Monday, June 27, 2011

Tommy Shelton and 3ABN - A history of molestation and lies... (allegedly)

Tommy Shelton has had a problem for a long time. Nearly everywhere he goes, and nearly every time he looks around, someone or another accuses him of child molestation. How inconvenient, I'm sure. Beginning in the 1970's he was accused on numerous occasions of child molestation. From 1986 to 1991 he was twice(!) relieved of his license and credentials from the Church of God as a result of such (unfounded!) accusations.

But thanks to the Grace of God, this God fearing man knew the Lord wasn't finished with him yet (2 Cor 8:11). In 1991, Tommy felt it was time to dust off his feet as God commanded him to do (Mat 10:14, Mark 6:11, Luke 9:5). To his great surprise, upon leaving the Church of God another door was opened unto him (Mat 7:7). Tommy's brother Danny, a devout Seventh Day Adventist who was co-founder and president of the Three Angels Broadcasting Network (3ABN) (an affiliate organization of the SDA church), offered him a job as production manager.

Lo-and-behold (surprise!) allegations of child abuse surfaced once again. And since God works in mysterious ways, Danny reassigned Tommy to promote the 3ABN network nationally. Concurrent with this new position as network promoter, Tommy engaged in evangelical field work for the Community Church of God, where he eventually became a pastor. It is alleged that in 1997 he began molesting another boy, 11 year old Alex Walker.

In 2000 the Community Church of God reached it's limit (quota?) of (alleged )pastoral child abuse, so Tommy resigned. Once again, Tommy dusted off his feet, and fled the state. Since he still worked for 3ABN, Tommy was reassigned to the production department. Given his vast knowledge of the subject matter, he took part in filming the 3ABN "Kid's Time" programming, which included him playing the piano while his brother Danny preached the Good News!

To Tommy's great fortune, Alex Walker began working part-time for 3ABN in 2001. And as you guessed, it has been alleged that Tommy showed Alex extra special attention, including taking trips across state lines to spend some extra special time with his boy friend.

All these accusations eventually began to catch up with Tommy. Danny began having more and more trouble scuttling Tommy around to different departments in 3ABN and hiding the fact that he had (allegedly) sexually abused so many children, so in 2007 Tommy left 3ABN.

In 2010 allegations were filed against Tommy for taking indecent liberties with children under his supervision. Tommy pleaded guilty, but the plea deal was rejected, with the following statement from Tommy:
I am remorseful," Shelton said. "I tried to live a Christian life all my life. I obviously got off track for a while. In the last 15 years, I've done everything in my power to live the way I should. I've kept myself away from young people. . . . Saying I'm sorry doesn't fix it, but from the bottom of my heart, I am remorseful."
A case has now been brought against Tommy and 3ABN with United States District Court of Illinois, Case 1:11-cv-04177. It looks as if Tommy may have reached his limit on miracles from God. So hopefully he will no longer be able to (allegedly) engage in oral sex with young boys, mutually masturbate them, rub against them to the point of ejaculation, or in any other way ruin their lives.

The post is updated to note that 3ABN is an affiliate organization of the Seventh Day Adventist church. You can read a recent account of the situation at the Chicago Tribune.