Here’s an interesting tidbit from the ABC 7 News about the ongoing trial of Ernie Willis for the rape of Tina Anderson.
Smukler [the judge in the Willis case] has yet to rule on whether Phelps must testify about admissions Willis made to him about the alleged assaults. Willis’ lawyers claim that they are privileged. Coull argued that Phelps had a lawyer present during the conversations and that undermines any privilege between a member of the clergy and a congregant
This is interesting on a couple of levels.
1. It means that Willis did talk to Phelps about his crimes AND had his lawyer present while he did so.
2. It means that Phelps is not voluntarily forthcoming about this conversation and the lawyers are trying to keep him from having to testify about what Willis told him.
3. The lawyers are invoking a religious privilege that is normally reserved for confessions made in the Roman Catholic church. So is Phelps tacitly agreeing that Willis was making a Roman-style confession to him…with his lawyer present?
The longer this case goes the more Phelps appears to not only be ignorant and impotent as a pastor but also to be plain evil. If you want the truth to come out, why not just take the stand, Chuck? Why not just tell the prosecution that you’ll make a clean breast of it and that there’s no such thing as a clergy/congregant privilege in an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church?
Someone needs to be asking these questions…