An Alabama pastor recently shared footage of a teenage girl who was sexually abused in a church bathroom on Sunday.
The video shows a man entering through the back doors of the Greater Temple Missionary Church in Birmingham, Alabama. One minute into the video, the man walks out of the church with a towel on his head and runs away.
It’s believed that the man used the towel to protect his identity.
During the same time the video was filmed, a 14-year-old was coming out of the woman’s bathroom stall in the church when a man allegedly walked in and inappropriately touched her, pastor James Gibson Jr. said.
When the girl reportedly screamed, the suspect ran away and fled the scene before he could be caught.
“I’m really proud of her because she’s a very mature 14-year-old. And I think she can handled it very well,” Gibson told Fox 6. “She did not panic. She would not comply with his requests and she continued to yell and scream until she got the attention of others within the church so she could receive some aid.”
Thankfully, the church added security cameras a few months ago. According to Gibson, he has also encouraged young people to use the restroom in groups.
“We do need to provide better surveillance and we’re even looking at hall monitors, a physical presence on the halls, during worship so that situations like this will not occur in the future,” Gibson said. “But should they occur, there will be more help available.”
Gibson noted that the young girl responded so well because her mother had taught her how to react. Gibson added that the church will start hosting classes for members on how to protect themselves from predators.
Currently, the suspect from the video footage is being held on an unrelated outstanding felony warrant, according to AL.com.
The investigation is ongoing.
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