A Minnesota pastor who allegedly sexually assaulted a 28-year-old woman after she became unconscious during two anointing sessions has been charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct that could land him in prison for 15 years and a fine of $30,000.
A criminal complaint against Meally Morris Freeman, the 55-year-old pastor of Grace Mountaineer Tabernacle Church in Brooklyn Center, said the woman accusing him of criminal behavior saw him as a "spiritual father" when she went to him for spiritual guidance starting on Sept. 20, 2017, according to Fox 9.
In January, however, she told police that Freeman sexually assaulted her at the church which led to his arrest on Tuesday.
She explained that during an anointing session at the church, the pastor anointed her with oil and advised her that she was in need of "deliverance" that would require a one-on-one session with him.
Trusting the spiritual guidance, the woman said she attended a one-on-one session with freeman and he gave her small cups of oil to drink. Soon after they began to pray, the woman says she lost consciousness.
When she woke up, the woman explained that her underwear was wet and there was oil on her stomach and near her breasts. The pastor told her he had "anointed all places, but that he didn't see all places," and informed her she needed a second session that would take place after Bible study that night.
The woman said in their second deliverance session she became unconscious again but when she woke up this time her pants and underwear were hanging ripped at her ankles and her shirt and bra were pulled up over her chest.
She said the pastor, who was spraying a water bottle filled with oil on her private areas, also inappropriately touched her genitals and anus.
It wasn't until she shared what happened to a friend that the woman realized she was sexually assaulted.
When she confronted the pastor about his actions he explained that the "deliverance process" sometimes involved inserting things into people. He admitted he anointed her breasts with oil and said the process of deliverance can be "very tempting."
"You don't ask what happens [during deliverance], you don't go into details and that deliverance can be very tempting," he said.
Last summer, Mitch Olson, senior pastor at Grace Ministry Center in Michigan, was accused of sexually assaulting a former parishioner during an unorthodox anointing session to cleanse her of sexual sins.
He contended that his hand might have slipped into her pants while anointing her with holy oil. He did not face criminal charges because there was no state law under which his accuser could classify as a victim. Local politicians in Michigan are now working to criminalize clergy sexual misconduct during counseling sessions as a result of this case.
His alleged victim was identified in a WXYZ report. She said she trusted Olson to help her find forgiveness for her sins because he was her pastor for several years before the alleged assault occurred, according to Nicole Hayden of The Times Herald.