Sgt. James Ray Wilson
has pled guilty in the Fort Hood Child Molestation case.
In a plea arrangement, Wilson
was convicted of Sodomy on Diverse Occasions and three counts of Indecent
Acts with a Child.
March 28,1998 Wilson was
sentenced to Reduction in rank to E-1, Forfeiture of all pay and allowances,
Dishonorable discharge from the Military, and 13 years confinement.
He could have received up to 25 years in prison.
This case came to the attention
of the Pagan Community in December when rumors began circulating the internet
regarding Wilson's alleged involvement in the Fort Hood Open Circle.
Online speculation regarding Wilson's guilt and Pagan affiliations became
so intense that it could have led to a claim by Wilson's defense lawyers
that he was unable to get a fair trial at Fort Hood. Fortunately,
his victim was spared further lengthy legal procedures by Wilson's guilty
The custodial parents of
the victim, Michael and Cheryl Materne (who are not Pagan), were subjected
to verbal abuse and harassment by numerous individuals, some of whom claimed
to be Pagan, as a result of the inaccurate information posted on the net.
Most of the mailings dealt
with an argument over whether Wilson did, or did not, hold a leadership
position in the Fort Hood Open Circle.
Mr. and Mrs. Materne claim
that Wilson had been elected to lead the Fort Hood Open Circle shortly
before his arrest. Their contention has been supported by Captain
Mike Devine, the Military Prosecutor in this case.
The Maternes at no time
accused the Fort Hood Open Circle of any involvement in the abuse of their
daughter. They freely acknowledged that the violation of their child
did not occur during any group activities and that at no time was the Fort
Hood Open Circle ever suspected of any wrongdoing.
an email from David L. Oringderff, the Director
of the Sacred Well Congregation, the Denominational Sponsor of the Fort
Hood Open Circle, it is stated that Wilson's involvement with the
Fort Hood Open Circle was limited to the attendance of functions that were
open to the general public.
Whether Wilson was the Grand
Pooba of a Pagan Circle, or just an occasional visitor, this case should
still serve as a wake up call to the Pagan Community. We are not
immune to predators. Surrounding our children with white light helps,
but it is not enough. Pedophiles can be found EVERYWHERE. They
can be Pagan High Priests or Priestesses, they can be Baptist Preachers,
they can be Episcopalian Ministers, they can be Boy or Girl Scout Leaders,
they can be Teachers or Coaches, and they can be friends or relatives.
The creatures that prey on our young can be found wherever there are children
present. Educate yourself. Learn what to look for, and above
all else, watch, and listen to, your child.
Out of the Dark, Inc.
maintains a list of convicted sexual predators that are known to frequent
Pagan events and Gatherings. This list is available for free to any
Pagan Organization upon verification of their credentials. It is
blessedly short. Wilson just became the latest entry.
Hopefully, the Materne family's
ordeal is drawing to a close, and they can begin the long healing process
dictated by the horrible experiences they have suffered.
The Pagan Community is so
incredibly fortunate that the Maternes are an enlightened couple who hold
no prejudice against those of a Faith other then their own.
The child of a Christian
couple was sodomized by a professed Pagan. Every Pagan reading these
words knows how such a situation could have been twisted and used to make
us all look like baby eating devil worshipers.
The Maternes did not do
that. The Maternes presented the truth, and one Pagan went to prison
where he belongs.
The Maternes would like
to express their thoughts in an
letter to the Pagan Community.
The staff and management
of Out of the Dark, Inc., send our love, support, and prayers
for the relief of their pain, to Michael and Cheryl Materne and to their
May the Divine Bless You,
and Send You Peace and Healing.