Tina Anderson, Chuck Phelps Take Stand in Willis Trial

Details in the http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/258876/victim-testifies-to-sexual-... ]Concord Monitor

Monitor reporter Maddie Hanna is also tweeting from the trial http://twitter.com/#!/maddiehanna ]here

WMUR-TV is providing live updates http://livewire.wmur.com/Event/Trial_Of_Ernest_Willis_Continues ]here

UPDATE (1:30 EDT)- Chuck Phelps is taking the stand. Live updates at the links above.

2:50 PM EDT- Video footage from WMUR http://youtu.be/RJrebgIKGZI ]here

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Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Micheledo M wrote:
It just seems that the victim (even if it was consensual - she was a victim of a predator. He WAS the aggressor) is doubted most and her motives questioned the most.

Perhaps some of the appearance arises from the fact that no one is unclear about Willis. Everyone agrees he broke the law and violated scripture. It is clear he was completely wrong. The discussion has revolved around Tina because her role is not entirely clear yet.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Don Johnson's picture

Aaron Blumer wrote:
There's a good chance we'll not keep these Willers case threads open. As we've sometimes done in the past, we'll post news as we become aware, but I seriously doubt there is anything important we can say now that couldn't be said just as well after the whole business is over--and from that standpoint it will be much easier to judge what sort of discussion has any potential value.

(I don't think I have to point out to most people that reporting news but not allowing discussion is not "covering up" something... but for those who are foggy on that concept, there you go.)

I hope you will make that the policy. There is really no need for our commentary. The news is of interest, but what any of us thinks about it is largely irrelevant.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Greg Long's picture

Don you could say that about everything on Sharper Iron. That's the whole point of a discussion board--to discuss news and matters of interest.

But I understand what Aaron is saying, that if something has already been hashed and rehashed, there's no need for re-re-rehashing.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Micheledo M's picture

http://livewire.wmur.com/Event/Day_3_Of_Ernest_Willis_Trial ]Today's Live Feed

Very sad. Simply from what I have read - NO ONE has stated that Tina said it was consensual. It appears that everyone assumed because of her reaction and statements. Strangely enough, those statements and reactions don't seem that abnormal coming from a frightened girl who has been raped and doesn't want to tell people, but because of a pregnancy, has to.

Sad that assumptions are made and then stated as fact. Frightening how easy that is to do. It sure makes me wonder what kind of assumptions I have made about people because of what they said or didn't say.

Jay's picture

Micheledo M wrote:
http://livewire.wmur.com/Event/Day_3_Of_Ernest_Willis_Trial ]Today's Live Feed

Very sad. Simply from what I have read - NO ONE has stated that Tina said it was consensual. It appears that everyone assumed because of her reaction and statements.


No one is disputing that Tina says it was rape. What I'm pointing out is that three other people who are directly involved in the case, including the father of her child, are saying that it was consensual. That's worth noting...their claims ought to be considered as well.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Micheledo M's picture

Jay C. wrote:
Micheledo M wrote:
http://livewire.wmur.com/Event/Day_3_Of_Ernest_Willis_Trial ]Today's Live Feed

Very sad. Simply from what I have read - NO ONE has stated that Tina said it was consensual. It appears that everyone assumed because of her reaction and statements.


No one is disputing that Tina says it was rape. What I'm pointing out is that three other people who are directly involved in the case, including the father of her child, are saying that it was consensual. That's worth noting...their claims ought to be considered as well.

Did you see the live feed? Willis said Tina never said a word so he assumed it was consensual. That just makes me weep. A young girl lays their SILENTLY and the adult man decides that means it was consensual?? The three people who SAY it was consensual, say so because of assumptions. Tina's own mother testified that Tina NEVER claimed it was consensual. Her mom made that call on her own. Ernie decided it was consensual because Tina was passive. Phelps decided it was consensual because Ernie was 'honest' and Tina claimed it happened once.

JeremyO's picture

For anyone interested, pastor Phelps has put up a web page where he has statements from Tina's mother and the statements that were released to 20/20, etc.. He also has an article, written by Dr. Charles R. Surrett of Ambassador Baptist College, entitled, "the Fallacy of 20/20's Logic" that lists every reason why ABC and the producers of 20/20 are the devil's playthings (my personal interpretation of the article)The link is here [url ]http://www.drchuckphelps.com/fallacy.html On a side note, I am curious about the "logic" of taking "logic" lessons from anyone in the KJV only camp. Seems a little "illogical" don't you think?

JO

Jay's picture

Micheledo M wrote:
Jay C. wrote:
Micheledo M wrote:
http://livewire.wmur.com/Event/Day_3_Of_Ernest_Willis_Trial ]Today's Live Feed

Very sad. Simply from what I have read - NO ONE has stated that Tina said it was consensual. It appears that everyone assumed because of her reaction and statements.


No one is disputing that Tina says it was rape. What I'm pointing out is that three other people who are directly involved in the case, including the father of her child, are saying that it was consensual. That's worth noting...their claims ought to be considered as well.

Did you see the live feed? Willis said Tina never said a word so he assumed it was consensual. That just makes me weep. A young girl lays their SILENTLY and the adult man decides that means it was consensual?? The three people who SAY it was consensual, say so because of assumptions. Tina's own mother testified that Tina NEVER claimed it was consensual. Her mom made that call on her own. Ernie decided it was consensual because Tina was passive. Phelps decided it was consensual because Ernie was 'honest' and Tina claimed it happened once.


Micheledo-

Did Tina ever stop hanging around with Willis afterwards? Did Tina report her rape as rape at the hospital? Did Tina try to keep people from going to the cops? Did Tina voluntarily go out with Willis to the Bedford Village Inn for her 16th Birthday after her pregnancy?

Witnesses say "No", "No", "Yes", and "Yes" to those questions in sworn, legal depositions. That's important to know. You can't throw out facts just because you find one person in a trial to be credible. That's why Phelps and the others are testifying as we speak...to get at the facts of the case. Not just what one person, no matter how sorry we may feel for her, says.

I'm not excusing Willis and I'm not trying to crucify Tina...she's suffered enough. I would actually prefer to stay away from this discussion entirely. However, there are people who are arguing that Phelps was an legal accessory to Willis and that he obstructed justice by sending her to CO. Those are serious charges that demand the truth, not just accusations in a public discussion board. Cherry picking witnesses and testimony to sensationalize claims is wrong.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Shaynus's picture

This thread demonstrates why we have consent laws in this country. I'm actually shocked reading through some of this thread. Even though Christians may have qualms about the purity motives of teenagers, it is the perp who violated the laws of God and man.

Rape is often a weapon of war for a reason. It shames women into saying nothing. It confuses them. Often abused women will find even ridiculous reasons for why it's their fault. At it's core this is about a grown man who violated a teen girl.

Jay's picture

I honestly don't know this - what does it mean to take a motion to dismiss under advisement? Does it mean that he might dismiss one of the charges?

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jmeyering's picture

Jay C. wrote:

Did Tina ever stop hanging around with Willis afterwards? Did Tina report her rape as rape at the hospital? Did Tina try to keep people from going to the cops? Did Tina voluntarily go out with Willis to the Bedford Village Inn for her 16th Birthday after her pregnancy?

Couldn't this behavior be considered somewhat normal for a girl being told to do the "Christian thing." The majority of Rape victims (I believe over 60%) never report the crime, due either to embarrassment or the assaulter being a "friend." In this case a 15 year old girl is dealing with both, she is being told to forgive this man who has been her friend and she is surely embarrassed so I can understand not reporting or wanting this to blow up publically.

To me this is normal behavior for a victim of a rape, especially such a young victim.

Shaynus's picture

Jmeyering wrote:
Jay C. wrote:

Did Tina ever stop hanging around with Willis afterwards? Did Tina report her rape as rape at the hospital? Did Tina try to keep people from going to the cops? Did Tina voluntarily go out with Willis to the Bedford Village Inn for her 16th Birthday after her pregnancy?

Couldn't this behavior be considered somewhat normal for a girl being told to do the "Christian thing." The majority of Rape victims (I believe over 60%) never report the crime, due either to embarrassment or the assaulter being a "friend." In this case a 15 year old girl is dealing with both, she is being told to forgive this man who has been her friend and she is surely embarrassed so I can understand not reporting or wanting this to blow up publically.

To me this is normal behavior for a victim of a rape, especially such a young victim.

Exactly! Thank you.

Joshua Caucutt's picture

This is also why the testimony about Tina's stepfather is also relevant. According to Tina, this was not the first time that she had been abused by a trusted adult and had been convinced to "forgive and forget" in some form. Her mother welcomed her former abuser back into their home. Her pastor made her face him and forgive him. She had been taught to tolerate this kind of and similar types of abuse. (if we accept her testimony as true)

formerly known as Coach C

Louise Dan's picture

Here are the facts established by testimony over the last 3 days.

1. Chuck Phelps reports that Ernie Willis told him he was the aggressor. (by definition, aggressor is a person, group, or nation that attacks first or initiates hostilities; an assailant or invader.)
2. Chuck Phelps reads Tina a passage from Deut 22 about a woman who doesn't scream out when she is raped. Indicates that not screaming out implies complicity.
3. According to Phelps' notes, Tina had problems with the idea that she was guilty.
4. Chuck Phelps reported to youth services that the sex was consensual.

Here are the implications from these facts.

Phelps knew that Tina didn't believe she was responsible, that she didn't want sex with Willis. He also knows that Willis himself says he was the aggressor. But Phelps reads the Deut passage to Tina to convince her that she is partly to blame because she didn't scream out for help (though she was alone in her apartment and a car during the events). Based on these facts, Chuck Phelps is likely to be prosecuted for obstruction of justice by reporting that the sex was consensual because it's clear from his own testimony that he should have known better. He at least should have had reasonable doubt. Telling authorities it was consensual was beyond inappropriate, and likely outright illegal.

JasonR's picture

Louise Dan wrote:
Here are the facts established by testimony over the last 3 days.

1. Chuck Phelps reports that Ernie Willis told him he was the aggressor. (by definition, aggressor is a person, group, or nation that attacks first or initiates hostilities; an assailant or invader.)
2. Chuck Phelps reads Tina a passage from Deut 22 about a woman who doesn't scream out when she is raped. Indicates that not screaming out implies complicity.
3. According to Phelps' notes, Tina had problems with the idea that she was guilty.
4. Chuck Phelps reported to youth services that the sex was consensual.

Here are the implications from these facts.

Phelps knew that Tina didn't believe she was responsible, that she didn't want sex with Willis. He also knows that Willis himself says he was the aggressor. But Phelps reads the Deut passage to Tina to convince her that she is partly to blame because she didn't scream out for help (though she was alone in her apartment and a car during the events). Based on these facts, Chuck Phelps is likely to be prosecuted for obstruction of justice by reporting that the sex was consensual because it's clear from his own testimony that he should have known better. He at least should have had reasonable doubt. Telling authorities it was consensual was beyond inappropriate, and likely outright illegal.

You think he can be prosecuted for obstruction of justice based on his opinion?

You really seem to be out for blood here.

Louise Dan's picture

What in the world? Yes, he can be prosecuted for obstruction of justice if he knows it wasn't consensual and he reports to authorities that it was. ESPECIALLY since he's a mandatory reporter. Implied in the label "mandatory reporter" is that you are required to report the TRUTH.

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

Pastor Phelps is not a cop. His opinion on consent had and has no legal weight. The charge in this case is that an adult had sex with a minor. By law, minors can't consent. End of story.

Obstruction of justice is any action that is an attempt to impede an investigation or tamper with evidence. Giving one's opinion is not obstruction of justice. His opinion did not prevent any aspect of the investigation. Even if the officers believed him, it doesn't matter, because again- minors can't legally consent.

Shaynus's picture

I agree with Susan here. What is moral and what is legal are often two different things.

dan's picture

Louise Dan wrote:
Here are the facts established by testimony over the last 3 days.

1. Chuck Phelps reports that Ernie Willis told him he was the aggressor. (by definition, aggressor is a person, group, or nation that attacks first or initiates hostilities; an assailant or invader.)

The idea that the use of the word "aggressor" proves force is an opinion, not a fact. The fact is that today Ernie Willis explained that he meant exacty what I said he might have meant. Looked up "aggressor" in a thesaurus.

Louise Dan wrote:

3. According to Phelps' notes, Tina had problems with the idea that she was guilty.

I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but from http://livewire.wmur.com/Event/Day_3_Of_Ernest_Willis_Trial#ixzz1NOydjU4V ]Live Wire :

Quote:
State: in your dayplanner you wrote "Tina having a hard time with guilt"
This does not clearly mean what you said above. This could easily mean that he thought Tina was having a difficult time because she felt guilty. Tina herself said on the stand that she felt guilty (doesn't mean she was).

Perhaps you have a different source of information that makes it clear?

Louise Dan wrote:

4. Chuck Phelps reported to youth services that the sex was consensual.

So far there has been no information from the trial that that proves he believed it was not consensual.

I do think that with a 39 year old man and a 15 year old girl, everyone should have assumed it was not consensual until there was a clear admission from Tina otherwise.

Quote:
Phelps knew that Tina didn't believe she was responsible, that she didn't want sex with Willis.
Still no evidence corroborating evidence of that.
Quote:
He also knows that Willis himself says he was the aggressor.
Still doesn't mean what you say it means.
Quote:
But Phelps reads the Deut passage to Tina to convince her that she is partly to blame because she didn't scream out for help (though she was alone in her apartment and a car during the events).
Disgusting. This makes Phelps look very bad, IMO. I read on his web site where he denied doing that. Under oath, he admitted it.
Quote:
Based on these facts, Chuck Phelps is likely to be prosecuted for obstruction of justice by reporting that the sex was consensual because it's clear from his own testimony that he should have known better. He at least should have had reasonable doubt. Telling authorities it was consensual was beyond inappropriate, and likely outright illegal.
Some of the things you say are facts are not facts, and they don't support an obstruction of justice charge, or even perjury. It is still possible that Phelps actually believed it was consensual.

This won't make me any friends, but I will say that in my limited experience in IFB, in this type of situation the female is usually seen as the one bearing the greater responsibility. "She should have known better than to be alone with a married man", "She must have encouraged him", etc. I've seen it and heard it before. I don't know Phelps, but maybe there was some of that going on.

"Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy."
G.K. Chesterton

DavidO's picture

Quote:
I read on his web site where he denied doing that.

He actually only denied saying she was lucky not to be stoned.

Micheledo M's picture

Jay C. wrote:

Micheledo-

Did Tina ever stop hanging around with Willis afterwards? Did Tina report her rape as rape at the hospital? Did Tina try to keep people from going to the cops? Did Tina voluntarily go out with Willis to the Bedford Village Inn for her 16th Birthday after her pregnancy?

Witnesses say "No", "No", "Yes", and "Yes" to those questions in sworn, legal depositions. That's important to know. You can't throw out facts just because you find one person in a trial to be credible. That's why Phelps and the others are testifying as we speak...to get at the facts of the case. Not just what one person, no matter how sorry we may feel for her, says.

I'm not excusing Willis and I'm not trying to crucify Tina...she's suffered enough. I would actually prefer to stay away from this discussion entirely. However, there are people who are arguing that Phelps was an legal accessory to Willis and that he obstructed justice by sending her to CO. Those are serious charges that demand the truth, not just accusations in a public discussion board. Cherry picking witnesses and testimony to sensationalize claims is wrong.

Again, it doesn't really matter if she still hung around Willis, if she didn't report it, if she didn't want people to go to the police. Considering a LARGE number of adult women do not report, do not want it reported, and some even stay friends with their abuser, why does it look bad that Tina did those same things, as a child?

I am not cherry picking and I am also not claiming that Phelps hid anything. I do think the way he handled it was wrong. That he was wrong to trust a man who admitted to being a pedophile, over a frightened child. But I take him at his word, even if I think the way he went about it was wrong.

IMO, Tina did not behave in a way that is different from most rape victims. In fact, it sounds like she would have never said anything if she hadn't ended up pregnant. That forced her to come forward, with fear.

dan's picture

DavidO wrote:
Quote:
I read on his web site where he denied doing that.

He actually only denied saying she was lucky not to be stoned.

Yes, I messed that one up.

I am wondering though: why did he read her that passage at all if she never said she had been raped?

I think I'll just move along now.

"Despair does not lie in being weary of suffering, but in being weary of joy."
G.K. Chesterton

Joshua Caucutt's picture

That is an interesting point . . . if she says that she consented to the act or didn't give any characterization at all . . . why go to Deuteronomy 22 in the first place? Are there no NT passages that address the issues of sexual sin?

Hopefully the prosecution isn't reading this thread. You are right to move along . . .

formerly known as Coach C

Louise Dan's picture

dan wrote:

I am wondering though: why did he read her that passage at all if she never said she had been raped?

I think I'll just move along now.

EXACTLY! At least we agree on the inconsistency of this point.

Brent Marshall's picture

Jay C. wrote:
I honestly don't know this - what does it mean to take a motion to dismiss under advisement? Does it mean that he might dismiss one of the charges?
That means that that the judge chose not to rule on the motion to dismiss at that time but rather to delay his ruling until a later time. When I saw the discussion of the motion on the WMUR-TV live blogging, I had anticipated that the court would choose this route. While the court can rule on the motion at any time, at this point, I would not expect a ruling until after a jury decision. If the jury acquits Mr. Willis on the relevant charge(s), then the motion to dismiss effectively becomes moot, and the court will not need to make a ruling. If the jury convicts him, then the court will have to rule on the motion and could dismiss the relevant charge(s) at that point. Were that to occur, the court judge would be deciding that the evidence presented was insufficient as a matter of law to support a conviction.

These motions to dismiss are quite standard when the prosecution rests. If the court declares the evidence legally insufficient to support a conviction on any particular charge and thus dismisses that charge, then the prosecution is over as to that charge: the defendant cannot be retried, even if the court was clearly erroneous in dismissing the charge. Accordingly, courts are understandable cautious.

Things That Matter

As the quantity of communication increases, so does its quality decline; and the most important sign of this is that it is no longer acceptable to say so.--RScruton

Jay's picture

Micheledo M wrote:
Again, it doesn't really matter if she still hung around Willis, if she didn't report it, if she didn't want people to go to the police. Considering a LARGE number of adult women do not report, do not want it reported, and some even stay friends with their abuser, why does it look bad that Tina did those same things, as a child?

I am not cherry picking and I am also not claiming that Phelps hid anything. I do think the way he handled it was wrong. That he was wrong to trust a man who admitted to being a pedophile, over a frightened child. But I take him at his word, even if I think the way he went about it was wrong.


Micheledo,

If you were raped by a guy in your church, would you voluntarily go out to eat with the assailant a few weeks later for your birthday, as the Concord Monitor reported in a story titled "Rape Defendant Admits to Touching", p. 2? (URL - http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/259340/rape-defendant-admits-to-to...|CSGroupId%3Aapproved%3A5285D5C6A5B6964E12805A575246ADB5&CSUserId=21871&CSGroupId=1)

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Jay's picture

The point isn't that Tina is responsible for Willis. Willis will go to jail, and rightfully so. The point is that several people, esp. on Facebook, gossip about the facts that are "helpful" to proving Phelps is a monster or is guilty of conspiracy, or whatever and they do not admit the facts that are now legally on record that indicate that Phelps and others tried to help Tina. That kind of vindictive, malicious gossip is going to destroy more lives - like the unsaved in the Concord area who will refuse the gospel as a result of this trial / campaign, or Tina's child - and that's really my concern.

Some here have been victimized by others. I understand that, and I understand because I work with someone who has been a victim of decades of sexual abuse. But to start responding to their offense by taking justice into the victim's hands is not the right way to handle this...the law and the courts are, and when they are done, then God will ultimately deal with all things perfectly justly.

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Brent Marshall wrote:
That means that that the judge chose not to rule on the motion to dismiss at that time but rather to delay his ruling until a later time. When I saw the discussion of the motion on the WMUR-TV live blogging, I had anticipated that the court would choose this route. While the court can rule on the motion at any time, at this point, I would not expect a ruling until after a jury decision. If the jury acquits Mr. Willis on the relevant charge(s), then the motion to dismiss effectively becomes moot, and the court will not need to make a ruling. If the jury convicts him, then the court will have to rule on the motion and could dismiss the relevant charge(s) at that point. Were that to occur, the court judge would be deciding that the evidence presented was insufficient as a matter of law to support a conviction.

These motions to dismiss are quite standard when the prosecution rests. If the court declares the evidence legally insufficient to support a conviction on any particular charge and thus dismisses that charge, then the prosecution is over as to that charge: the defendant cannot be retried, even if the court was clearly erroneous in dismissing the charge. Accordingly, courts are understandable cautious.


Thanks for that, Brent.

A general reminder to avoid binary thinking...
People tend to think in either-or's... the more emotional the issue, the more likely this becomes. So folks tend to fall into: "Either Willers Willis is a criminal or Tina was a completely willing participant." It's not even close to that simple. It's quite clear that Willers Willis is a criminal. That's not even in dispute. He has pleaded guilty to statutory rape and nobody is questioning his guilt on that point.
Nobody.

In the trail, the defense is arguing that her consent would mean he is not guilty of regular rape (as opposed to statutory... I don't know what the proper legal term for "regular" is).
I'm glad I don't have to make that decision. It's up to a jury. I'm happy to leave it with them.

But it's really unlikely in a situation like this--where we're hearing testimony from more than a dozen years ago--that either side is going to be correct on every point. So again, the binary thing (either the defense is correct on every point or the state is right on every point) would be pretty ridiculous.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Micheledo M's picture

Jay C. wrote:
Micheledo M wrote:
Again, it doesn't really matter if she still hung around Willis, if she didn't report it, if she didn't want people to go to the police. Considering a LARGE number of adult women do not report, do not want it reported, and some even stay friends with their abuser, why does it look bad that Tina did those same things, as a child?

I am not cherry picking and I am also not claiming that Phelps hid anything. I do think the way he handled it was wrong. That he was wrong to trust a man who admitted to being a pedophile, over a frightened child. But I take him at his word, even if I think the way he went about it was wrong.


Micheledo,

If you were raped by a guy in your church, would you voluntarily go out to eat with the assailant a few weeks later for your birthday, as the Concord Monitor reported in a story titled "Rape Defendant Admits to Touching", p. 2? (URL - http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/259340/rape-defendant-admits-to-to...|CSGroupId%3Aapproved%3A5285D5C6A5B6964E12805A575246ADB5&CSUserId=21871&CSGroupId=1)


I don't know what I would have done as a child. My point is that it is common to maintain a relationship with the abuser. I personally know someone that had a relationship for MANY years with her abuser. I don't understand that, but apparently it is common.

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