Archive for Friday, June 4, 2010

Pastor at Heritage Baptist says he convinced suspect in child rapes to turn himself in

June 4, 2010


Heritage Baptist Church pastor Scott Hanks said he is upset that his church has been pulled into media reports about a criminal case involving sexual abuse allegations against two church members.

Arrest of couple for sexual abuse of children prompts further investigations

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“How does it have anything to do with the church?” Hanks said Friday at Heritage Baptist, 1781 East 800 Road.

Hanks is listed as a witness in the case against a Lawrence couple accused of sexually abusing two girls over a two-year period.

In a statement released to the media Thursday, Hanks said: “The Heritage Baptist Church is ashamed and appalled at the actions of (the suspect). The church stands against rape, sodomy and indecent liberties with a child. Such wicked and vile acts should be punished and not tolerated in or outside any church.”

Hanks said he released the statement after he was approached by several area media organizations seeking comment.

Hanks declined to give an on-camera interview, but provided several details about his involvement in the case.

The pastor said that as soon as he heard about the abuse allegations, he confronted the 32-year-old man, who was charged Thursday in Douglas County District Court with eight crimes, including rape and sodomy. Hanks then convinced the man to turn himself in, he said.

“I’m the one who took him to the police station,” Hanks said.

Hanks did not specify how he learned of the allegations, but said he was convinced no children from his church had been abused and did not say whether the alleged victims were members.

“We’ve conducted our own investigation,” Hanks said. “There were never children from the church at their house. Ever.”

Hanks said that neither of the accused was employed by the church.

Heritage Baptist is not mentioned in any public court documents on the case.


Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years ago

"He who excuses himself, accuses himself"

ksjayhawk74 8 years ago

Except that in this case, he is defending himself against allegations. You suggest that anyone who says they didn't do something probably did do it.

So, did you kill Gary Coleman? Keep in mind, if you say you didn't, it only makes you look guilty.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years ago

I was quoting an old saying. It applies in some situations. If that is so here, remains to be seen. Some of the most horrendous crimes originate with a some who most might be above reproach. Sadly, today, with the spread of indifference and irresponsibility, this little quote applies.

Kelly Johnson 8 years ago

Just because no children from the church were ever at the home of the accused, doesn't mean they didn't have access to them...

hotfart 8 years ago

I will start off by apoligizing for my lengthy comment, and preface everything by stating that everything below is all of my own OPINION, and because it is still early in the investigation I have tried to choose my words carefully so as not to wrongfully accuse anyone, and realize nobody has been convicted of anything. After some proofreading, it looks like I may have got a bit carried away with the length of my comment, but here I go:

“We’ve conducted our own investigation,” Hanks said. “There were never children from the church at their house. Ever.”

In my opinion, the statements in the article by Mr. Hanks make it sound very much as if he is admitting previous knowledge of the abuse, and rather than reporting it to the authorities, he instead chose to have the church do their own "investigation"? If true, I would think Mr. Hanks should also catch a charge for (at the very least) child endangerment, at minimum the same as what happened to the wife. It sounds like he had the power/knowledge to turn this scumbag in and put an end to this horrible abuse, but chose to take his time, if not even cover it up. Wow, just wow. IF, and please realize I say IF, I am right in my previous assumptions, this is sickening, and I hope this man fries alongside his buddy.

Additionaly, he says there were never children from the church at their house? I think he is flat out lying to our faces. However, If he is not lying and he does in fact have no knowlege of young children from his church over there, then he is either a simple minded imbecile, or is in some serious denial. Is he is really trying to tell me that every Sunday when that cargo van would pull right up to D's apartment (I will call the suspect "D" so my comments are not deleted) with anywhere from around 5-8 kids flocking out and running into his apartment, that these children were NOT members of his "church" (cough CULT)??? THESE CHILDREN WERE FRESH OUT OF CHURCH AND DRESSED UP. I recently went to the opthamologist for a new prescription, so I'm pretty confident my eyes weren't deceiving me when I would see these kids over there. Were these children just fresh out of Sunday school from a different church all the times they came over? I would think not. Or what about when "D" would take 3-4 young girls swimming in the apartment complex's pool, which I have witnessed on several different occasions recently...were none of those children members of their "church"? These are all things which I (along with my roomate, friends, and neighbors) have seen with our very own eyes, and it infuriates me that Mr. Hanks thinks people will buy his load of crap. Again, this is just my opinion, but to me, Mr. Hanks sure comes off as a lying scumbag who protects child rapists in the name of his "god", and if so, is just as guilty as "D".

(continued, see my next comment.)

mr_right_wing 8 years ago

Sounds like you have a good deal of eye-witness accounts. Have you volunteered them to the police yet? Have you at least called Crimestoppers? Perhaps some of these children could be identified and interviewed. If you are just keeping this to yourself, you share some of the guilt as well. It sounds ot me like this kind of information could be used in the trial; this could establish a pattern this 'person' had.

hotfart 8 years ago

mr_right_wing, you have my word that you and I are already on the same page.

mr_right_wing 8 years ago

Good. Thank you for helping to protect children and doing your civic duty.

CowboyII 8 years ago

Where the heck are the parents of these children? The parents went to the Reverand months ago-why aren't they now coming forward and telling the WHOLE truth, HANKS HAS KNOWN FOR MONTHS AND TOLD THEM TO KEEP QUIET. I wonder if Hanks would have kept quiet if this had happened to one of his own children? SCAREY !! Isn't it time for someone to advocate for the children -for God's sake. ??? At least one of the children was a child of a church member. this family lives in the Topeka area BUT drives to Lawrence in order to attend Herritage Baptist. YES !!THESE CHILDREN WERE PART OF THE CHURCH. I am so amazed that Hanks is not admitting to this fact. And Hanks was quoted saying, "how does any of this have anything to do with the church?" Because Reverand Hanks, you and several of your perishners knew what was going on MONTHS AGO !! You did not immediatly go to authorities. In fact, you told no one to talk about it outside the church !!! That is so wrong AND not your call AND why this has EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE HERITAGE BAPTIST CHURCH !!

hercules2 8 years ago

Well since you know so much "iamtired" then where do you come up with the fact that the parents didn't go to the Reverand about it?

hercules2 8 years ago

Is it not possible for cowboy 2 to know someone involved or even one of the parents? Maybe they are a friend to the family of the assaulted. Anyway, I am not saying the family did or did not go to the reverand months ago. I would love to know how cowboy 2 knows this information as well. If he has a source he could crack this case open and provide true justice.

Dec84 8 years ago

hf, I think you are as your implies ...full of hot air. As for your two cents, it not enough to retire on so keep it to yourself.

hercules2 8 years ago

Names are not allowed on here but what is a significant hair color of these kids or family?

CowboyII 8 years ago

Look in the Harritage Baptist Church Directory-they are members

hotfart 8 years ago


For crying out loud, "D" was on the phone outside of his apartment sometime around last weekend, and with my bedroom window open I could clearly hear him over my TV while he loudly says something to the effect of "what those girls said is not true". I'm guessing the man with whom "D" was talking to was Mr. Hanks, and IF my guess is correct, this shows he had some previous knowledge of these crimes, in some capacity.

I'd say the ONLY good thing out of all of this is that none of us in the apartment complex (that I know of) knew of the abuse while it was occurring. This has spared both my neighbors and myself from catching a charge for brutally murdering this "man" (and the wife). But on the other side, if we had known, we obviously could have at least put an end to this.

And to you personally, Mr. ask "How does it have anything to do with the church?” For your answer, I ask you to look no further than cultish behavior that you and your church's members exhibit. I will say, while I may be wrong in my opinions of how you are involved in this ordeal, my opinion of you personally, your "church", and your crackpot "religion" will never, ever change, regardless of the outcome of the case. As far as I am concerned, you and every other adult member of the Heritage Baptist Church (and other whacked out fundamentalists) can go to hell for choosing to brainwash these poor, innocent little children.

Everybody deserves a fair trial; but holy crap, this sure looks like an open and shut case, especially after witnessing "D's" oddball behavior on several occasions. No, it is not a crime to be an oddball, but being a creepy oddball with young children definitely deserves some attention, and I wish the attention to this was raised earlier. I certainly hope that eventually all guilty parties are smoked out, and all who were involved suffer many years of torture at the hands of other inmates (funny, rumor has it other inmates don't play well with chesters).

That is all, thanks for letting me put in my 2 cents.

hotfart 8 years ago

Sorry, I'm not sure what happened with my comments, they were reversed....can some one working at the ljworld flip them so they are in the correct order?

mr_right_wing 8 years ago

LJW: I suggest you turn this man/womans full identity the LPD. He has some very relavant information.

Reuben Turner 8 years ago

y'all leave the church alone. the man they wanted is got..

Samer Adra 8 years ago

I was a member of the church while I lived in Lawrence, and I'm very sad to hear this news... Most of the members of that church are really wonderful people who love the Lord and just want to serve Him. That said, the church has an extensive bus ministry where they bring bus-fulls of kids into church every Sunday morning (with good intentions). If this case had anything to do with the bus ministry--if these were kids that were bused in to church--than it falls on the church--and there may need to be some checks and balances added to the bus ministry to prevent this kind of thing in the future. I hate the police getting involved in church more than anyone, but the number one concern right now should be the safety of all the other children involved in the bus ministry.

mdrndgtl 8 years ago

Just to be clear, this isn't a Catholic Church, correct? I mean, I would understand if it was, but it's not, right?

XEPCT 8 years ago

you were the awkward kid at school, weren't you? because it's hard for us to decide if you just made a rape joke or if you aren't acquainted with the word "Baptist." Sadly it's probably the former, but the latter wouldn't raise any eyebrows.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years ago

I don't know much about this "Baptist" church. There are many legitimate church denominations, most are doing the work that they profess to do. But as we all know, child abuse exists in abundance very close by at the "Westboro Baptist Church", the den of evil of ;phred phelps. Most of us who live in the modern age have developed a healthy suspicion of most all splinter group "churches" such as the phelpsess. The Toprka hate group is doctrinating small childern into their cult and disgusting philosophy and who knows what else, yet the state remains aloof of the possible abuse occuring there. I am glad that this situation has been discovered, but the exclamations of the pastor, Mr. Hanks, fall pretty flat for me. The behavior of this splinter group of pseudo-Christians has been akward for quite a while, and their association with this horrible occurance is by no means indicated. However, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, smells like a duck (Especially smells!!), well what conclusion would you assume? But this remains for the courts to sort out and my and others speculation on what is going on is unwarranted, so I will just close this out and hope that reasonable people wake up and smell the coffee when strange situations appear, even though they might even be associated with some religious group.

yourworstnightmare 8 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Samer Adra 8 years ago

Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to McDonald's makes you a hamburger (or going to a garage makes you a car, for the original Billy Sunday quotation). There are a lot of people who name the name of Christ, but the Bible says "by their fruits ye shall know them." And by the way, as a Christian, I believe that the vast majority of church members in America are not true Christians (i.e., not saved, not going to Heaven) because they have never had their hearts changed by Jesus--obviously this suspect included.

Remember--the word Christian means "Christ-like." Anybody who would do something against a child, it is clear is not like Jesus--who said to do unto others as you would have them do unto you--, and is therefore not a Christian.

The words of Jesus condemn this man: "And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea."

I have zero faith in our prison system to punish this man as he ought to be punished--but God Himself has an everlasting prison in which justice will be had.

"But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."

Church member or not, God will not let this go unpunished. He might say he's "saved," but his deeds prove otherwise.

yourworstnightmare 8 years ago

This clearly demonstrates that xtianity breeds child rape.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years ago

"your worst", your deplorable assumption is self-immolating. The work of the Christian church has made huge effect (good and evil) on the history of mankind, regardless of which denomination you would choose (I wonder if "God" really recognizes "denominations"?? ). All religions are the work of humankind, regardless of the constant assertions of some misguided souls who choose to maintain that "My religion is the only true religion and all else are wrong" These people are small-minded and fail to recognize that the true powersand nature of the Divine Power are not limited by our puny human dimensions. But far too many seek to obscure their own prejudices and misgehavior by cloaking it in their loud assertions of religious sanctimony and piety. It doesn't wash with most intrelligent folks, but to denigrate all aspects of organized religion is wrong.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years ago

sorry folks, "misbehavior" and "intelligent". Gotta get these glasses checked!

somebodynew 8 years ago

Wow, frwent - it is not often I agree with you, but you bring up some valid points. And I am close enough to observe this church and have always THOUGHT (no proof) there is some type of cultish behavior going on, and am aware of past incidents involving members, junior pastors and so forth. Not saying all the attendees are bad, but all should be careful.

And I totally agree with your perception of the Phelps Klan and what should be considered child abuse there.

beatrice 8 years ago

I believe their are some Muslim sects that seem a tad bit more rigid -- stoning for adultery, for instance, or cutting off limbs for theft. That seems a bit more rigid. Not defending Southern Baptists, just don't think they are any more or less radical than a lot of religions. We would all be better without any of them.

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

more rigid than Islam? or how about Orthodox Jews? How about those snake handlers and tongue talkers.. or is this them?

hercules2 8 years ago

Heritage Baptist Church is actually a Independant fundamental Baptist Church. Southern Baptist is not rigid at all trust me I know.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 8 years ago

Not to trash talk or denigrate any denomination, but the Southern Baptist Convention prevents women from holding positions of responsibiity including the clergy. They are very backwards and conservative (did I say that??) and seek to control their members as much as they can even on matters that have little to do with theology. Of course, this is a free country where you can select your own religious beliefs or have none at all, but it is significant that this denomination that holds such opinions, attitudes and doctrines.

Samer Adra 8 years ago

The requirement that men are the elders and teachers in a church is directly from the Bible--not from the SBC, which is starting to lax that requirement anyhow.

hercules2 8 years ago

I have been in many southern Baptist churches where a woman can be a choir leader or even assistant pastor. Independant fundamental Baptists look at southern Baptists as libral

hercules2 8 years ago

I have been in many southern Baptist churches where a woman can be a choir leader or even assistant pastor. Independant fundamental Baptists look at southern Baptists as libral

hercules2 8 years ago

I have been in many southern Baptist churches where a woman can be a choir leader or even assistant pastor. Independant fundamental Baptists look at southern Baptists as libral

Bondhead 8 years ago

Heritage baptist Church IS NOT a Southern Baptist Church. It is an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church.

IFB Churches are not a denomination either. They follow the Biblical Principal of autonomy of a visible called out assembly of believers.

This means they believe in salvation by faith through Grace alone. While they do have standards they are not legalistic. Legalism believes you are saved through the works of the law.

Many people who are misinformed, will see others who have personal standards in a critical eye. This is generally because of a judgmental attitude.

The SBC by the way (Southern Baptist Convention is not very strong in standards and many of it's churches have fallen to Liberalism.

somebodynew 8 years ago

edjayhawk = from what I have seen, I would think you are correct.

Christine Anderson 8 years ago

If, and I stress if, Pastor Hanks did have previous knowledge of the sexual abuse and counseled the adults to remain silent, this is sickening. I don't attend this particular church, so I don't know if it is true or not. I can say very sadly that I have heard a different pastor of a different Lawrence church tell his congregation from the pulpit not to talk to reporters or police regarding a murder that the accused was later convicted of....(No, not a rumor, I was sitting there to hear it.)

Stuart Evans 8 years ago

because the "good" name of the church is far more important than criminal justice....

Bondhead 8 years ago

I think you need to check your history. America was founded on Christian Principles. If you research the founding fathers you will find they held beliefs which you would relate to "fundies"

It is amazing to me that most people point to the two most secular founding fathers (Jefferson & Franklin) and wouldn't have the slightest clue to the rest, nor what the rest said, believed and practiced.

If you researched them you may start to change your mind on you have the liberties and freedoms you so easily abuse with ignorance.

By the way I am not American, I am Canadian. It's a shame I know more about your history than you do.

volunteer 8 years ago

Not to be picky, but I think the headline would be more proper with "persuaded" rather than "convinced." Are all the rules of grammar we learned in the 60's obsolete?

codysgirl 7 years, 8 months ago

You are all messed up. Pastor Scott Hanks and the members are not in a "cult" as you people are saying. This is a whole bunch of crap! It's not brainwashing and it is not any different than any other church I can tell you that much. Pastor Hanks is a very good pastor.

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