No charges for Memphis pastor accused of sexual assault

Andy Savage

Andy Savage

He asked the congregation, and Woodson, for forgiveness.

In the Wartburg blog post, the woman, identified as Jules Woodson, said the incident with Savage occurred in the spring of 1998 when she was a senior in high school.

Savage says after the incident, he apologized and told church leaders about what happened. Rush the stage in an angry mob all Beauty and the Beast style and march Savage to the nearest police station? "He never came to me, the church told him he couldn't talk to me and they told me I couldn't talk to him", she said. Like he just performed a fucking piano solo rather than confessed to a crime.

"I'm going to be taking a leave of absence for the objective of cooperating with a third-party, independent firm that will come in and do an audit of my ministry, the policies that we work with at Highpoint, and get their assessment on my fitness for ministry", Savage said. Twenty years later, Woodson is speaking out about what really happened that night alone in his auto. "He asked me to suck it".

According to a blog post Woodson wrote January 5 detailing her story, Savage offered to drive her home from church one day in 1998, but detoured to a wooded area off a dirt road and had her perform oral sex on him.

"This is something I've struggled with all my life", Woodson said. "'You can't tell anyone Jules, please. You have to take this to the grave with you.' He said that several times". Instead he chose to issue this public message in what seems to be a bid to save his reputation.

Even though he doesn't believe he broke the law, he did feel he was out of bounds in terms of his personal standards of sexual purity because of a "spontaneous physical moment". "I am truly sorry more was not done".

A pastor at an East Memphis megachurch isn't facing any charges for a sexual assault that happened 20 years ago.

She ended the brief email this way: "Well, I REMEMBER".

Woodson said that she initially "assumed we were going to get ice cream".

Larry Cotton is the former associate pastor of Woodlands Parkway Baptist and the person Woodson reported the incident to at the time, she said. Now he's a successful man in a position of power at a massive church.

"To anyone who has suffered from sexual abuse in the church and the subsequent cover up and pressure to remain silent, I want you to know that it is not your fault".

"I was sexually assaulted by my youth minister when I was 17 years old", Woodson said.

"As a stupid college student serving as a youth pastor I made some really dumb decisions", Savage said during the interview.

If anyone deserves applause, it's her.