Pastor Held In Boys' Rapes -- Therapist Of Tacoma Ex-Minister Is Shocked By Charges
Seattle Times Staff Reporters
A therapist who four years ago examined a youth pastor now accused of sexually assaulting two boys said his former client displayed no indication of a deep-seated problem and seemed to have had only a passing struggle with his sexual identity.
The pastor, Herman Glenn Jr., 34, was allowed to remain at his post at Tacoma's Bethel Christian Assembly Church after he was counseled by Charles Engelmann Sr., a pastoral psychotherapist who incorporates scripture into his counseling.
In retrospect, Engelmann said yesterday, Glenn may have been wrestling with more than he let on.
Engelmann said he was appalled last night after Glenn was arraigned on seven counts of rape and one count of child molestation involving two victims.
Glenn was under suicide watch and being held on $75,000 bail in the Pierce County Jail after being charged with assaulting two teenage boys, according to Ed Troyer, spokesman for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department.
Pierce County sheriff's officials said they were looking into whether there are additional victims.
Glenn, an associate pastor, was arrested late Wednesday after being confronted by the church's senior elder, George Eide. Eide told officers he went to see Glenn because the youth pastor had been having problems with "tardiness," financial instability and "unsupervised contact" with boys away from the church.
Glenn has been charged with six counts of third-degree rape, one count of second-degree rape and one count of child molestation. The alleged sex acts began in April 1998; the two alleged victims are teenagers.
Glenn resigned his post at the church in a letter dated Tuesday, Deputy Pierce County Prosecutor Sue Sholin said. He had been youth pastor at the church since coming from the Chicago area in 1991.
In his resignation letter to church leaders and the congregation, Glenn said he was disqualifying himself "due to gross moral failures," according to charging papers. Glenn wrote a separate letter to his alleged victims asking for forgiveness.
According to charging papers, church leaders in Tacoma sent Glenn to Engelmann in 1995 after a phone call from a pastor at Homewood Full Gospel Church near Chicago. The pastor said two boys had accused Glenn of touching them inappropriately when he was a pastor there.
Tacoma church officials said they continued Glenn's employment after Engelmann dismissed the incidents as "a kid experimenting" and "nothing to be concerned about." Glenn would have been in his mid-20s then.
But Engelmann last night denied telling church leaders Glenn was simply "experimenting."
Engelmann, executive director of Puget Sound Professional Counseling Services, said Glenn told him the alleged incidents in Chicago occurred at a time in his life when he was having trouble with his personal and sexual identity.
It did not seem to be a symptom of sexual deviancy, which would have required more elaborate testing to detect, Engelmann said.
"As a counselor, I have to rely on a client's honesty, self-disclosure and their total cooperation," Engelmann said.
None of the alleged sexual contacts took place in the church, but in Glenn's University Place home, sheriff's spokesman Troyer said.
Bethel Christian Assembly Church has about 1,500 members.
Glenn has been placed in "a crisis cell" at the jail, where he is under constant watch by corrections officers, said Troyer. "He's despondent, and we're treating him as such to make sure nothing happens to him."
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