BROOKLYN CENTER, Minn. (KMSP) - A pastor in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota was found guilty of sexually assaulting a woman under the guise of religion.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said his prosecutors will be asking for the maximum - nearly five years in prison for disgraced pastor Meally Morris Freeman.
A jury deliberated for less than an hour before they found Meally Freeman guilty on two counts of criminal sexual conduct.
The 56-year-old man, who is well-known in the Twin Cities Liberian immigrant community, was found guilty of abusing his leadership position by drugging a female member of his church and violating her with oils, - all under the guise of performing a religious “deliverance.”
The victim told authorities that she viewed Meally Freeman as her spiritual father.
“We have special laws in Minnesota because the relationship between a spiritual faith leader and a parishioner is a special relationship, and it ought not be abused,” Attorney Mike Freeman said.
Meally Freeman has been in jail since May. His church, Grace Mountaineer Tabernacle Church, is no longer in operation.
The 28-year old victim testified against him using a key piece of evidence - a secretly recorded conversation between Freeman and the woman where he admitted touching her breasts, telling her that things “happen” during the deliverance event and you “don’t ask.”