January 26, 2006
For the third time in two weeks a Culpeper pastor charged with molestation has sat in jail. This time he was jailed because a second alleged victim has come forward.
"I was just told that nobody would ever believe me because he was the preacher and I just thought for all these years that he was right," said Mary Elizabeth Bailey.
Bailey relives her teenage years when she said she was sexually abused by her pastor.
16 years ago she attended school at the former Calvary Baptist Academy where 54 year-old Charles Shifflett served as the pastor of the church and principal of the church's former school. That's where Bailey said the incident occurred.
"I felt ashamed and embarrassed by what happened and especially when people wouldn't believe [me]," said Bailey.
Bailey did tell the people that she was close to but no one believed a pastor would do such a thing, until now.
The first alleged victim to come forward was a boy who went to school with Bailey. He confessed that he was sexually abused by Shifflett, and Bailey knew this was her chance to tell her story. She visited the Magistrates office and Shifflett was sent to the Culpeper County Jail, but not for long.
"The subject turned himself in today at the courthouse and he's been released on more bond," said Sgt. James Fox, of the Culpeper Sheriff's Office.
Saddened but not defeated, Bailey continues to get the word out because she knows there are many more children living with the same pain.
"That's what these other kids that this has happened to in the past need to understand, we all need to join together and they need to tell what happened to them too, and not to be scared. Come forth," said Bailey.
Shifflett's attorney has still not return our phone calls. Shifflett is being charged with 2 counts of child endangerment and 2 counts indecent liberties and he will face a trial on all four felony charges on April 4, 2006.
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