A North Carolina man who said he was abducted by church members and abused for being gay has admitted the kidnapping story was a hoax.
In addition fabricating the abduction, 22-year-old Michael Lowry also said he lied about being gay. According to The Associated Press, he has since apologized to the Word of Faith Fellowship Church for making up the story.
Rutherfordton County Sheriff’s Detective Sergeant Jamie Keever said Lowry could face several charges for filing a false report. Authorities are still investigating the church kidnapping hoax.
The Huffington Post explains that Lowry’s tale included kidnapping, abuse, and torture at the hands of church members. He said he was knocked unconscious during the first day of confinment. Lowry explained that his captors believed demons were the cause of his homosexuality.
He said of his experience:
“The pastor said to find out what my darkest secret was, and I was like, ‘I’m never telling.’ They hit my head with fists and I was on the floor, they held my hands and feet down and were pushing on my chest, and I could barely breathe.”
Founder Jane Whaley had maintained the church did not abduct Lowry or subject him to any form of abuse or torture. She added that church members discovered he was gay after watching a local news report about Lowry’s accusations.
The Inquisitr previously reported that the World of Faith Fellowship Church has been the center of controversy in the past. Whaley was convicted of abuse after allegations were made against the church. However, the ruling was later overturned.
Rutherfordton County Sheriff’s office is still looking into why Michael Lowry accused the church of kidnapping and why he lied about being gay. The district attorney has submitted the case to the grand jury to see if charges should be filed against Lowry.