(CBS) A suburban Chicago pastor has been charged with misdemeanor battery after he allegedly spanked a 13-year-old girl with a piece of wood because he thought she was lying about being sexually abused by a relative, authorities said.
Officials said they believe the girl’s allegations of sexual abuse are true.
Yet the Rev. Daryl Bujak, the pastor of the First Missionary Baptist Church, struck the girl — then 12 years old — hard enough to cause bruises and welts on her legs and buttocks, according to Elgin police.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Lt. Mike Turner of the alleged beatings that occurred in counseling sessions after the girl was brought to Bujak because the mother, too, doubted her daughter. “It’s a sad case for this girl.”
In fact, this week, as Bujak was charged, Matthew E. Resh, 33, of Ingleside, was charged in McHenry County with five counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. According to a complaint filed in the county’s circuit court, authorities suspect Resh abused the girl from September 2003 until March 2005.
Child welfare advocates were angry at both Bujak and the mother.
“When a kid gets up the courage after being sexually abused to tell a parent, that means that is a cry for help,” said Cook County Public Guardian Robert Harris, whose office deals with children who have been abused. “They won’t say help anymore if they are taught that when you say help you might get punished, you might get beaten for it.”
Ronald Davidson, who is on the faculty of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s department of psychology said that if the allegations are true, it means that the girl was “betrayed” by not only the man who abused her, but by her mother and again by the pastor.
“My sense is it will be hard for this child to easily trust another adult for some time,” he said.
The mother said if she could do things differently, she would have listened to her daughter and believed her — instead of taking her to Bujak, her family’s pastor at the time.
“I feel terrible,” said the mother. She recalled that Bujak, who met with the girl between March and May of last year, told her that the girl had admitted to him that she was lying. “I feel like a heel. I didn’t know.”
Bujak surrendered to police Wednesday night and was released after posting $500 cash bail. A message left Friday morning at the Elgin home of a Daryl Bujak was not immediately returned Messages left for comment Friday at Matthew Resh’s workplace and on his cell phone were not immediately returned.