The Texas youth pastor who accused a now-fired Cedarville University staffer of secretly videotaping him in a shower told police in 2018 that he came forward “in case there were other victims.”
The hiring of that staffer, Anthony Moore, has prompted calls this week for the firing of Cedarville’s president.
The youth pastor at a church in the Dallas-Forth Worth area said Wednesday in an interview with the Dayton Daily News he decided against pressing charges against Moore, the former Cedarville instructor, recruiter and assistant basketball coach, for a combination of reasons, including a misunderstanding of the criminal justice system.
“I really assumed they would press forward with it,” the youth pastor said. The Dayton Daily News does not name alleged victims of sexual crimes.
The hiring of Moore at Cedarville and his recent firing has prompted criticism of the school’s president and an investigation by the university.
On Wednesday, more than 1,160 people had signed an online petition posted by an “organization composed of Cedarville University alumni, professors, staff members, and former employees” seeking the ouster of President Thomas White.
The petition drive calls for White’s immediate firing because he brought Moore, a friend, to the university as a “restoration project” in 2017. Moore had been fired from the Village Church in Fort Worth after he was accused of videotaping the youth pastor in a shower at least five times over five months, according to a blog written by White to the Cedarville University community.
Moore, who is married with children, previously declined comment to the Dayton Daily News. He could not be reached Wednesday.
Moore’s accuser said he wanted to remain anonymous because “I don’t want to spend the rest of my life as Anthony Moore’s victim.” Rather, the man said he wanted to be known as a husband, father and Christian.
“It shows the continuing power of the abuser and not the victim,” he said, adding, he was dealing with “an incredible amount of shame” at the time.
Through support in his church, friends and counseling, he said he decided to go to the police, in case there were other victims, not realizing the criminal case wouldn’t go forward without his say-so.
A Tarrant County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office report obtained by this newspaper indicates the case was “Suspended/Inactive pending contact from complainant” in late October 2018.
According to the youth pastor, the allegations went no further until last week when he was contacted by a blogger, The Roys Report, for stories about Moore’s hiring at Cedarville after the Texas firing.
Then he said White reached out to him.
He said there was no sexual relationship between him and Moore, and that Moore was his mentor. Instead he said he was the victim of Moore’s verbal, non-contact sexual, spiritual and emotional abuse.
Moore and the youth pastor met at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, according to the police report.
After showering at Moore’s home in January 2017, he noticed a cellphone concealed in a towel and found multiple videos of him showering, according to the report.
“I was so confused,” the youth pastor said.
White has not spoken to the media about the hiring or firing.
In an April 24 blog post written by White titled: “My Journey with James 5:19, a Gospel of Grace, and Anthony Moore,” the Cedarville president described events surrounding Moore’s employment. This included Moore’s hiring in 2017 as part of a five-year “plan of restoration” after he was fired from the ministry in Texas on an unnamed “sin,” as well as Moore’s conditional employment at the university, and finally, his firing.
“On April 22, 2020, I learned that I did not have all the information about the original incident. Instead of at most two videos, I heard there were at least five videos. Instead of this being over a short period of time, I heard that these were taken over a period of at least five months. I also heard details of an unhealthy friendship. I confirmed that the two people who counseled with Anthony at Cedarville did not know this information either. If I had known these items at the beginning, I would not have attempted the plan for restoration. After verifying this new information with the victim, I took the action that I had to take and ended Anthony Moore’s employment at Cedarville University on April 23,” White’s blog says.
On Monday, Cedarville issued a statement indicating that “even though no incidents have been reported,” White recommended the university board of directors contract an independent investigation “to confirm that nothing inappropriate happened on our campus.”
“The independent report will go directly to the board,” Mark D. Weinstein, Cedarville’s executive director of public relations, said in an email Wednesday.
White and “key campus leaders will undergo training to better understand victim prevention, awareness, and advocacy. We are committed to strengthening our resolve to continue the safety of our campus by learning from this situation,” Weinstein said.
Cedarville has declined to release any records related to Moore’s employment.
“Cedarville evaluates all employment candidates through a lengthy application process, including doctrinal questionnaire; employment interviews; reference checks; and an extensive background check program. As part of our regular practice, we review to ensure policies and processes are carefully followed,” Weinstein said.
Staff Writer Ismail Turay contributed to this report.