By CBS Minnesota Staff
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO-TV/Meredith) — A pastor in Minneapolis is accused of sexually assaulting a woman during a spiritual guidance session he called “deliverance."
Meally Morris Freeman, 55, of Brooklyn Center faces two felony counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection to the September 2017 incident.
According to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, a 28-year-old woman reported she was sexually assaulted by her pastor, Freeman, at the Grace Mountaineer Tabernacle Church in Brooklyn Center. The victim told police that she knew Freeman for several years and considered him her spiritual father.
She said she was seeking spiritual guidance on Sept. 20, 2017 and Freeman told her she needed a one-on-one session before bible study.
The complaint says that the practice of the church is to anoint parishioners with oil. At the session, Freeman allegedly gave the victim oil to drink and they began to pray. The victim said she then “fell out” or became unconscious as part of the religious ritual. When she woke up, she had oil on her chest and her clothing was wet. Freeman allegedly told the victim that he anointed all places, but that he didn’t see all places.
According to the complaint, Freeman told the victim she needed a second session later that evening after bible study. They were alone again. The victim again “fell out” or became unconscious. When she woke up, she found her pants and underwear – that were ripped — were around her ankles. Her shirt and bra were also pulled up over her chest.
Freeman allegedly was spraying the victim with a water bottle filled with oil and then proceeded to sexually assault the victim. After the session was over, Freeman told the victim to pick her daughter up from the babysitter because he did not want people to know how late she was at the church.
After leaving the church, the victim spoke with a friend who advised her she had not received “deliverance” but was sexually assaulted.
The victim confronted Freeman while secretly recording him and he did not deny touching the victim’s genitals. In the recording, Freeman admitted to anointing the victim’s chest and said “we insert things into people,” according to the complaint.
Freeman allegedly also said that his wife knows he sees women naked and that some things happen during the “deliverance” event and that “you don’t ask what happens, you don’t go into details and that deliverance can be very tempting.”
The victim said both Freeman and his wife tried to convince her not to report the incident to police.
Freeman is not in custody and there is a warrant out for his arrest. If convicted, Freeman could face up to 15 years in prison per charge.
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