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John Bisnar
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Denver Pastor accused of sexually assaulting children

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Clergy abuse claimed by brother and sister.

A pastor faces charges of sexually assaulting two children in his wife’s home day-care at least a dozen years ago, authorities said Monday, according to a Fox News report on its Web site.

Stephen J. Heese, 51, pastor of The Church in South Denver, is accused of assaulting a girl, now 17, and her brother, now 20, when they attended the day-care operation roughly between 1992 and 1994, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

Heese faces two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and two counts of sexual assault on a child with a pattern of conduct. The charges were filed last month. Heese is free on $25,000 bond. He denies wrongdoing and his church is supporting him, said Ray Brown, a church elder.

The article quotes Brown, who says he and other church members stand by their pastor and don’t believe he would’ve done anything wrong.

“It is the church’s position that the accusations are false. We stand behind Steve. He has denied it and we totally believe him,” Brown said


Heese is still employed at the church, where he has been pastor for 27 years, Brown said.

The siblings told authorities a year ago they were assaulted, said Pam Russell, a spokeswoman for the Jefferson County district attorney. Russell said it was not unusual for the investigation in such a case to take a year. Russell said investigators believe there may be other alleged victims.

If convicted of all four counts, Heese could face a minimum of 10 years in prison and up to a lifetime of supervision. Brown said the church is non-denominational and has between 200 and 300 members.

This article does not surprise me one bit. A pastor is accused of sexually assaulting children. Church supports him 100 percent. Well, who can blame the church members who have trusted him, spent their Sundays listening to his sermons and tried to be good Christians by following his teachings? Who can blame them for being in denial?

Of course, none of the charges in this case have been proved yet. That said, it is extremely common for victims to come out with their accusations years or even decades after the incident occurs. They live most of their young lives in shame, grappling with guilt, questioning their morals and their sexual identity, struggling to form meaningful relationships or even regain the ability to trust another human being.

If someone so much as alleges that they’ve been through this hell, I think the least they deserve is their day in court.

If you have been a victim, call me before it’s too late for a free and completely confidential consultation. There are time limits to filing a claim. A sexually deviant clergyman, most times never stops abusing. Protect future generations from these animals, report them. Don’t let it happen to another child.