translated from Spanish: Scandal in Evangelical Church in the face of attempts to cover up a case of sexual abuse

«It wasn’t so bad what happened, don’t tell your parents, s I was nothing. » Thus ended the last episode that the young D.T.C. related in the lawsuit for sexual abuse presented against the evangelical pastor Solomon Morales Muñoz (54), on April 30, in the 12th Court of Guarantee of Santiago.
The events occurred during three days of April 2017, in which sexual harassment and sexual innuendo were increasing. While the young man’s father was going to look for the car, she stayed in the temple, when the pastor approached him and touched her in an undue way. But the most serious episode, according to the victim in the lawsuit, was when Morales took a moment alone, during a Saturday activity in the temple, to put her hand on her genitals and make sexual innuendos in her ear. That year D.T.C. was 4 ° medium and 17 years old.
The young woman, overwhelmed, told what happened to her parents and they faced the pastor, who, according to the complaint, was justified in saying «that it was a reflection, which was without intention (…) He went home to tell his family what had happened, distorting the history of the situation, that I misinterpreted a greeting that he gave me and had psychological problems. »
The fact was known within the Evangelical Church, but among other pastors managed to convince the victim’s parents not to make a criminal complaint and continue in the congregation, so that the life of Solomon Morales continued without further shock.
The worst summer
The religious career of Solomon Morales departed in the year 2012 when his father died, he left his job as an administrative clerk in a collection company and inherited his post as pastor in the Temple of Mount Hebron, located in the street Carlos Valdovinos of the commune of San Joaquín. This investiture also included a land on the side of the temple, where he raised the house in which he lives, and the tithe money given to him by the faithful, which in practice means a monthly income of $2 million pesos.

Morales became one of the trusted men of Juan Ormeño Lagos, Bishop of the United Methodist Pentecostal Church (IUMP), a scission of 1964 from the Church of Jotabeche, which until recently led the controversial former bishop Eduardo Durán Castro.
The IUMP is the third evangelical entity with more real estate capital, adding – according to a report by Ciper – a total of 302 properties throughout Chile, valued in more than 8 billion pesos. Bishop Ormeño leads the congregation that brings together about 311 temples throughout the country, according to the official information of the Organization.
In this scheme, Solomon Morales held a position in the board of directors without any problems and was also a counselor for the youth organization. That is to say, in his charge was precisely to impart the precepts of sexual behavior and morality among the young.
The calm was finished the summer that just happened, when everything became especially torrid for the pastor.
On January 12, a community member, Rubén Fuentes Calderón, approached the «temple officials» to inform them of a dramatic situation he was going through. Among the officers was Marco Toro, the father of the young D.T.C., and what he heard was the drop that last strawed the glass. The story was the protagonist of Solomon Morales and, to be faithful to the Christian nomenclature, he was accused of having «committed adultery» by a loving relationship with the wife of Ruben Fuentes, at the same time as a sister of Morales.
«When adultery was discovered I said enough, I don’t support it anymore,» said Marco Toro. The victim’s father followed the internal channels to make a complaint about what had happened with his daughter two years ago. He told details of what happened to the «supervisors» pastors, who recognized the severity of what happened and pledged to inform Bishop Ormeño to apply a sanction. But it happened all January and nothing happened, Morales remained in his post, with all his privileges intact.
Instead of sanctioning Morales, the closest circle to Bishop Ormeño, especially Pastor Alejandro Ávila, pointed to Marco Toro, who received a tempting offer for his silence. «Shortly after reporting to the supervisors, they started with the issue of cover-up. The bishop began sending pastors on Sunday afternoons at the main meeting, because one of the measures he took was that Mr. Morales could no longer climb the altar in the afternoon. Among those pastors he commanded, came to preach in two opportunities Mr. Avila. The first time he came, he invited me to eat at his house with my son. He said ‘ go for a conversation, you are a faithful person to the Church, collaborating with your family. I am doing my best to send you to the pastor, you have so many years, so much time on the mission. I’m doing everything I can to get you to go to the shepherdess, «said Toro, who rejected the proposal.
In this evangelical community two sides were formed, one that believed him and supported D.T.C. and the other in favor of Solomon Morales, who started a consistent campaign of «bullying and contempt» towards the Toro family, to the point that they accused that the young woman had denounced the pastor Because he had psychiatric pathologies.
Marco Toro spoke privately with Ormeño and gave him all the details. The bishop was dismayed, although there were no consequences in practice for Solomon Morales. But there was another offer for him, this time tinged with menace: «At that moment he says to me, ‘ Look, Marcus, you opongas or whoever, to him (Solomon Morales) will not take him out. ‘ And you know what happened to a person who went against a pastor? He gave him cancer and he died. » End of conversation. Toro continued until mid-April at his post within the Church directory, but finally he and his family moved away from their religious community.
Funa and complaint
The case was a secret to voices among parishioners and Toro said he received at least three other stories of sexual abuse and harassment starring Pastor Morales on his phone. One, which would correspond to a minor who plays the role of «Guardatemplo» and stamped a complaint in the PDI of San Bernardo. Another, a woman who worked with Morales in her time as a collection clerk and who would have been registered in the security cameras of the company.
Already in April the issue came to social networks, with posts talking about the extramarital relationship he maintained, allegations of sexual abuse and the warning that not to stop it in time, the pastor «could end up committing a rape,» as detailed in the Protection resource that on April 28 presented Solomon Morales against three people, so he considered a campaign of defamation against him.
At the end of April, the Toro family decided to file a lawsuit for sexual abuse against Morales and all those responsible «as authors, accomplices or cover-up.» According to the victim’s father, this action was inevitable, taking into account that the religious authorities led by the bishop did not determine any weight sanctions against the accused pastor: «I was offered the shepherdess to get Me out of the church and Take me somewhere else. But seeing that nothing happened after talking to the bishop, we talked to my daughter and decided to make the complaint. »
The allegation of abuse was declared admissible on 2 May and is in the hands of prosecutor Carolina Pardo, a specialist in sexual crimes and domestic violence of the South Prosecutor’s office.
Contacted by the counter, Pastor Solomon Morales denied that the facts occurred are true. «I will not make my disclaimers about a complaint that has no basis. There is a protection resource and it is already in justice, «he said.
For his part, Bishop Juan Ormeño denied that he had been offered the position of pastor – and his income associated with tithing – to the father of the victim. «On our part not, because we act in a very strict way for such a designation. Perhaps from another sector, yes, «he said and added that Solomon Morales» is no longer our pastor, he took away all his credentials and his replacement will be presented this week, «he said.

Original source in Spanish

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