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Saturday, March 25, 2023

American pastor who adopted Haitian orphans faces child sexual abuse charges

An American Pastor Corrigan Clay, who had adopted two Haitian orphans in addition to opening an evangelical pre-school after having moved to Haiti, is now facing charges of child sexual abuse. Federal agents arrested the Pastor on March 10. Reports state that according to documents filed in Pittsburgh federal court Clay is being prosecuted under the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

A report by The Daily Beast in the matter states:

Clay sexually abused the unidentified child from January 2014 to December 2017, the indictment states. No further details are provided in the filing, except that the alleged victim was under 18. But Clay’s ex-wife, with whom he had two biological children in addition to the pair they adopted, told The Daily Beast on Friday that the illicit conduct involved one of their own kids.

Shelley Jean Clay, who split from Clay more than a decade ago and now operates a Haitian-focused crafts market in Florida, declined to provide further details about the allegations, emphasizing that she was not involved and had no idea what was happening.

“It was my child, but I don’t think I am at liberty to talk about it because the court case is in process,” she told The Daily Beast. “I’m not opposed to the truth coming out, but I don’t want to jeopardize the case.”

Shelley did not specify whether or not the alleged victim was one of the adoptees or a biological child.

Clay operated his ministry, the Apparent Project, with a stated goal of “building future leaders in Haiti,” alongside a tattoo and body piercing parlor in Port-au-Prince. He parted ways with the organization in 2013, according to Shelley. Clay remains detained in a Pennsylvania lockup pending a court hearing on Mar. 15.

Both devout Christians, Corrigan and Shelley Jean Clay left Washington State and headed to Haiti in 2008. There, they took jobs as “house parents” at an orphanage, where they were in charge of 25 boys ranging in age from 7 to 17. After a year or so, the couple began a workshop that taught locals how to earn money by making jewelry and handicrafts…

…“Currently, in addition to teaching adults, they are sponsoring classes for children, offering lunch-time ‘parties’ to feed street kids, and offering food and in some instances shelter to those with little to nothing to call their own,” an arts blogger wrote of the Clays in 2010…

…“The year was a success, and in 2017, we added our AP Kindergarten,” it explains. “The goal is to grow with our AP children by adding a class to our school each year! And… to provide quality education, along with character development based on Biblical principles! We are working to raise leaders who will be able to bring positive change to their world!”

By this time, Clay had already been abusing his victim for roughly three years, according to the feds…

Once they got established, Clay began working on a documentary about Haitian children living in slavery.

“Abandoned by their parents, most work as indentured servants for family members, but some end up in the sex trade,” explained the Deseret profile.

Such instances of child sexual abuse by pastors are increasingly coming out in the open in recent times. In 2019, it had been reported “After reviewing thousands of pages of legal documents over six months, the Houston Chronicle found that 380 Southern Baptist pastors and church officials were accused of a myriad of sexual assault charges including everything from groping to rape”. The Southern Baptist Church is a leading US evangelical organization.

Similarly, a Vatican insider had stated that Italian pastors had abused up to 1 million children in the last 7 decades. Readers may recall, closer home it was only last year that Mumbai POCSO court had handed a life sentence to a pastor accused of sexually assaulting a minor boy. Similarly, a 48-year-old pastor from Andhra Pradesh (AP) had been charged with sexual abuse of a 10-year-old.

Institutionalized child sexual abuse by Christian clergy is one of the greatest tragedies of the modern world. These cases have been reported right across the world – North America (US, etc), Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, Africa. The deep-rooted problem first came to international attention after a comprehensive and damning 2002 expose by the “Spotlight” team at The Boston Globe of how for over three decades, numerous clergymen sexually exploited underage boys in the Roman Catholic Church in the Boston area

And the problem is even worse in developing countries like Bharat where most such crimes don’t even see the light of day due to the global clout of the Vatican and other Western-backed Christian denominations. The dominant anti-Hindu nexus of Secularists-Missionaries-Islamists-Marxists-Liberals in Bharat means that our law & order machinery rarely takes decisive action against such criminal priests. Any action could trigger international outrage under the rubric of “Christian Persecution”, and lead to finger-wagging by US State Department’s USCIRF.

(Featured Image Source: The Daily Beast)

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