Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Cops: Churchgoing man preyed on children

Philadelphia police today announced the arrest of a Northeast man they say repeatedly molested five girls who attended his church a decade ago, one of whom is a relative.

Cops: Churchgoing man preyed on children

Courtney Wilson has been arrested.
Courtney Wilson has been arrested.

Philadelphia police today announced the arrest of a Northeast man they say repeatedly molested five girls who attended his church a decade ago, one of whom is a relative.

Capt. John Darby of the Special Victims Unit said that Courtney Wilson, 56, was a member of the Remnant Church of God 7th Day, in the city's Cedarbrook section, for many years. Recently, Darby said, five women came to police and reported that beginning in 1997, Wilson sexually assaulted them repeatedly and over a period of years.

Wilson, of the 500 block of Brighton Street in the city's Lawndale section, has been charged with multiple counts of 14 offenses, including rape, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, intimidation of a witness, statuatory rape and indecent assault.

At the time of his arrest yesterday, Darby said, Wilson also worked for Carson Valley Children's Aid in Flourtown, a non-profit children's welfare agency. Police have since contacted the organization, as well as the Department of Human Services, and the agencies are cooperating with the police investigation, Darby said.

The victims, who Darby said are between 22 and 27 years old, told police that they and their families met Wilson through the church. Wilson got to know their families, Darby said, and would bring the children to church activities, or take them to school. One of the women is a member of Wilson's family.

"People became comfortable with him," Darby said. "He gained the confidence of everyone."

The women told police that Wilson assaulted them in their homes, in his home, in vehicles and in a hotel. The abuse continued until 2005, Darby said. Investigators are not certain what motivated the women to come forward, Darby said.

Police believe there may be more victims and asked them to contact the Special Victims Unit at 685-3251, 3252 or 3253.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Mike Newall has been covering Philly crime, cops and mayhem since 2007, beginning with his work with the Philadelphia City Paper and Philadelphia Weekly.

He joined the Inquirer’s New Jersey Bureau in 2010, reporting extensively on violence in Camden, and has been back on the Philly crime beat since April, where he finds the people and the stories behind the daily crime blotter.

Reach Newall at mnewall@phillynews.com.

Newall Mike
Also on Philly.com
letter icon Newsletter