Christian Chronicle Religion News Service

Stunning reversal: Judge vacates former youth minister’s sex convictions

Charges against Clyde E. Brothers Jr. fell outside Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations, new ruling asserts.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

A highly publicized Pennsylvania grand jury report last year identified more than 300 predator Catholic priests who had sexually abused more than 1,000 children going back decades.

But because the crimes were hidden by the church hierarchy, “almost every instance of abuse we found is too old to be prosecuted,” the statewide investigating body reported.

Now, the same statute of limitations that prevented prosecutions in those cases has prompted a state judge to vacate the convictions of a former longtime Church of Christ youth minister.

In a stunning reversal, Judge Steve Leskinen of the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas in Uniontown, Pa., recently overturned Clyde E. Brothers Jr.’s convictions on corruption of minors and indecent exposure charges.

“I’m sick to my stomach,” one alleged victim’s mother told The Christian Chronicle upon learning that Brothers, 68, won’t be going to prison after all. Her name is being withheld to protect the identity of her son.

Brothers served for many years as the volunteer youth minister for the 100-member Uniontown Church of Christ, about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh. Since at least the 1980s, he also interacted with hundreds of children as a founding board member for Camp Concern — a Bible camp directed and sponsored by members of Churches of Christ.

Read the full story.

This story appears in the online edition of The Christian Chronicle. It was picked up by Religion News Service and distributed on its national wire.

In-depth exclusive: A perpetrator in the pews (reporting from Uniontown, Pa.)

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