Bishop Charles E. Brown pleaded not guilty Friday to sex crimes against three juveniles dating as far back as 1977. Judge Karen Herman remanded Brown, the 59-year-old spiritual head of a local Pentecostal church, to jail Friday in lieu of $900,000 bond from a grand jury indictment handed up last month.
Several of his supporters, many of them women who dressed up and wore hats, appeared ready on Friday to chip in for the bond. Brown is scheduled to return to court Monday with the paperwork. Brown faces a count of forcible rape and two counts each of sexual battery and committing a lewd act on a juvenile in three alleged crimes all dating back at least 30 years. Police originally booked Brown with aggravated rape on June 28, after an unidentified 39-year-old woman called the NOPD’s child abuse unit in March to report that Brown had molested her between the ages of 14 and 16. According to police, the woman said Brown had been her aunt’s boyfriend and committed the acts at his home. Since then, at least two other people have come forward with accusations against him, according to the indictment. One of them, now 47, claims Brown committed indecent behavior and sexual battery sometime between her 13th and 17th birthdays, according to the indictment.
Thomas Archie Wiggins Jr. another Church of God in Christ Pastor has been arrested for sex crimes against an underage child. The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office arrested Thomas Archie Wiggins Jr, 54, on five counts of first-degree sexual offense and five counts of indecent liberties with a minor. “The crimes allegedly took place in 1998, said Sgt. J.J. Brewer, spokesman for the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office. As of Tuesday, Wiggins was listed as the pastor on the website for Wilmington’s Faith Temple Church of God and Christ, 1119 S. 4th St. According to the organization’s website, Wiggins has been a pastor at the church since December 1998, but Brewer said he did not know when during that year the alleged incidents took place.Wiggins was booked into the New Hanover County jail under a $100,000 secured bond, but bonded out later in the day, according to jail officials.
This latest arrest comes on the heels of the most recent COGIC Holy Convocation in which Church Folk Revolution members have criticized Presiding Bishop Charles Blake for ignoring victims of rape with in his organization.
This has been a year of shame for all churches and faiths. Let’s hope 2012 is better.