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Reformatory CP - December 2002

Daily Press, Hampton Roads, Virginia, 4 December 2002

Newport News pastor charged in child assault

By Michael D. Wamble
Daily Press

NEWPORT NEWS -- A local pastor turned himself in to Newport News Police Tuesday on a charge related to the discipline of an 11-year-old.

Carey Brown, pastor of St. Timothy Church of Christ (Holiness U.S.A.) in Newport News, has been charged with one count of misdemeanor assault.

According to the Newport News Police Department, the child's mother, who is a member of St. Timothy, took the child to the church's homework club on Sept. 17. While at church, police say, the mother asked Brown to discipline the child for being disrespectful to a teacher at an area public school.

Brown is alleged to have taken the child to a room at the church to spank him with a belt that may have caused bruising, police said.

The boy told a guidance counselor at his school about the incident. School officials then notified police and Child Protective Services.

According to police, the child's mother has been charged with one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. She is scheduled to appear in Newport News Juvenile Court today.

Her name is being withheld by the Daily Press to protect the identity of the child, who is now living with other relatives.

Brown declined to comment on the case through a church member assigned to answer calls at his home.

"The minister has been extremely cooperative throughout this investigation," said Lou Thurston, Newport News police spokesman.

A court date has not yet been set for Brown.

The charge against Brown raises questions over how ministers interpret the biblical passage in the Book of Proverbs that says, "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him."

In October, a Georgia minister and four members of his House of Prayer congregation were convicted of cruelty to a child for beating two children, ages 7 and 10, in February 2001. The Rev. Arthur Allen Jr., 70, was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 10 years probation. According to published reports, during his trial, Allen used the Bible to defend his actions.

In the Allen case, as is alleged with Brown, a child was brought to the minister to be disciplined.

Copyright 2002, Daily Press

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