A man has been arrested in Corona, California, for allegedly teaching Bible study as an excuse to lure children into his private home and molest them.
According to CBS Local Los Angeles, 54-year-old Bible study teacher Shawn Edward Shaffer of Corona was taken into custody on Monday on suspicion of sexually molesting juveniles under the age of 16. Police say the man was possibly conducting Bible studies for youths in his home, and using that opportunity to take sexual advantage of minors. The Bible study teacher has not been officially charged, but authorities are investigating the truth behind his peculiar private Bible classes.
The Bible teacher is being detained at Robert Presley Detention Center in Corona on $3 million bail, according to police officials. He is facing multiple accounts of sexual molestation of minors, which could mean Shaffer was regularly using Bible study as a trick to continually bring victims into his home.
It’s unclear how many children were victimized by Shaffer’s Bible class ruse, because detectives were only recently made aware of the man’s crimes by fully grown men. Several adult males have come forward with allegations about the Bible teacher, claiming that they were sexually abused as children within the city of Corona. Authorities haven’t confirmed yet if these men are claiming to have attended Shaffer’s Bible study, but the implication seems to be that the man were victims of the Bible teacher.
According to Inland News Today, Shaffer not only used Bible lessons as a method to lure children into his home. He would also hang around local skate parks, presumably to speak to the juveniles and advertise his Bible class.
Corona police are still gathering information on the Bible teacher and have asked local parents to contact them with any information if they suspect their child may have visited Shaffer’s Bible class or have been victims of sexual abuse.
Shaffer’s Bible study is among many other examples of men using a position of religious authority or power to victimize innocent children. There have been many priests and religious leaders accused of sexually abusing minors. Just this year, Pope Francis removed a priest who was accused of sexually abusing a minor decades ago. And last year, thirty different priests were suspected of sexual misconduct with children.
Some even say that cases like that of the Bible teacher and the ousted priests are only the tip of the iceberg of religious sex scandals.