Coverup Alleged of Serial Sexual Assaults at Weimar University

Right after we published Melissa Osadchuck’s story, Weimar University responded to our story with a statement that reads:

“Weimar University takes employee and student safety very seriously.  While privacy laws do not allow the university to provide further information at this time about personnel matters, it should be known that Weimar acted immediately and appropriately at every step.”

Neil Nedley, MD


Weimar University

The story we publish here requires some background information for the reader.

On November 13, 2019, I traveled up to the Weimar area to interview someone for a story I was writing for Compass Magazine (which is now defunct). Every time I plan to drive up the 5 Freeway, I think I will wake up early, get on the road, and avoid the infamous Southern California traffic. My alarm went off at 3:35 am, but I forgot why I was waking up this early and went back to sleep. At 4:30 am, IA co-founder Mike was outside my house calling me. I got out of bed, into the shower, put on clean clothes, and was in the car by 4:50 am. By this time, we had no choice but to join the heavy traffic going up to northern California.

Even though I was driving up North for another story, I had also received a news tip alleging there had been four sexual assaults on minors and one sexual assault on an adult female student on the campus of the then Weimar college. In all five cases, the perpetrator was the same person. The assaults were reported to the administration, the minors were being “biblically counseled,” and the perpetrator was “banned from the Weimar campus” and California. IA has yet to determine the identity of the “biblical counselor.” We believe this therapist, physician, or counselor has a duty to report underage assault victims to the police.

We stopped at Weimar so I could ask to talk to someone in charge. It turned out that the entire school was out on a day of local community service (was told that students do acts of kindness in the community and help build relationships with people near Weimar and it has resulted in “hundreds of baptisms.”) I met a student or office worker at the reception window and was told that the person to speak to about anything related to students would be Dr. George Araya. I left a note for Dr. Araya, which is reproduced below in this article.

I assume the receptionist must have opened the envelope and read the contents herself because I soon received a text (also reproduced below) confirming a meeting.

I interviewed my other subject and then returned the campus to meet with Dr. George Araya after the evening vespers. I recall that Pr. Mackintosh was speaking at the vespers so I waited until the meeting was done to meet Dr. Araya. Dr. Araya introduced himself and another colleague, whose name now escapes me. This gentleman oversaw or was associated with the Weimar Academy. Dr. Araya informed me that Pr. Mackintosh would be meeting me as well so we all waited at the back of the campus auditorium for Pr. Mackintosh to finish speaking with students and join us.

After the three of us sat down – by this time, most of the student body and staff had cleared out – I began to speak. I reiterated what I had heard, and directed my question to Dr. Araya regarding how he and presumably his administration dealt with the issue.

Pastor Mackintosh, however, spoke for all three of them. He categorically denied knowing anything regarding the cases that I had mentioned. He further stated, “I want to be clear that we have absolutely nothing to do with that stuff.” I asked the other gentlemen if they agreed, and they did. I had nothing more to say – it had been an incredibly long day – and I still had to drive back to Southern California. Pr. Mackintosh then offered to give me stories of “this kind of stuff” on liberal Adventist university campuses. I politely thanked him, and then one of the gentlemen prayed, and we were done.

Sometime after this trip, I shared the experience with some friends and former Weimar students and they encouraged me not to take Pastor Mackintosh’s forceful denial at face value. Later, a friend approached me and told me that they had managed to get the suspect’s name. I arranged for them to call this person from my office and I listened as they talked. And, while they did not admit to any assaults on the phone, I heard the suspect confirm that they had indeed been “banned from California.”

I then went back and tried to convince my original source who gave me this tip to tell me the name of the adult victim so I could speak with her directly. But the source refused. They insisted that they needed to be a go-between me and the victim because the victim would not talk to me directly. I was reluctant to agree to this arrangement, however, and since I had no other leads to follow and other stories to write on, I placed this story on the shelf for the time being.

About this time, the pandemic engulfed the world and caused additional delays, though we did manage to publish several other impactful stories you can read on our site’s pages.

Finally, only a few days ago, we received the news of a court filing against Weimar. We published Melissa’s story in a previous article.

Soon after this story broke, the source that initially sent us the Weimar tip contacted me again.

I immediately asked for the adult victim’s name again and this time they gave it to me. I sent a message, and the victim wrote back and told me that she had moved on and wanted to put the incident behind her. She had gone to therapy and barely got over what had happened to her at Weimar.

I told her I respected her wishes, thanked her, and apologized for reigniting all those terrible memories. I shared with her Melissa’s story and told her that we had published other stories that had led to direct changes in the church. (I prayed that she would have the courage to share her story with me.)

It is very hard for some victims to retell their stories. It brings back all the memories and manifests itself in extreme stress, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety attacks, and in some cases debilitating fear. Some victims tell us that they are unable to even read what we have written about their stories.

A few hours later, she wrote back and said she would share her story. The courage of victims who come forward to share their stories and even those who aren’t able yet to share their stories inspire me. I hope this victim’s story inspires you too.

Here is her story.

Lisa (a pseudonym) shared with me that she began attending the Depression and Anxiety Recovery Seminar on the Weimar campus. She had had a suicide attempt before attending the seminar.

The suspect immediately targeted her and began to befriend Lisa. They hung out together at some place called “the bridge.” The suspect eventually talked to her about doing a “modeling shoot.” He pressured Lisa into wearing a swimsuit for the modeling shoot. Lisa declined because she considered herself “a hard-core conservative.”

Eventually, he wore her defenses down and convinced her that she should wear something “cute” (lingerie), so he could see her body, after which he would schedule the modeling shoot with his friend.

On or about the night of October 14, 2018, she took a sleeping pill to help her rest. He texted her and convinced her to meet him at the hospital on campus, which has a basement facing the railroad tracks. She agreed to do it and met him there at 11 pm. He pressured her to take her street clothes off almost as soon as she arrived.

While she stood there dressed in lingerie, he said, “You’ve been friendly.” She said, “no.” He replied, “you know you like me. I’ve worked hard to get you this modeling shoot.” He demanded her to perform oral sex on him. Lisa remembers him grabbing her upper arms. She said, “let me go.” The next thing she remembers is that she was back outside. Her mind had blacked out and she doesn’t recall how she ended up in her room again. She recalls doing a body check. She didn’t find any bruises. She denies performing oral sex. And she denies that he raped her.

By now, the sleeping pill was in full effect. Lisa was crying. Her friend was concerned and presumably reported her state to the dean. At 12:30 am, the dean awakened her and walked with her to Wanda Swenson’s trailer-camper. Dr. Nedley was present there as well.

They grilled her on why she went to see him and why she texted him and told her she should be the one to apologize for the whole thing.  Lisa believes this coercion to be a form of the purity culture movement where victim shaming and victim blaming are common features. Often women are ostracized for tempting the man.

Because of her prior suicide attempt, she was placed in the principal’s office, and when she woke up the following day, her phone was gone. Lisa asked for her phone and was told it was taken away as a punishment for contacting the suspect. Her punishment was that she would lose her phone for two months. Moreover, she was denied access to a computer or phone, and no one else was allowed to let her use theirs. Nor was she allowed to communicate with her parents.

Over the two months, she once tried to run to Auburn on the railroad tracks to report to the police what had happened, but eventually, it got dark, and she got scared and returned back to campus. Incidentally, she saw the suspect on campus at least once before he was “shipped off to Texas.”

Wanda Swenson, Rodolpho Ramirez, and Dr. George Araya were part of the “expulsion committee” set up by the school board to deal with her actions on the night of her assault. The result of the committee deliberations was that she was to write a note apologizing for causing “chaos, drama, and a ‘false accusation.’ As part of her punishment/character growth, she was asked to read the note in front of the entire school or otherwise be expelled from Weimar. She declined and left the university.

When I met with Dr. Araya et al., I specifically asked about Lisa’s case. In his denial, Pastor Mackintosh never cited any school or personnel privacy reasons. And by their silence and Pastor Mackintosh’s verbal denial, they emphatically denied this case ever occurred or that anyone was asked to leave the campus for any reason. Lisa’s testimony and the phone call to the suspect both confirm certain shared facts.

I find that Lisa’s incident undercut Dr. Nedley’s statement regarding the University’s commitment to the safety of its staff and students. It is a culture that flows from the very top. We find the account of his direct involvement in the care of a known mental health victim, if true, to be less than the standard of care, especially for a victim who has experienced assault or battery. We are asking Dr. Nedley to confirm or deny his presence, and the role he played, in this incident. We are asking also for a direct confirmation of the suspect’s “ban” from Weimar and or from California.

Update: It was only after the incident that Lisa discovered that the same person had done this to four other girls who were also under age. If the administration had dealt with the situation appropriately, she would not have had to go through this experience.

Intelligent Adventist has now obtained the names of the then-underage victims. From our sources, we understand that one of the underage victims was given a rape test at a nearby healthcare facility. We are not aware if the victim or those who took her there reported the name of the attacker. However, the suspect remains free.

We have reached out to law enforcement and encourage anyone who knows about this event, the events regarding the four potential underage victims, or any other cases like them, to report them directly to the Placer County Sherriff’s department. The number is (530) 886-5375. Please keep in mind that everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. IA makes no claim on the guilt or innocence of any person mentioned directly or indirectly in this story. We are choosing not to publish the name of the suspect currently.

Any incident regarding assault, incest, molestation, or rape of an underage school victim is considered a mandated reporting event. Any college teaching or administrative staff are mandated reporters, as are pastors, therapists, and medical personnel for specific victims. They are not to question the victim’s validity or whether it occurred. Most universities in the United States, if not all, are required by law to maintain a record of sexual assaults and other crimes on their campuses and publish the number of instances and the associated statistics.

We know from the victim that at least one underage victim was rape-tested at a nearby hospital. All four rapes occurred before her assault.

We cannot confirm whether Dr. Nedley and his staff reported the incident with Lisa to the police. According to Lisa, she was never allowed to call the police after her assault. She doesn’t believe that the staff reported her case to the police.

We are sharing this story, hoping the underage victims will come forward and speak with law enforcement.

If these victims choose, we are ready to share their story here on Intelligent Adventist in the way they prefer, anonymously, or with their names being public.

Lisa has attempted suicide eight more times since her assault. She shared her story because she believes it may help fix Weimar University and prevent others from suffering as she has.

A year after her assault, Lisa visited Weimar University and saw her attacker on campus again.

It turns out that apparently, the suspect was back on campus six months after Lisa’s assault.

It was a few months after that, that I sat down to talk with the three gentlemen.

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  1. Thank you to Melissa, the bravest woman I know, for stepping forward, holding Weimar accountable, and allowing others to speak out boldly. Burn. It. Down.

  2. During my time at Weimar I saw students go through this exact same punishment for extremely small “offenses.” It was cruel. The dynamic of power that the staff has over the students is unhealthy. There were many students who experienced abuse, but were too scared to speak out. Even constructive criticism from students wasn’t welcomed. It was so easy to become “blacklisted.”

  3. Going to these type of schools, it is very believable. Staff are seen as holy and wholly incapable of evil but students are watched like hawks for any potential evil to quickly punish. I’ve seen this stuff happen over and over again. So deeply troubling and sad. Thank you Melissa for ur courage. Your courage will strengthen others.

  4. I feel like many people in Weimar are very judgmental towards women and people of color as well. The leadership there does not protect the rights of women and many of the professors/teachers of the college and academy have been racist as well.

    1. Really? Can you provide an example or case? This is a SERIOUS accusation, and how you “feel” should be based upon hard evidence, and not an emotional tingle.

    2. Do you have any proof to back your feelings up? Not only is the student body culturally diverse and inclusive, Weimar employs people from a rich mixture of countries all around the world. Rarely is an entire school without fault, but to declare the campus as a whole to be racist is a false generalization. Have you had the chance to visit campus? Although it is facing some huge leadership challenges and may have more than a few things to answer for, you would find your statements to be untrue.

  5. Weimar did a number on my children and they are boys. Blacklisted them to the point they weren’t/aren’t sure they want to continue on with the Adventist Church. They were set up by some to look bad to others, and left for undeserving punishment. I am left praying for them and their precious souls to still desire the things of God. Weimar tainted their Christian experience. I hope they get what is coming! I hope God can make the campus what He once wanted for it!

    1. Re: S. B. says:
      AUGUST 14, 2022 AT 8:36 PM
      Your arrogance & ignorance are beyond the pale! The POC on campus (students & staff) live in 2 different worlds, that most White people have the privilege of not knowing or understanding! You speak for NO ONE of Color, past, present OR future! There are less than a handful of staff POC & the students POC on campus don’t represent the numbers in church, overall. Do you know how many POC students come there, but transfer away due to the covert racism?! Did you know a White student got her hair braided & was ruthlessly BULLIED by White staff & White students, including being shamed Machintosh?! That’s like saying the sexual assault didn’t happen because there are more female than male students! Did you know Don personally apologized individually to the POC on campus, for how he’s treated them, directly & indirectly after his series on racism after the George Floyd murder. Racism is alive & well, ESPECIALLY in predominantly anglo environments! Your foolishness would be laughable if it weren’t so commonplace & pathetic!

  6. I reported incest happening on campus. I was told this was “not my problem” they did nothing about the case, the victim’s mother was discouraged by a high ranking pastor, from taking legal action against the perpetrator and as of today, the perpetrator and the victim’s mother are living on campus like nothing happened. She is staff on campus. Their daughter fled Weimar as soon as she could, when she turned 18.

  7. I was a student there for three years and graduated there. I experienced firsthand how spiteful and condescending some staff were toward us students. A few staff in particular began to spread false rumors about a few of us and we kept getting called into the VPAA’s office. We kept asking why the staff couldn’t come speak with us in person before spreading these falsehoods, no adequate response given. Then, when these same staff members were caught in blatant lies, we went to the VPAA and were rebuked for not following Matthew 18. It seemed students were expected to follow Matthew 18 while staff could spread lies about students without any consequence.

    Then about two weeks before graduation we were given a half-hearted apology, to ensure we wouldn’t say anything disparaging about Weimar during our graduation speeches. I had never experienced anxiety or panic attacks until my last year and a half at this institution. I also have never been depressed quite like I was during my time there. There’s way more but for these and other reasons, many weimar students/alumni I know have left the church and not looked back. It’s very sad.

  8. “For these people have become stubborn/calloused. They do not hear with their ears. And they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might really understand what they see with their eyes and hear with their ears. They might really understand in their minds. If they did this, they would come back to me and be forgiven.’ Isaiah 6:9-10

  9. I, like most everyone else, had never heard of Intelligent Adventist before the story about Melissa was published and widely shared. Melissa’s story is compelling and it is a damn shame that it wasn’t covered by a competent journalist. Slapped together and lacking any real narrative arc, the article is reminiscent of a C-grade high school journalism paper thrown together at the eleventh hour. Honestly, I wouldn’t have felt compelled to address it if the author had stopped with Melisa’s story. But they didn’t. The most recent piece about the alleged cover-up is a complete disaster. The article stumbles out of the gate as the author wastes an entire paragraph telling us about his late start to a day. The proceeding paragraph cements the writer’s incompetence by opening with a completely broken sentence. Sadly, sins in composition and structure pale in comparison to the lack of journalistic integrity that follows. Like a haystack from hell, the article is a hodgepodge of accusations, confusing and seemly conflicting details, half-baked assumptions, and one-sided questions that all but assign guilt to the organization. What could have been an engaging piece, rapidly sours into a cesspool of tabloid-style gossip. It’s a real shame because it does appear that the author put in some legwork and is trying to shed light on some truly disturbing things.

    1. You’ve prepared a well written comment and it seems like you have an extensive vocabulary. Unfortunately your comment can be summarized by simply reading the last sentence you wrote. You like some others still at Weimar have entirely missed the point.

  10. Speaking as someone who spent many years on campus, working with, churching with and schooling with Pastor Mackintosh, Dr. Bivens and Dr. Nedley I can speak only in the highest regard of Pastor Mackintosh for having stayed on since the other two joined the campus.

    Since the time of First Dr. Bivens and then Dr. Nedley Weimar is no longer about mission and serving others, but about who has the most and who can out serve! If you do not meet the standard you are cast down or cast out.

    It is about “The haves and the have nots”. Yes people feel like they do not belong on the campus, but make no mistake, it is not because of Pastor Mackintosh.

    The Bivens and the Nedleys have teamed up to create an exclusive prep school for those who have no authority or right to challenge their thinking or opinions.

    Dr. Bivens speaks as a righteous man, but his tongue is forked. He is the first to tarnish a person’s name if he sees fit to do so.

    1. First of all, Dr. Bivens is gone (as I’m sure you are aware). Second, Dr. Bivens didn’t ever teach a single college class nor did he exert any direct operational control over the university as a whole.

      As for the competition to “have the most” and “out serve”, can you share even one example that illustrates that? I can think of the service-oriented mission of TCI, but that is not headed up by Dr. Bivens or Dr. Nedley.

      If Weimar is all about the “haves and the have nots”, I would query you as to which class you believe most employees to be in at Weimar. Most would fall under the worldly definition of “have nots”, but in a reality where we know that worldly possessions will count for naught after this short lifetime, what are riches in comparison to eternal life? It is evidenced in the lives of many of those at Weimar that the mission of soul saving is more important than competing to “have the most”.

      Clearly you speak as no one with real world experience either as a student or staff member at Weimar. An “exclusive prep school”? That statement isn’t even worthy of a response, as you would be able to disprove yourself were you to have a conversation with any Weimar student.

      As far as your integrity as a witness, your last sentence speaks for itself: I believe an introspective look would be timely.

      1. You have no idea what you are talking about. As someone with first hand experience of the work that Dr Bivens did at Weimar for over a decade – there are many many ways in he blessed that campus and put his whole heart in the work God put before him. Dr Bivens has not taken any salary – not one paycheck – zero dollars in salary, from Weimar. Please name one other organization *on earth* that has a COO that worked for no salary for over a decade…

        Dr Bivens raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and personally gave tens of thousands because he believed in the mission and God given purpose of Weimar. His own children worked to pay for their own academy and university school fees, although they had every right to expect it to be free or some special discount, but did not ask or demand it and paid it themselves.

        Dr Bivens has in no way linked his business or professional interests with Weimar, he has been at the head of running New Start for his time at Weimar. New Start program has blessed many many individuals and seen a large number of baptisms. Dr Bivens in no way used his title or position as a physician to put money in his own pocket through his association with New Start or Weimar.

        Before you make baseless accusations from a half understanding of true events, please consider how your words effect the reputation and life of others,

      2. If you really believe that then you have been seduced [modified by the moderator]. For those who have known him closely for a long time, we can relate to the description of Dr. Bivens.

        I challenge to watch Don’s “memorial service” for his dad that took place at the Weimar Church on July 2 in the afternoon. How many of Don’s extended family do you see? There was a number there. And especially how many times do you see Don’s older sister, who was closest to their dad? She made the trip from Florida to Weimar fighting cancer which has caused her to be handicapped.

        Or read what his brother’s daughter has to say in these comments.

  11. I was a college student at Weimar from 2011-3013. I was a work/study student bullied off campus for having “too many male friends” during my last semester, they completely denied that I associated with any of my female friends and focused only on the male ones—ignoring that I was already dating someone else who was at SAU. I was placed on heavy restriction and had to have a female chaperone with me at all times, and I wasn’t allowed to leave campus with anyone except for the woman’s dean or my work supervisor. “You’re an attractive young woman and any one of these boys would take advantage of you sexually” is something they said, and when I asked why they accepted male students they thought were capable of such a thing, they said “it’s in every man’s nature, it’s your responsibility as a woman to be modest.” Fortunately I was never assaulted, but the former women’s deans confessed to me that the reason I was singled out the way I was was because they didn’t want me to work off my bill, they wanted to bully me off campus so I would be forced to pay in cash and they could give my job to the men’s deans daughter. Also while I was there, everyone knew one of the (adult, mid 20s) maintenance men on campus got one of the (minor) academy girls pregnant; they expelled the girl but her rapist was kept on payroll.

    1. People out here vehemently defending Weimar and the leadership there and blatantly ignoring first-hand experiences being described, such as the one from CJoao. Never mind the CONFESSION from the accused in Melissa’s story. It’s laughable

  12. This sensationalist and irresponsible piece lacks any sort of basic journalistic integrity, the research methods used are unethical, and it devolves into baseless allegations. The trust of the victims interviewed has been misplaced. The accused have not been given the opportunity to give their comment before publication as basic journalism would call for. If they refused to respond that would be included in the piece, but even this basic step was not taken. Instead the article itself asks Dr. Nedley to confirm or deny all allegations against him.

    The allegation towards the end of the article that four minors were raped, lacks any evidence. The accusation is apparently based on Lisa’s testimony, yet in the section where she shares how she found that four other young ladies had gone through the same experience she denies being raped or performing any sexual acts.

    There is also an allegation that one of the victims was taken to a local hospital to get a rape test. The writer is evidently not aware that any time a victim of a sexual assault is taken to a hospital it will automatically be reported to the authorities and a criminal case opened.

    The accused sexual offender was also not properly informed of this piece, and the fact that the writer was listening in on the phone conversation in his office while someone else (who apparently from this account must have known the accused personally) tried to pump him for incriminating information without informing him of the purpose of the call or the fact that there was a third party listening in is morally reprehensible, against the Miranda and fifth amendment rights of the accused, and if recorded a crime in the State of California.

    The writer denies knowing whether these cases have been reported to the authorities, and furthermore explains how he has contacted the authorities to report this case. He does not have an official statement from the authorities because he probably did not inform them that he would publish this piece, inform them that he is allegedly involved in journalism, or do his due diligence and ask if there is a criminal case or if any records are available. By contacting the authorities he is involving himself personally in the case, and thus has no right to claim journalistic impartiality.

    The author points out that he went to Weimar in 2019 and interviewed the leadership to try to get information on the allegations and that they did not cite personnel or school privacy issues and categorically denied his allegations. He implies indirectly based on this that Weimar leadership is involved in a conspiracy to cover up the abuse. He evidently chose not to go back and interview the leadership with these new allegations three years later. Neither does he claim to know whether the situation was properly managed or not but implies it was not, based on the testimony of one victim and without any other sources, input from the accused, or any attempt to verify the accuracy of his allegations.

    With all due respect to the victims who choose to publish their stories, one must finally point out that the school and its leadership has a right to its privacy, the privacy of the victims, and a presupposition of innocence until proven guilty for the accused. Therefore, and especially given the fact that the school is going through a lawsuit there may be no expectation of any explanation of the situation or any information given until it comes out in court.

  13. My boys attended Weimar Elementary. Things were not perfect, things were not great. Every school has it’s work to be done!
    Nevertheless, we should be praying for the school, the administration and especially for the students.
    These articles should be removed until the investigation is complete and all the facts are gathered.

    1. I fully agree with your comment that these articles should be removed until the investigation is complete and all the facts are gathered.

  14. I am posting a quote from a beautiful blog by Jennifer Jill:

    organizations wholly devoted to rebuking the church can become acrimonious and counter-evangelistic. Biblically, the gifts of discernment and prophecy (1 Cor. 12; 1 Tim. 4:2) take place connected to the body, as part of Jesus’ overarching, all-important call to build the kingdom of God on earth. If a ministry’s sole purpose is to call out sin in the church, it will be impelled to find sin in order to validate its existence. This can lead to exaggeration and sensationalism, a stretching of the truth in order to feed a marketable narrative. It can also taint the hearts of the “whistleblowers” with a self-righteous spirit.
    Church can’t be a safe place while it’s a safe place for unsafe people. Therefore, rebuke of unsafe people is needed. But if the rebukers themselves, by revealing a disposition to vindictively and haphazardly expose private and delicate matters, themselves become unsafe, we have again made the church unsafe.
    I work in abuse prevention and response within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. I understand the need for dealing strongly with hidden sin, particularly sexual sin. But I’ve often pondered the fact that Jesus didn’t publicly expose Simon the Pharisee, who had sexually abused Mary Magdalene. Through a parable He revealed His knowledge of Simon’s guilt, but rather than lay him out before his brethren, he gave the man a chance to repent.
    Here are some helpful words from Desire of Ages (441). The author speaks of Jesus’ Matthew 18 method, and how to handle the sin of an individual who has been disfellowshipped. It illuminates the broader issue of sin in the church beautifully:
    “But it is to the wrongdoer himself that we are to present the wrong. We are not to make it a matter of comment and criticism among ourselves; nor even after it is told to the church, are we at liberty to repeat it to others. A knowledge of the faults of Christians will be only a cause of stumbling to the unbelieving world; and by dwelling upon these things, we ourselves can receive only harm; for it is by beholding that we become changed. While we seek to correct the errors of a brother, the Spirit of Christ will lead us to shield him, as far as possible, from the criticism of even his own brethren, and how much more from the censure of the unbelieving world. We ourselves are erring, and need Christ’s pity and forgiveness, and just as we wish Him to deal with us, He bids us deal with one another.”

    1. That’s all well and good. Jennifer Jill overlooks the fact that dealing with these matters privately can harm many others by exposing them to dangerous, abusive people because they weren’t made aware of the predators in their community.

  15. Re: the Jennifer Jill comment and all it brings up- – it absolutely does not apply to this situation. Melissa followed the advice you mention. She did not make this public. She privately addressed the issue. Dr. Nedley is the one who refused to protect Melissa and the other victims (and yes there are undoubtedly others).

    Her decision to seek legal recourse is the moral thing to do to protect herself and other victims. If the “righteous” refuse to protect the weak, then in this country we have “secular” people who will. Which leads me to ask: who is acting more like Jesus? The powerful “righteous” protecting the powerful? Or those protecting the victims?

    I have only recently become aware of Intelligent Adventist, but I see their mission as a righteous one. They speak for the weak, they call the church to a higher standard. There should be no need for them to exist! The church and self supporting institutions should be leading by example -they should have zero tolerance for abuse of the weak. Always! Why is this even a debate? And if the religious powerful refuse to do what they are called to do, then others will be called and will step forward. Intelligent Adventist has answered this call. They speak for the victims and they simply ask that the church do the right thing.

    Too long have victims been sacrificed on the altar of “the mission and the ministry.” God does not honor human sacrifice. And yet we keep on lighting that fire and sacrificing the victims for the sake of “reputation.” It is wrong, and we all know it.

  16. I am a retired senior with many years of college teaching experience. I want Melissa to know that I believe her very credible story, as do others.

    What a travesty for a young trusting woman to be treated so disrespectfully and with such callous disregard. May these wrongs be made right without delay.

    “And judgement is turned away backward, and justice stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street.”

  17. While I was attending Weimar Academy as a freshman from 2010-2012, I was groomed by a Weimar College student who was 8 years older than me. His father was the Vice President of Weimar and his mother was a psychologist working on the campus. He made moves on me in the basement of the building where medical massage was taught. I cannot remember the name of that building, but I know many college students called the downstairs room the “man cave” because that is where many male college students hung out. I always wondered if he groomed and preyed on other under-age students. He nearly ruined my life. I went into deep depression, tried to end my life, and I have never fully recovered from the 2 years of abuse. When I moved away from the Weimar area, my mother took my phone to the police station to retrieve pictures and messages off of it. I begged her not to push charges against this individual being the stupid kid I was. I look back now as a wife and someone hoping to have babies in the near future and wish that he had been brought to justice. I would never want my child to go through what I did. He moved onto Texas where he apparently tried to target minors near Southwestern Adventist University. It will always be my biggest regret. He still holds onto my pictures on a hard drive. I would give anything to see it destroyed. I am sure there are other victims’ pictures on the drive. He collected underwear as trophies from his victims. Who thought having a college and a high school on the same campus would be a good idea?

    1. I am so sorry to hear this. Have you contacted Project Safe Church to report this individual? If you feel emotionally prepared, it could also be helpful (and not too late) to file a police report.

    2. Anonymous: The situation sounds like it was traumatic for you. Why did you stay for two years? Did he threaten to harm you or threaten your loved ones? After two years it seems someone, who is free to come and go, would either say something or just exit the situation. Two years of the situation, help us understand why you didn’t speak up or just stop meeting the person? Did he have some authority over you as a teacher or manager?

      Why wouldn’t you press charges or at least file a report?

      Remaining anonymous, with what you’ve described… just does not make sense. unless the relationship was at least partly consensual, even if it was something you could not handle at the time emotionally.

      1. You have no idea what you are talking about. This person was a minor. Speaking from experience, these experiences are so confusing that you do not think clearly or know what to do. A minor 8 years young than the perpetrator is always innocent.

      2. I know “anonymous” personally and I know who her abuser was. What she is telling is true. I was at weimar during this time frame and found out about it directly from her family when they first attempted to press charges. She was very young, note she said “freshman;” she was a freshman in HIGH SCHOOL at the academy. Minors are often too frightened and incapable of following through with pressing charges on account of, you know, the fact they were groomed. Sexual grooming is a form of psychological as well as sexual manipulation. She admits she was a naive young child and regrets begging her parents to not press charges. Her abuser was protected by people who sound suspiciously a lot like you. You seem quite fond of blaming and questioning young girls for their abuse, which I find vile and rather telling of your moral character.

        1. cj:

          It’s not ok to ask questions?
          Asking questions is blaming?
          Please explain how truth is served without clarity on what happened (visit a court room if you think my questions are harsh…)

          I stated very clearly “this situation sounds very traumatic for you”. Please explain how that is vile or blaming.

          The persons age was not stated. Even the moderator made a guess that the commenter was fairly young at the time

          Personal attacks are a replacement for sound argument. As a member of society I suggest you learn to state your point of view without emotion or personal attacks. People will hear and respect what you have to say.

          You know nothing about me or my moral character. I do however know your reading comprehension involves a lot of jumping to conclusions.

  18. RR: Why are you still trying to justify yourself when it’s been stated that the individual WAS a minor? Do you have any connection to the incident? Do you even have any knowledge in abuse and coping mechanisms? I am confused by your “logic.” You even stated that the moderator made a guess the commenter was fairly young at the time. Please explain how that remotely supports the notion that the age was completely unknown. I know CJ and the commenter and was there during that time period. Revealing one’s identity only makes oneself more of a target in an environment where there still has been no accountability for abuse such as at weimar. You know nothing about the victim or CJ so please do not make stabbing accusations when you are rightfully put in your place. If you were actually there and saw what went on behind closed doors you would see how insensitive and victim blaming your comments really are. As someone who has fought through abuse and gone through therapy to heal from trauma like many others have, I suggest you spend a bit more time in the real world before you decide to play judge and interrogate victims of abuse through your comments. People will listen more and show you more respect.

  19. To all who have written and replied here who have suffered abuse, my full, sincere and heartfelt sympathies go out to you. Those who want to question every last detail about testimonies like these seem to have little understanding of what this life, sadly, is really about. The sad fact of the matter is that, even in the SDA church, education and/or position seems to give certain corrupt men the right to think that they can do what they want to with the opposite sex, especially the vulnerable. These men think and plan to seduce people. This fact has come to light to me recently after two individuals gave me their own personal testimonies, not about Weimar, but about events in separate places. It does not matter where these incidents happen, the principle involved is still the same. The sad fact is that ministers, elders, and leaders of our institutes cover up these incidents when the clear counsel is that they need to be immediately dealt with, and the perpetrators removed, no matter how high their position. See testimonies To Ministers, pp. 426-427. One of the main excuses given for men in position in our church who abuse women is that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” and so, “forgive them, and give them another chance, or else no-one is worthy to lead out.” But the simple fact of the matter is that God has a standard to be met, especially for leadership within His pure and holy church, and anyone who does not meet that standard should be relieved of their duties, for the safety of the church, and especially to protect the weak and vulnerable. Holiness, purity, tenderness, true love and respect are principles dying out amongst us. We need to defend and promote Jesus as He really is. We have clear counsel in the Spirit of Prophecy that sexual abuse within Adventism will increase not decrease as we draw near the end of time. See the section “Agents of Satan”, in 5T, pp. 137-148. All who desire to ignore this last fact will have the Lord to answer to. On our end we have produced a tract called “Spiritual Wickedness In High Places” to help warn the vulnerable in our church, and in other religious bodies who have suffered, or may be targeted for abuse. Take care saints of God, Jesus is coming soon. With much love, from London England.

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