https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/relig ... r-BB1hBDoYA Harrisburg-area religious leader is facing charges for his failure to report a sexual assault nearly 24 years ago, Pennsylvania State Police announced.
Rhett Hintze, 50, is accused of shirking his duty as a mandated reporter when he failed to notify police of a sexual assault of a 12-year-old boy in 2000. Shawn Cory Gooden was not charged with the assault until 2023, according to PSP.
About time. I wonder how this will play out and if the Church is providing his lawyers?Troopers say they discovered during their investigation into the alleged assault that the victim and Gooden told Hintze about the incident. Hintze was a mandated reporter at the time due to his position as Harrisburg Stake President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Hintze was charged with one count of failure to report or refer. His arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 2
LinkShawn Cory Gooden, who police say held leadership positions with the church’s Lebanon ward, was charged in 2022 in Virginia with sexually assaulting a minor in the Woodbridge area and 2023 in Pennsylvania with sexually assaulting a minor in Berks County. Police said the assaults happened between 1997 and 2000, and the victims were between 8 and 12 years old when the assaults occurred.
State Police also detailed one sexual assault allegation involving Gooden and a 12-year-old boy at French Creek State Park in 2000.
Police say Hintze, who was also chief operating officer of the Harrisburg-based Bravo Group (which tells abc27 News he is on leave as of late Wednesday), knew about the allegations against Gooden as early as October 2020, while Gooden was a church leader and nearly two years before he was arrested. State Police say Gooden and the victim “had disclosed the sexual assault” to Hintze, who “failed to report the abuse to authorities.”
Sounds like the person committing the abuse was a Bishop.
So the Church is defending him. I guess they can’t afford him to be convicted as that would have repercussions with how they operate their cover-up hotline.“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints works actively to prevent abuse. Our hearts ache for victims of abuse, and the Church is committed to addressing such incidents wherever they are found,” the church wrote in a statement provided by Hintze’s attorney. “The Church trains its leaders and supports their lawful efforts. The charges now brought by local prosecutors for failing to report the abuse are misguided, and the Church will vigorously defend him.”