Join us on our podcast each weekday for an interesting story, well told, from Charisma News. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
A young woman says her pastor sexually assaulted her during an "anointing ritual" meant to cleanse her of her sins.
"I trusted him. He has been my pastor since I've been in sixth grade," Justine Morden says.
Morden says she reached out to pastor Mitch Olson of Grace Ministry Center in Michigan. She says she wanted to repent and draw closer to God, and Olson offered to help her. He allegedly told her he could cleanse her sins with anointing oil but didn't have any with him at the time.
"Later on that night, around like eight or nine, he texted me and asked what my address was," Morden tells the Times Herald. "I gave him the address and didn't think anything of it since I trusted him ... He got there and said, 'I have the anointing oil if you want to be anointed,' so I said 'OK.'"
According to the police report, she says the pastor said he needed to anoint certain parts of her body since she had been sexually active.
The investigation is pending, and police are attempting to determine if a crime was committed and if Olson should be charged.
"Now the investigation process begins in our office," St. Clair County Prosecutor Mike Wendling says. "We will contact the victim and discuss the matter with the victim. We may schedule an interview with her to discuss the case. We will review the statute to see if the facts alleged are in violation of Michigan law and then we will move forward with the review."
The church declined to comment, citing the active investigation.
Jessilyn Justice @jessilynjustice is the director of online news for Charisma.