A Philadelphia man was under arrest Tuesday after women came forward with claims that he sexually assaulted them when they were younger after meeting the girls at their Cedarbrook church.
Courtney Wilson, 56, is charged with rape and related charges for assaults that allegedly occurred from 1997 to 2005, according to Philadelphia Police.
Wilson’s accusers approached officers Sunday night saying that they were sexually assaulted after most of them met Wilson through the Remnant Church of God Seventh Day on the 7700 block of Ogontz Avenue where Wilson was a member.
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The women are all now between 22 and 27 years old. The youngest was about 10 years old when the assaults began and one of the accusers is a family member of Wilson, police said.
“The association of all these cases -- with the exception of the family member -- actually originated out of the church,” said Special Victims Unit Capt. John Darby. “These young girls were members of the church; their families were members of the church.”
Some of the assaults allegedly occurred while Wilson transported the girls to and from church activities after gaining the confidence of the girls’ families, police said.
“These young girls were assaulted repeatedly by this male,” Darby said. “This occurred in his home, in their homes, in a vehicle, in a hotel over a long period of time.”
In the past year Wilson possibly took up the role of a deacon at the church but prior to that he was simply a member, Darby said.
It was unclear why the women chose to come forward at this time and police say Wilson had threatened at least one victim that he would hurt her if she came forward with the allegations.
Wilson spoke to SVU officers Monday and was later arrested, Darby said.
He is charged with multiple counts of rape, statutory rape, indecent exposure, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, corrupting a minor, assault, sexual assault, terroristic threats, intimidation of a witness and other charges.
Wilson is currently employed at Carson Valley Children’s Home in Flourtown, Pa. Police were in contact with the home and they were cooperating.
“There may have been other victims out there during that period of time,” Darby said.
Police were encouraging any other possible victims of Wilson to contact the Special Victims Unit at 215-685-3251/2.
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