Victim Cries as Pastor Accused of Sex Assault Is Applauded

Andy Savage

Andy Savage

At the time, Savage was a college student and youth minister at Woodlands Parkway Baptist Church in Texas.

Jules Woodson on Friday wrote a lengthy blog post accusing Highpoint Church preacher Savage, of making sexual advances towards her in the 1990s.

Andy Savage, co-founder of Highpoint Church Memphis, confessed January 7 to a "sexual incident" involving a member of the youth group he led while on staff at a church in Texas more than 20 years ago.

He then allegedly exposed himself to her, touched her breasts and had her perform oral sex on him.

Jules Woodson, the high school senior from the "incident", described in graphic detail to The Wartburg Watch how Savage coerced her into performing oral sex on him on a dark Texas dirt road when he should have taken her straight home to her mother's house.

Woodson was just 17 years old at the time of the alleged incident - Savage was 22.

On Sunday, Savage did not tell the congregation at Highpoint Church in Tennessee what took place in 1998, but he said that he had sinned, had taken responsibility for his actions and never concealed the information from church leaders.

She said she hoped Savage would respond, but he did not, which led her to go public with her story.

Savage admitted to the encounter in a post on the website of his current church, Highpoint Church in East Memphis, and addressed the congregation this past Sunday.

Jules Woodson: 'I thought Pastor Andy Savage was taking me for an ice-cream, not to rape me'. He later went down on his knees in front of her and apologized to her but told her not to tell anyone else of the incident and take it to her grave.

"I remember him pleading, while he was on his knees with his hands up on his head, "Oh my god, oh my god". It's unclear if Savage could face any criminal charges due to a statute of limitations.

"This incident was dealt with in Texas 20 years ago, but in the last few days has been presented to a wider audience".

Savage has since issued a statement formally apologizing and asking for God's forgiveness.

Woodson said she is speaking with detectives with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department. She says she was asked to keep quiet and that church leadership never told the congregation what happened, only that Savage had made a "poor decision".

An online staff directory for the church no longer included Cotton.

On December 1, as headlines across the country blared with news about Matt Lauer's surprise firing from the "Today" show for sexual misconduct, a woman named Jules Woodson tapped out a short email. Does God want us to criticize people? However, the fact that the congregation gave the criminal a standing ovation for admitting to sexual assault means that such a petition will most likely fail. "In order to remove our potential bias from the situation, we have placed Larry on a leave of absence while an investigation by a third-party organization is undertaken. We will provide a full report to the church after its completion", a statement from ASCC read. As a result of Savage's admission, a publisher has dropped plans to release his upcoming book, titled "The Ridiculously Good Marriage".

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