Nathaniel Morales abused a great number of boys in the New Testament Church, Montgomery County Covenant Academy and Covenant Life Church in Maryland from 1980 until 1992.
He was investigated starting in October 2009, arrested in October 2012, tried and found guilty on seven of eight counts of sexual abuse and offense against four boys in May 2014, and sentenced today to 40 years in prison.
C.J. Mahaney, John Loftness, Gary Ricucci, Grant Layman and other pastors at Covenant Life Church knew about these crimes but conspired to cover them up. They agreed not to report a known sexual predator to law enforcement officials. As a result of their criminal dereliction, Morales went on to abuse an even greater number of boys in multiple cities in different parts of the United States over the next 20 years.
Morales left Covenant Life Church in 1992 and married Marcia Jo Griffeth in 1994. She had no idea he was predatory sex abuser. Marcia had five boys from a previous marriage. Morales sexually abused two of them. She only discovered the extent of his crimes after he was arrested. She divorced him in December 2013. None of the pastors from CLC have ever contacted her to ask forgiveness or make restitution.
Nathaniel Morales received justice today. He is 56 years old and will never see the light of day which was the goal of prosecutors. The conspirators who protected Morales have not yet received justice for their crimes.
The victims of Morales heinous crimes are glad to see this day but the harms against them can never be forgotten. Morales is typical of sex abusers in church settings. The Church and its pastors needs to be educated by experts in the field. All suspected child abuse must be immediately reported to police.
Thank you Jeremy Cook, Sam Bates., Brian Wolohan and David Tapia for courageously testifying against your abuser. Thank you Marcia Jo Griffeth for being willing to testify against your former husband. Thanks to everyone else who supplied supporting testimony and to the other victims who were willing to testify, namely Daniel Bates and James Roberts. Nate will never harm another child because of your efforts.
Layman resigned from pastoral ministry at Covenant Life Church after 23 years in April 2014. Sovereign Grace Ministries continues to highly commend Mahaney, Loftness and Ricucci and taken no action against them.
The same is true of well-known evangelical leaders like Al Mohler, Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan from Together for the Gospel and D.A. Carson, Kevin DeYoung, Justin Taylor from The Gospel Coalition. Both groups posted letters on their respective websites in May 2013 defending Mahaney against all charges found in the civil lawsuit against him. They have never retracted those statements.
Much more needs to be said about the cover up of sex crimes in Covenant Life Church and Sovereign Grace Ministries. I plan to say it a few weeks from now.
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