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Minister convicted of molesting 4
boys: 2 brothers already in prison for abuse
BYLINE: By Mark Curriden STAFF WRITER
PUBLICATION: The Atlanta Journal and
|Chattanooga, Tenn. - A
Baptist minister joined his two brothers
behind bars Wednesday when a jury found him guilty of sexually
abusing four boys in his prominent Chattanooga church. |
nine-woman, three-man panel convicted the Rev. Don McCary of 13
counts of rape and child molestation. He will be sentenced
May 1 and faces a maximum 76-year prison sentence.
God he'll never hurt another boy again," said the mother of a
14-year-old victim. "We thought we were doing good by sending our
boys to a place where they would learn about God, but he was using
his position in the church for his sexual gratification."
McCary, 48, former youth and music minister at the 4,400-member
Central Baptist Church of Hixson, a Chattanooga suburb, is the third
member of his family to be jailed for molesting children. His two
brothers, Ron and Richard, both also Baptist ministers, have been convicted of
The case was watched closely by
professionals who work in the field of child sex abuse because of
the McCary family history.
"This is a phenomenal case that
should be studied extensively," said Deloris Roys, director of the
Highland Institute for Behavioral Change in Atlanta. "This case
could provide us with much-needed data regarding the causes and
effects of child sexual abuse within a family."
claimed that Don McCary was tape-recording his conversations with
the boys and sending the tapes to his brothers in prison. McCary
also kept a diary in which he said the first question he planned to
ask God was why he "likes little boys so much."
closing arguments, Chattanooga prosecutor Stan Lanzo looked at
McCary and said, "You ain't going to heaven and you will never get
to ask that question.
"We read about evil," Mr. Lanzo told
the jury. "We hear about evil. We are told about evil. Look at him.
That is evil."
McCary took the witness stand and denied that
he ever "laid one harmful hand" on the boys, ages 12 to 16.
During an exhaustive five-hour closing argument, McCary's
defense attorney, Danny Davis, told jurors that the boys were lying
and that prosecutors and police had "contaminated" their testimony
by putting words into the children's mouths.
This was the
same argument Mr. Davis used successfully in defending the infamous
McMartin Pre-School case in Los Angeles two years ago.
knew how they botched up the McMartin case, and we were very careful
not to make the same mistakes here," Mr. Lanzo said.
boys testified that McCary had oral sex with them at his home, in
his church office and while on church activities, including a
weekend stay at Six Flags Over Georgia near Atlanta.
Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Doug Meyer had McCary
taken into custody immediately pending his sentencing and appeal.
"The proof is overwhelming that Mr. McCary is guilty, and I believe
he would be a threat to young children if he were free," Judge Meyer