William McCullers, a former pastor at the Tabernacle of Praise in Chipley, Florida, is behind bars after Washington County officials charged him with up to 10 counts of “lewd and lascivious acts” that involved four children under the age of 12.
WJHG spoke to a few of McCullers’ neighbors, who said they weren’t surprised by the charges.
“He needs to be punished for this,” neighbor Melody Riddle told the website. “You know? Like I said because [sexual abuse] damages and destroys lots of lives because we’re talking about souls.”
It’s important to note that McCullers hasn’t been convicted of anything at this time. Police were acting on an arrest warrant, so he and wife Linda went on the run briefly, but were picked up in nearby Dothan, Alabama.
His bond was set at $500,000, and he was ordered to have no contact with the victims or any minor children, the Panama City News-Herald reports.
(It still isn’t clear whether Linda McCullers will face the same charges.)
With this being the latest in Christian-involved sex scandals to hit national news, it may be tempting to draw parallels between William McCullers and Josh Duggar, or perhaps even more heinously, the “rape away the gay” pastor the Inquisitr previously reported on.
That infamous case involved a 31-year-old Iowa-based youth pastor named Brent Girouex, who thought he could rape away the gay by “praying while he had sexual contact” with his victims in an effort to keep them “sexually pure” for God.
He then allegedly told police that “when they would ejaculate, they would be getting rid of the evil thoughts in their mind.”
Girouex was a married father of four at the time of the incidents. Since the revelations came to light, his wife Erin spoke out against him as well as his reduced sentence that he received in lieu of the 17-year sentence that was on the table.
Instead of upholding to that initial ruling, a judge decided to sentence Girouex to five years probation and mandatory sexual offender treatment.
Provided he doesn’t violate the terms of his probation — in other words, victimize someone else — he will never serve a day in jail.
The details on William McCullers’ case are not yet known to the public, though it’s likely more will come out if the case moves to trial.
What do you think should happen to people like Brent Girouex and William McCullers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
[Image via Washington County Jail c/o WJHG, linked above]