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Church knew about teacher’s texts to girl he’s charged with assaulting | #childsafety | #kids | #chldern | #parents | #schoolsafey


  • Former church attendees told Knox News it was not uncommon for teenage girls to date men – even those who were well into their 20s – as part of a culture fostered by the church.
  • Two women previously accused the pastor and his wife of failing to obey Tennessee’s mandatory reporting law when, as girls, they told the church leaders they had been sexually assaulted.
  • The teacher, Joseph “Kade” Abbott, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault by an authority figure.

Top leaders at Maryville’s Apostolic Christian Academy, the school housed within First Apostolic Church of Maryville, knew of at least two separate times former teacher Joseph “Kade” Abbott sent inappropriate messages to a 14-year-old girl who attended the school, but he was allowed to maintain contact with students, Knox News has learned.

Abbott was suspended both times, but Apostolic leaders did not notify the parents of the girl about the messages, nor is there any evidence to show they notified law enforcement. After Apostolic leaders learned about the messages, but before they told the girl’s parents about them, Abbott allegedly sexually assaulted her multiple times, including in a stairwell of a Gatlinburg hotel while he was chaperoning students on an overnight trip. He is now facing criminal charges in two East Tennessee counties related to alleged sexual assaults of the teenager.

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