That’s likely why they said that they weren’t going to argue, during the
sentencing hearing, that Tom Chantry is innocent of anything.

Instead they pleaded for leniency on other grounds. I don’t think that their testimony during the sentencing hearing should be interpreted to mean that they now believe that Tom Chantry is guilty.

Karen Chantry and Al Huber simply knew that there was no point in asking a judge for leniency on the grounds that Tom’s jury verdict should be set aside.

Also, I don’t all the rules about this, yet I believe that Tom Chantry could have requested a bench trial as opposed to opting for a trial by jury.

A bench trial means that the accused is tried by a judge not a jury. Most accused persons prefer not to be judged by a judge, because they’d rather take their chances that at least one of twelve of their peers will not conclude that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of whatever they’ve been accused of.

Chantry is just angry that something didn’t go his way and is spewing incoherent arguments about his perceived persecution, I believe.

His daddy and other relatives couldn’t protect Tom this time, and he’s still in a state of denial about that.

Thanks. Janna L. Chan (blog team member)

Cheryl Watson

Regarding the context: Prior to the judge handing out the sentence, each side was given the opportunity to speak to the judge. They presented reasons why they felt Tom deserved a particular sentence and then requested a particular sentence (the prosecution and those speaking on behalf of the victim requesting the maximum sentence; the defense, the defendant, and those speaking on his behalf requesting the minimum sentence…not necessarily in that particular order). Al Huber’s statement about Tom not being the same was to persuade the judge to give Tom the minimum sentence. He spoke about how in all the years he has known Tom he has never seen anything that would make him suspect what Tom had been convicted of (my paraphrase) and extolled the virtues he had seen in Tom during that time. Al also spoke about how he is a good judge of character and when fooled was not fooled for long (maybe a few months, a year at most). If one isn’t going to argue for Tom’s innocence (Al and Karen both said that they weren’t going to argue for Tom’s innocence), it seems the most logical argument for a lighter sentence.

Alfred

Assume that is even true, which it doesn’t seem to be based on Tom’s comments about his Judge and Prosecuter. Why is that said? So what, you still have to be accountable to the full measure of the Law. Even King David who was called “a man after God’s own heart” still had to face the very, very, ‘unpleasant’ consequences of his adultry and murder. We all know this, right?

Selective Abuse. Selective Friendships.

He selects those whom he abuses and he selects those families whom he wants to befriend. He blends into the warp and woof of his surroundings, which in recent years, call him to a higher standard, since abuse is not going to be so easy to pull off anymore. And these guys LOVE the roles they play. They LOVE creating different audiences and watching the reactions and responses of each!