After a year of hearings, continuances and court appearances, the trial of Malcolm Fraser began April 3 in King County Superior Court in Kent, Washington.
Fraser, the assistant pastor of Sound Doctrine Church in Enumclaw, Washington, was formally charged in March, 2012, with first-degree rape of a child.
The Enumclaw Courier-Herald writes that, according to prosecutor Jason Simmons, Fraser repeatedly raped and molested the girl over a period of several months. He stated Fraser told the girl if she told anyone about the assaults she and her mother “would go to hell.”
The paper reports:
The prosecutor said Fraser and Timothy Williams, who was leading Sound Doctrine at that time, told the family to put their children through a manners “boot camp.” Simmons said the girl would “be punished if she did not fold a napkin correctly.” He stated the children were not to speak unless spoken to and were to stand at attention when a man entered the home.
According to Simmons the parents were abiding by the church’s teachings and the girl was also following its rules.
“So when the defendant told her ‘you are going to burn in hell,'” Simmons said, “in this 11-year-old girl’s reality she believed it. The defendant, as associate pastor, when he said no one is going to believe you, she believed him because of the environment she was in.”
Simmons said because of the church’s rules and Fraser telling the mother, “You are not fit to raise your own children” the family left Sound Doctrine in 2006.
Fraser’s defense attorney, Ann Carey, notes there is a group of people who left Sound Doctrine, who dislike the group, and were gathering at the family’s home prior to charges being filed.
She specifically focused on ex-member Athena Dean, who have been a vocal online critic of the church.
Carey also told the court she would provide evidence the police investigation was biased against the church and that the interview of the alleged victim was not properly conducted.
According to the Courier-Herald
The split among Sound Doctrine members has been evident on Internet sites and social media posts. Dean and others have made no secret of their feelings about group.
Timothy Williams, when reached by phone in 2012, directed all questions to the Sound Doctrine website, Hard Truth. The site attacks the credibility of Dean and the girl’s family.
Williams publishes a website, enumclaw.com, and The Discerning Times, that presents their views of the case.
Sound Doctrine Church — Not Sound
Despite its name, Sound Doctrine Church is not sound in doctrine. Taking behavior into account as well, we consider the church to be a cult of Christianity. Sociologically there also is cause for concern.
In 2009 the small church was in the news in relation to a custody ruling involving a female member of the church.
The Temporary Custody Ruling in the case shows that friends and family members of the woman and her estranged husband consider the church to be a cult.
From the information provided in that custody ruling it appears that term is used in the sociological sense of the word. [Note the difference between theological and sociological definitions of the term ‘cult.’]