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Michigan woman says pastor sexually assaulted her during 'anointing ritual'

Posted at 4:24 PM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-10 07:32:34-04

A young woman told police she went to her pastor asking for help getting forgiveness for her sins. He offered an anointing ritual but what happened during that ritual has her believing she is a victim of sexual assault.

Justine Morden, of St. Clair County, Michigan, said she worshipped at Grace Ministries in Kimball for years.

Last year, she said she wanted to repent for her sins, strengthen her relationship with God, and get more involved - so she met with Pastor Mitch Olson for counsel.

“I trusted him. He has been my pastor since I’ve been in 6th grade,” Morden said.

Olson told her he could cleanse her of her sins with an anointing ritual, but that he didn’t have anointing oil at the church.

That evening, Morden, who was 19 years old at the time, said Olson wanted to come to her apartment. He said he could anoint her there.

However, she said the pastor told her that because she had committed sexual sins, he would have to anoint sexual parts of her body.

When Morden's mother told her that is not how the anointing ritual should be, she said she was shocked.

Reporters from WXYZ-TV went to the church to ask to speak with Olson about Morden's allegations.

When confronted, according to an investigative report, a church board member said the pastor told him his hand may have slipped in the oil.

During a board meeting, Olson said it was an unusual ritual, because it was an exorcism, not an anointing.

“I was completely shocked that he would have the audacity to say this,” Morden said.” No, I am not possessed.”

When asked by investigators if he touched Morden inappropriately, Olson's answer was, “No. No. No,” according to a police report.

The prosecutor received the report Tuesday and said a decision on charges is to be made in as soon as two weeks.