The Boston Globe


DA investigates teen's assault allegation against pastor

By Raja Mishra, Globe Staff  |  May 16, 2007

Suffolk County prosecutors are investigating allegations that a former pastor at a Baptist church in Boston molested a teenager who attended the church.

The 18-year-old Dorchester man alleged late last year that the Rev. Lawrence Brown of Mount Calvary Baptist Church had groped him on several occasions when he was 14, culminating with a more serious sexual assault during a church retreat in New Hampshire.

The Globe does not identify minors who are alleged victims of sexual abuse unless they give their consent. The teen's father said yesterday that the accuser would not comment.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Social Services confirmed that social workers were alerted about the allegations late last year and forwarded the case to the Suffolk district attorney's office. Prosecutors opened an investigation in December, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the office.

"We would urge anyone else who was victimized to contact police," Wark said.

No charges have been filed in the allegations, which were first reported yesterday by the Boston Herald.

Brown could not be reached for comment yesterday. He stepped down as pastor in 2005, but continues to work at Mount Calvary Baptist.

An official at the church, the Rev. George Bullock, said of the allegations, "There's a lot of misinformation," and then hung up the phone.

The teenager's father said yesterday that both he and his son have faced considerable pressure from church members since they reported the allegations to authorities.

"I've heard from family members and church members that God is going to kill me because we're trying to expose the church," said the father, a local pastor whom the Globe will not identify to protect his son's identity. "It's a very painful time."

He said the abuse dated to 2004, when his son was going through personal turmoil and turned to Brown for help.

"[Brown] started giving him back massages, then started putting his hands down his pants," said the father.

He said the alleged molestation became more serious during a camping trip in New Hampshire, although he would not describe what happened.

The father said the alleged incidents devastated his son. The teenager was hospitalized in September at Somerville Hospital for "feeling suicidal," said the father. The hospital contacted DSS.

The father alleged that at one point Brown contacted his son to say that he would commit suicide if word got out about the incidents.

The case has also torn apart the family, the father said.

The father said he had stopped attending Mount Calvary Baptist and now attends Charles Street African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the congregation "helps me heal." But his son has had a hard time coping, he said.

See also "Teen reveals shocking tale" in the Boston Herald, and

"Perp slams social service agency"