Posts Tagged ‘first baptist church of hammond’

isthisajokeI thought, this MUST be some kind of internet prank. Not at all. Jack Allen Schaap is really appealing his 12 year sentence for his sexual abuse of a minor. (We have articles on the plea agreement here and here.)*

Schaap is challenging his sentence on the grounds that the victim was an alcohol and marijuana user and abuser and that she aggressively pursued him sexually.

First of all, from a legal standpoint, it is highly unlikely that the courts will even give this kind of appeal a second thought. When a defendant accepts a plea agreement, they waive their rights to bring facts to a jury trial and that would include “newly discovered evidence”. The only exception to such rules are if the new evidence could not have been known even with a modicum of due diligence at the time Schaap was gathering evidence for his defense. The “new evidence” raised by Schaap is not evidence that was not known to Schaap during the initial proceedings, and could have been raised.  As such, these kind of arguments are not grounds for an appeal.

Secondly, since Schaap did in fact accept a plea agreement, typically one must resolve the issue of the plea before any additional arguments can be heard regarding the facts of the case as these are waived by the plea. Schaap would have to prove that he was either coerced into making the plea, was not competent when he entered the plea, or did not enter the plea knowingly and/or intentionally. The burden of proof will be on Schaap to prove that his plea falls under any of these criteria, and the plea must be set aside first before the court can even begin to entertain the “new facts” Schaap has raised. In our opinion, it would be highly unlikely that Schaap’s plea is set aside. Thus, regardless of whatever “new evidence” Schaap claims, true or not, it is doubtful that he would be able to get his plea set aside in order to even raise these issues.

Even if Schaap’s plea does somehow get set aside, that would not cause a sentence reduction, it would merely entitle him to a trial, and he would be back at square one in preparing for a defense in a jury trial which would likely land him even more years if he goes to trial and loses. If Schaap somehow thinks he is going to get his plea overturned and then negotiate a better plea agreement later with the government, I think he is in for a rude awakening.

Thirdly, Schaap’s defense of “she pursued me aggressively” is normally covered by Rape Shield laws. In other words, a victim’s sexually history can not be used against her. Just because a woman is promiscuous, even if she was a prostitute, that does not mean that she is lying when she alleges that she has been raped or molested. There are some exceptions to the Rape Shield laws (such as if the victim had several prior cases of falsely accusing someone of sexual misconduct) but  even if the girl in Schaap’s case was promiscuous and aggressively pursued him, it is doubtful that the court would allow that kind of defense to be raised. The same goes for the marijuana and alcohol usage. The federal rules of evidence prohibit evidence of prior bad acts and any exceptions to those rules do not apply in Schaap’s case.

From a Biblical view-point, did Potiphar’s wife not pursue Joseph aggressively?

Genesis 39:7 “And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. She pursued Joseph, “DAY BY DAY”, and Joseph still refuse to lie with her:

8 But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand;

There is none greater in this house than I; neither hath he kept back any thing from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?

10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her.

11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within.

12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.

13 And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth,

14 That she called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice:

15 And it came to pass, when he heard that I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled, and got him out.

16 And she laid up his garment by her, until his lord came home.

17 And she spake unto him according to these words, saying, The Hebrew servant, which thou hast brought unto us, came in unto me to mock me:

18 And it came to pass, as I lifted up my voice and cried, that he left his garment with me, and fled out.

Does not Proverbs devote entire chapters of advice on dealing with sexually aggressive women?? “For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” Prov 6:26. EVEN IF THIS WAS TRUE OF HER, it is NOT an excuse for a professing Bible believing pastor, particularly one in a fundamentalist church that is notorious for preaching against such actions to such an extent that such Baptist standards are called “legalism” by Non IFB type churches, and often things Schaap HIMSELF PREACHED AGAINST.

What Jack Schaap has done, and what he is now doing are an embarrassment to the body of Christ and a black eye to the fundamentalist churches across the world. One has to wonder with such a frivolous appeal-is Schaap deliberately attempting to keep himself in the spot light as revenge against church members that no longer support him? Byin order to continuously reminding everyone that the pastor of a fundamentalist Baptist church took advantage of a teenager, he can surely guarantee that all the hostility toward IFB churches will come home to roost again, and perhaps that is part of Schaap’s plan. What else could he possibly be thinking in addition to the obvious fact that he simply doesn’t want to ‘man up’ ?  Schaap got off pretty easy, and now he wants to challenge that?

Unbelievable.

PS We do note that Eddie Lapina and staff at First Baptist Church are in support of the court’s initial action against Schaap in this matter. So to our lovely IFB critics, don’t even bother commenting with any additional non sense about FBC.

*Our search shows that Schaap filed a Motion to Vacate Sentence on March 19, 2014, US District Court, Norther Dist of Indiana, 2:2014cv00087. The cause of action is listed as 28:2255 (or 28 U.S.C. sec 2255) which is the federal version of the petition for writ of habeas corpus. Hence this is not really an “appeal”. Since this motion must be filed within a year of sentencing, this was likely Schaap’s last ditch effort and the best he could come up with.

 

By Dr. James Ach and Dr. Elisha Weismann

 

UPDATE: Court Rejects Schaaps Appeal August 26, 2014

Former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana,Jack Schaap, was sentenced today in federal court to serve 12 years in federal prison. Official Court Sentencing Order)032013 Judgment and Commitment Order

For other details surrounding this case, see our article on the Jack Schaap Sentencing Memorandum

The prosecutor and Schaap’s defense attorney had both initially agreed and stipulated to a 10 year sentence which is the minimum sentence required to be dispensed under federal law. There is no word yet on whether Schaap will attempt to appeal the sentence since the sentence exceeded what he had agreed to plead guilty to. (Convicted persons may not appeal a conviction of guilt that is based upon a plea agreement, but at times, may appeal a sentence if there is an abuse of discretion, or if the defendant plead guilty under the promise of receiving a certain sentence.)

Federal law generally begins with a mean, and then the courts may decide based on aggravating or mitigating circumstances whether or not to “depart” from that mean, or in what federal law deems an “upward” or “downward departure”. The Honorable Rudy Lozano noted several things that likely deemed the sentence worthy of an upward departure (See also United States Sentencing Commission, Sentencing Guidelines §2G1.3):

*Schaap fired an employee for reporting the affair with the teenage girl to Cindy Schaap, Schaap’s wife.

*Schaap had sought advice from a computer technician within the church on getting rid of evidence.

*The egregious nature of the grooming and Schaap’s position as a trusted leader of a religious community.

The Honorable Rudy Lozano also stated, “We are dealing with the treasures that are most important to us – our children.”

Schaap responded in part,

I thought I wanted to be this family’s savior. “Sometimes people try to be heroes … in trying to be a hero, I became a fool. If you love me, please don’t blame this family for my wrongdoings. Blame me”

Judge Lozano also ordered Schaap to serve 5 years of supervised release upon completing his sentence, and noted he must register as a sex offender for life.

Federal inmates are eligible for 54 days off of each year they serve for “good behavior” credit, which amounts to approximately 85% of the time they serve. Jack Schaap was arrested on September 18, 2012, and with the pre-sentencing jail time credit will likely be released @ July 5, 2022 as a tentative release date (according to BOP sentencing calculators, although our personal calculations arrive at a later date. Once Schaap’s abstract is prepared for the Bureau of Prisons there will be an official date listed).

RESPONSE FROM DO RIGHTER GROUPS

And of course, right on cue is Trisha Lacroix taking credit for Schaap’s arrest. Trisha states on her Facebook page:

Many of us worked tirelessly to have him arrested. FBC DID NOT report his abusewe did. My teams of admins and I worked for 8 months with victims of First Baptist Church. And while I handed over the reins of the group to new admins, we continue to work behind the scenes. [1]

(Bold print emphasis added).

Once again, as we stated with PROOF from COURT RECORDS, not hearsay or gossip, but actual court documents, and statements taken under oath by witnesses, that FBC staff are the ones that called the authorities. It was FBC staff that turned in photos of Schaap and even reported to them that he tried to get them to cover it up. All of Schaaps actions and attempted cover ups were reported to the authorities BY FBC STAFF before any do righter even knew all the facts of the case.

Furthermore, when this story first came out, it was actually Jocelyn Zichterman who claimed to have called the FBI, which we now know is not what led to Schaap’s arrest. So even IF it were true that the Do Right Hyles Anderson group beat FBC to the punch, it would have been Jocelyn Zichterman, not Trisha Lacroix, that provoked the arrest. Trisha Lacroix claimed to have distanced herself from Jocelyn Zichterman shortly after the DRHAC group was created, and now Trisha wants to take credit for what Jocelyn Zichterman actually laid claim to!

A very funny commentary indeed, but the fact is they are BOTH full of it. The evidence points to FBC making all of the initial contact. Trisha and many anti-fundamentalists say the FBC members listen to a man twist the Bible and blindly follow him, while Trisha stands on her “Do Righter” pulpit and twists the facts of documented court evidence and her group blindly follows her! (Although to the credit of many members in DRHAC, they left her group after blasphemous cartoons were posted demeaning Jesus Christ, and photos were posted of Trisha in a skimpy bikini on a Facebook page claiming to help sexual abuse victims.)

She ends her “acceptance speech” with the words of a CCM Music group “Word of God Speak”, and only a few comments below discusses how a picture of Willy Wonka “makes me horny” just prior to dedicating a workout (of all the silly things) to a homosexual rights activist, Jeffrey Hoffman, for “all the work he does for gay rights”.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we put on a mask and feign to bereave.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

Former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, Jack Schaap, will be sentenced on March 20, 2013 in federal court for having sex with a 17 year old girl having crossed three state lines in the process of the commission of his crime.

Our website has received hundreds of comments and e-mails with different tails of these events both in support of Schaap and adamantly opposed to him. Some stories that we read which showed apparent inconsistencies led us to believe there was a possibility that this “rebellious” girl had a connection with a popular so-called victim’s rights advocate and may have targeted Schaap.

After reading the sentencing memorandum, nothing could be more further from the truth. The documentation provided in the sentencing memorandum paints a picture of the events of Schaap’s crime that neither those in support  of Schaap nor those who have attributed Schaap’s acts as representative of all of fundamentalist churches seemed to be privy to.

As we explicate certain facts within this memorandum below, we urge not only followers of certain “Do Right” groups to reevaluate the trust they have put into the leaders of these groups who have apparently made bogus claims about their involvement with this case, but also to members of First Baptist Church who appear to support Schaap without having known the entirety of Schaap’s depravity in this matter.

As Christians, we need to extend forgiveness to all, and that includes Jack Schaap. However, extending  forgiveness does not mean minimizing the natural consequences of his actions or upholding him as a man of integrity and or a representative of the gospel of Christ nor any fundamental Baptist church. Jack Schaap should be allowed to live with the stigma that he has created for himself, and if he is restored, in my opinion that would only occur after he has capitulated on his false doctrines, and demonstrated a genuine display of repentance. Nevertheless, he should NEVER pastor another church.

Claims That Do Right Hyles Anderson Made Taking Credit For Schaap’s Arrest.

Those who followed this case, and read the numerous media articles are well aware that Trisha Lacroix of Do Right Hyles Anderson, and Jocelyn Zichterman, have taken credit for Schaap’s arrest and touted such as their crowning achievement in exposing abuse within the IFB. Not only did they claim credit for this, but accused all of the staff of First Baptist Church of covering up the incident and refusing to “do right”.

The documented court evidence proves otherwise.

Not one single mention is made of the FBI being tipped off by an outside source in 23 pages of documentation.

What the report does state is that FBC staff became increasingly concerned about Schaap’s behavior but did not yet have evidence of a crime. The report shows they repeatedly warned Schaap about how much time he was spending with the girl. Page 6, Sentencing Memorandum. Jack Schaap called a meeting to chastise his staff for their assumptions (which demonstrates that they were trying to find out what was going on) and then within a few days, a staff member found evidence of Schaap’s crime in which the sentencing report states led to Schaap’s “firing and law enforcement investigation”.

The report does show that a secretary was complicit in Schaap’s actions, but does not state whether she knew what Schaap’s intentions were, or that other FBC staff knew that the secretary was assisting Schaap. Although one would have to wonder why a secretary transporting a pastor with a 16-17 year old would not raise red flags. This is one example where trusting your pastor does not mean checking your brains at the door.

The report clearly shows that FBC staff did not let up on Schaap, and eventually found evidence and not only fired him but contacted law enforcement.

Now we do not deny that perhaps Jocelyn Zichterman called the FBI, but the report makes it clear that it was FBC staff that initiated the contact with the police, not Jocelyn Zichterman, nor Trisha Lacroix. One could argue “well maybe they are trying to protect their informants”. Not likely considering that they went to national media outlets taking credit for this.

Whatever FBC staff could have done better which is highly speculative, the actions that they DID take are certainly not the same picture that was portrayed to everyone from the anti-fundamentalist groups according the court record.

Jack Schaap’s Manipulation and Heresy

Never in my life have I seen a person use such manipulative grooming tactics as Schaap did with this 17-year-old girl.

The record shows that this girl had been traumatized and emotionally damaged prior to talking to Schaap, and this fact was known to Schaap because it was e-mailed to him, printed out and handed to him by his secretary in April of 2012. Page 8, Sentencing Memorandum. 

Schaap begin with an initial counseling session which led to him spending personal time with her outside of the church and office.

Within 2 months of Schaap’s relationship with the girl, he wrote her the following in a birthday card:

I can’t get you out of my mind. I keep thinking about how much I enjoy talking
with you, how great you look when you smile, and how much I like your laugh. I
daydream about you off an on all day, replaying pieces of our conversation . . .
laughing again about funny things you said or did. I’ve memorized your face and
the way you look at me . . . it melts my heart every time I think about it. And I
catch myself smiling when I imagine what will happen the next time we’re
together. You must be something really special, because I can’t remember the last
time I felt so strongly about someone. Even though neither of us knows what the
future holds, I know one thing for sure – you’re one of the very best things that’s
happened to me in a long time.

Page 9, Sentencing Memorandum

Not only was Schaap a married man, but this was a 17-year-old girl whom he demonstrated “romantic” feelings for after only 2 months.

The religious rhetoric that Schaap used to groom and bait this girl are beyond appalling and blasphemous. In another handwritten letter to the girl, Schaap writes:

I’ve been doing much thinking about you – our brief journey together has
been like a spiritual allegory (a story that illustrates a truth 🙂 . . . Your life began
to deteriorate w/ actions + activities that were self-destructive + that would have
brought great tragedy eventually. Then, as your Pastor, I began to counsel you +

you to God, the truth, and to a better path of living – that’s what we
call Righteousness.

You gave me your trust, your
heart, your love, + your affection. [Unintelligible] must feel when a sinner makes
Him more than a Savior – he/she makes Him a beloved lover + friend.

In our “fantasy talk,” you have affectionately spoken of being “my wife.”
That is exactly what Christ desires for us. He wants to marry us + become eternal
lovers

Page 9-10, Sentencing Memorandum (emphasis added)

The repetition of  “spiritual allegories” and seductive language couched with Biblical overtones is so reprehensible I am surprised he was not struck down by God Himself as when God killed Herod for blasphemy in Acts 12:23.

And as if that wasn’t bad enough, Schaap writes the following blasphemous heresy:

When we get scared, Jesus sends His spirit to live within us. But He does
not personally live with us. He waits until we have fully matured before he takes
us to Heaven to live with Him.

I must follow the example of Christ. I have espoused you to Him as a
chaste virgin. You are pure + lovely + perfect in His eyes. Now you must mature
in His grace until the time he brings you to Himself.

Jesus sends His spirit when we get scared? He does not “personally live with us”? ARE YOU SERIOUS?? If Jesus waits until we all “fully mature” before taking us to live with Him, then NOBODY is getting into heaven. Furthermore, the Bible is clear that believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit the moment we are saved. Eph 4:30, Eph 1:13. Moreover Jesus said of the Holy Spirit in John 14:17,

Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

How this man ever snookered his way through an ordination inquest baffles me.

Schaap Knew He Was Wrong 

I have seen letters where some argued that Schaap had medical problems, suffered stress or other abnormalities. However, that would only serve to alter his state of mind where it could be claimed that he was delusional IF any medical evidence could substantiate that such health factors could be a proximate cause of such behavior.

Yet Schaap downloaded an “I-Phone” app that was designed to erase evidence. Page 3, footnote, Sentencing Memorandum. This clearly shows that Schaap was aware of his actions the entire time. Not only that they were sinful but that they were criminal. Schaap also arranged meetings with the girl on a “forest reserve”. If Schaap truly believed his actions were just, why the secrecy?

A Plea To Pastor John Wilkerson and FBC Staff

Probably the biggest complaint I have heard against FBC is that they have been alleged to show a lack of remorse for the victim and her family, and according to the court report, even banned them from FBC. This is not a case where refusing to discuss the matter in public or to the church is best for the “cause of Christ”. I believe that the public who look up to members of First Baptist Church need to hear how FBC feels about the victim and her family, not just about how this event has brought shame to the church.

First Baptist Church is now pastored by John Wilkerson. I have listened to several of his sermons, and he appears to have a very gentle and meek character. If he hasn’t done so already, I would plead with Pastor Wilkerson to reach out to this family and offer condolences, sympathy, and your regrets for what occurred at the hands of the leader of the church.

Churches across the world should mark actions and teachings such as what was propagated by Schaap, and learn from it. Now I am no expert in sexual abuse prevention in the church. If a person is set to do evil, he/she will do so regardless of what preventative measures are in place. But I do not believe it is appropriate for a male to ever counsel a female, and I am confident that I am familiar enough with the Bible to recognize false doctrine when I hear it, and a married man who falls in lust with a 16-year-old girl within a 2 month time period is someone who demonstrates he has long held to erroneous doctrines that either could or should have been recognized by others.

Even we at Do Right Christians were quick to judge when this story first came out, but the evidence has shown that we were hasty and our sincere apologies to the victim and her family if we have written anything that contributed to their suffering.

We hope that all Bible believing Christians will remain in prayer for First Baptist Church of Hammond, for the victim and her family, and be humbled by this experience and let it move us to seek the Lord and His righteousness to teach the truth in love, to respond to crisis according to God’s prescriptions, to hold our leaders accountable, and get back to the business of reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ.

As those of you who have read our article on the Trisha Fundamental Revolution Occult were aware, our site had posted information about Trisha Lacroix, founder of the Do Right Hyles Anderson Facebook page, that stated she was never a member of the First Baptist Church of Hammond. This information was based on a lengthy conversation that I had with Eddie Wilson, FBC spokesperson, and 2 emails from FBC staff.

However, credible information surfaced that I received this week with photos of Trisha Lacroix in a HAC yearbook that included Trisha Lacroix, and while I am no expert on the policies of HAC attendance, I would assume that some type of church attendance would be required. Thus it appears that Trisha Lacroix did in fact attend HAC for at least 2 years, and therefore we apologize for posting inaccurate information provided to us.

We do however though, have two major issues that we would like Trisha to address. If we are willing to admit our mistakes, then we would hope she would do the same.

ISSUE NUMBER 1, the Eddie Lapina Tapes

In or about September of 2011, Trisha claimed that she had audio tapes of Eddie Lapina admitting to a cover up of additional Jack Schaap crimes or at least cover up of details concerning the current crime for which he is incarcerated for and awaiting sentencing. Within the week that she claimed they would be posted, she retracted the claim with a statement that avowed that the tapes were in the possession of a grand jury.

The convening of any grand jury could not be verified by any of our legal team staff or attorney friends, but we do not deny the possibility of a grand jury considering all of the allegations that surfaced regarding Schaap’s finances and the potential for additional victims as it is reasonable to conclude that those who have an attraction to minors did not just start having an attraction to them at 54 years of age. We then do not doubt the possibility of a grand jury being convened, it was never verified.

After many members in the  Do Right Hyles Anderson (DRHAC) left over this issue, Trisha then stated that the information was given to a reputed journalist, and would be available in an article published by the Chicago Magazine. The Chicago Magazine released it’s article entitled “Let Us Prey” which derived much of it’s source of information about Jack Schaap, Jack Hyles and First Baptist Church from Voyle Glover (Attorney and former FBC member), Jerry Kaifetz (Ph.D. and former FBC insider), Dr. David Cloud and Dr Robert Sumner. Absent from the 7 page article was any mention of a cover up by Eddie Lapina or the mention of any tapes or any links where said evidence could be heard.

If there is evidence of a cover up, we would gladly post it on this site. If there is not, then we would like for Trisha to simply admit that there was never any audio tape of Eddie Lapina.

ISSUE NUMBER 2: Falsified Resume

Information was submitted to us that Trisha Lacroix had claimed that she had a marketing degree from Hyles Anderson College. Trisha then made a 13 numbered response on the DRHAC page which denounced that she ever had a marketing degree from HAC and that her resume did not reflect that (screenshot posted below at the end of this article).

However, several press releases, such as one by the JDH Group, stated the following:

“Trisha brings more than 10 years of sales, marketing and account management experience with her, along with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Hyles Anderson College in Crown Point , IN. She began her career as an account manager for Exhibit Dynamics in Dallas, TX. [1] (emphasis added).

JDH executive staff stated to us in a telephonic interview that new employees prepare their own press releases, and thus whatever information was prepared for the press release, was the creation of the employees themselves.

Now giving Trisha the benefit of a doubt  perhaps one company could have made a mistake. However, the same resume surfaced on another company she worked for called MG Designs [2]

Therefore, we would welcome an explanation from Trisha as to the anomaly contained within her statement that she never had a degree in marketing (which HAC has never offered) compared to her press releases for a couple of the companies she has worked for that claim she had a BA in marketing from Hyles Anderson College.

Certainly evidence such as this lends to the credibility or lack thereof toward Trisha’s reign over her group members. Trisha has attempted to start a group called “Fundamental Revolution” that offers merchandise with the group logo available for purchase, and if a potential customer were to spend, for example, $45 for a sweat-shirt, it is reasonable to inquire as to whether the product being marketed is being promoted by a credible source.

It also demonstrates that if the allegations are true, that Trisha defrauded her employers by receiving wages from them under false pretenses. Since these companies appear to be marketing companies, it is very likely that Trisha would have been chosen over other applicants by demonstrating she had a marketing degree. If she has in fact been dishonest about that, that would reasonably call into question her motives and credibility for other claims that she has made on her group page as well as the motives and credibility of others within the group that support her. You can not have it both ways, it is blatantly hypocritical to vilify fundamentalist churches of cover ups while maintaining the same type of dishonesty that you accuse abusers of.

trisha-lies