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Pastor Gets Applause For Admitting He Sexually Assaulted Teen

12 January 2018

"As a college student on staff at a church in Texas more than 20 years ago, I regretfully had a sexual incident with a female high school senior in the church". Woodson says she was also made to feel guilty for not doing more to stop Savage.

Instead, she writes, he drove down a dead end road, turned off the vehicle's lights, pulled his penis out of his trousers and asked her to perform oral sex on him. Woodson, who was 17 years old at the time, claimed Savage pulled her aside and began molesting her, then begged her not to tell anyone.

"Until now, I did not know there was unfinished business with Jules", he said.

"His apology isn't enough because ... he's lying about how he handled it", Woodson tells WMC, responding to a prior statement in which Savage said he'd "sought forgiveness" from Woodson, her parents, and leaders at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church near Houston.

A Tennessee pastor who publicly confessed to having a "sexual incident" with a high school student in 1998 received a thunderous standing applause when he asked to be forgiven.

Highpoint's lead pastor, Chris Conlee, told the congregation that he supported Savage, who he said was one of the people 'hurt by the ripple effect of the consequences of that sin'.

Later, she went to another pastor to report what happened, but says she was told to keep quiet.

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The New York Times spoke to Woodson after she had seen the video. I remember feeling that this must mean that Andy loved me, ' she writes.

In hindsight, Savage says he knows more could have been done to help Woodson at the time.

Moments later Savage addressed the congregation, admitting to and formally apologizing for the incident.

The woman writes that he drove past the turnoff for her house and instead drove down a dirt road with a promise of a surprise.

"I resigned from ministry and moved back home to Memphis".

The victim, Jules Woodson, came out of the dark last week in light of the #metoo movement fueled by the Harvey Weinstein scandal in Hollywood. "The church told him he couldn't talk to me, and they told me I couldn't talk to him".

She sent an email to Mr Savage on December 1, asking "Do you remember?"

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He added that he told his now-wife about the incident before they became engaged, and that his employers at HighPoint Church were also aware of it before he was hired.

And Woodson says she approached Savage a year ago when she saw the #MeToo movement take off, and asked why he was tweeting in defence of alleged sexual abusers like Matt Lauer.

Savage also posted a statement on the church's website.

SNAP leader Amy Smith's blog, The Wartburg Watch, was one of the places to first report Woodson's account.

She said she remained silent until she saw a Twitter post by Savage commenting on the firing of NBC Today show host Matt Lauer for sexual misconduct.

Woodson also said she chose to come forward with the story after she saw a USA TODAY story in December about Matt Lauer being fired by NBC because of sexual misconduct.

The pastor was set to release a book, titled The Ridiculously Good Marriage, in July, but publisher Bethany House announced it has made a decision to cancel the publication.

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Pastor Gets Applause For Admitting He Sexually Assaulted Teen