A Kentucky pastor is under fire for his defense of hiring a convicted sex offender to work at his church, suggesting that those who were sexually assaulted were partly to blame.
Pastor Michael Orten of the Truth Apostolic Church in Madisonville, Kentucky defended his hiring of a man who sexually assaulted a 13-year-old at knife point by comparing the crime to “stealing candy.” Orten also said it “takes two to tango” when reflecting on the man’s history.
The church employee, Thomas Hopper, was convicted of rape and sodomy of a 13-year-old girl in the early 1990s and served 10 years in prison. He continued to build a criminal record after his release and is now working on the church’s outreach ministry staff.
When asked about his employee’s violent sexual past, Orten said “this is a situation, if that girl chooses — it takes two to tango, okay? So if that girl chooses to sleep with him, she’s just as guilty as he is.”
Orten then insisted that the victim consented because she and her rapist were both on drugs.
In an interview with WFIE, an anonymous church goer slammed Hopper.
“But he was mad and angry, both of them were on drugs. Yeah, that’s still in his past,” the interviewee said. “I was very upset, because I had children, and I was not made aware [of Hopper’s past]…All they would tell me is ‘God has changed him.”
According to Patheos, since the news broke, the doors of Truth Apostolic Church “have been locked and the church’s website and Facebook page have been taken offline.”
Watch a news report on the story below: