B.C. Pastor and Wife Charged with 28 Sex Offences
The pastor of a Surrey, B.C., church and his wife are facing more than two dozen charges of sexual assault.
The couple were arrested in May but charges have only just been filed, which cover a period from 2015 to 2017.
They were released after their arrest by Surrey RCMP but under strict conditions.
According to a media release from the police, Samuel Emerson, 34, is a pastor at Cloverdale Christian Fellowship Church and has been charged with 13 counts of sexual assault, 11 counts of being in a position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose and one count of sexual touching of a person under the age of 16.
His wife, Madelaine Emerson, 37, has been charged with one count of sexual assault, one count of being in a position of authority and touching a person for a sexual purpose, and one count of threats to cause death or bodily harm.
The couple has five children of their own and were involved in the church's youth ministry. Neither was previously known to police.
As of Thursday afternoon Randy and Christine Emerson are listed as senior pastors on the church's website and there is no mention of Samuel, but his social media accounts still list him as a pastor at the church. Samuel is Randy and Christine's son.
On May 18th, the day Samuel and Madelaine were arrested, Randy posted to Facebook.
"If you know us and our church please pray. We are under attack like never before and we need the accuser of the saints to be silenced and Truth prevail," he wrote.
Two days later, he wrote again.
"Thank you to everyone who is praying for us and expressing love at this time. You are making a difference. This is a time when we must not believe with our eyes and ears but with our spirits. Let God be true and every man a liar. Can't be specific at this time but your prayers are making a difference. Thanks and much love, Randy."
Both posts each drew more than 100 "likes" and a large number of comments of support.
In a media release, investigators from Surrey RCMP said they “believe there is potential that other victims exist that have not come forward to police” and they are hoping they will come forward.
“Calling the police to report a sexual assault is a very difficult thing to do especially when the suspect is someone you knew and trusted, and can leave lifelong emotional scars,” Cpl. Scotty Schumann said in the release. “Our highly skilled investigators take sexual assaults very seriously, and, supported by our Surrey RCMP Victim Services workers, are here to listen and provide emotional support.”
Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502. Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or solvecrime.ca.