Rachael Denhollander Accuses Sovereign Grace Ministries of Cover-Up
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2018 Feb 07
Former U.S. gymnast Rachael Denhollander has accused Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) of covering up accusations of sexual abuse by U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
As ChristianHeadlines.com previously reported, Denhollander gave a nearly 40-minute long testimony in court against Nassar. Although she presented him with the Gospel and extended forgiveness, she also called on Judge Rosemarie Aquilina to give him justice for his crimes.
Nassar was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison. But Denhollander’s brave stand for the truth didn’t end in that courtroom, just like it didn’t begin there.
In her testimony, she made reference to the cost of speaking about the abuse she suffered. She noted that it put strain on her relationship with her church and other Christian people. Now, she has spoken out against Sovereign Grace Ministries and its former leader C. J. Mahaney.
"Rather than engaging with the mountains of evidence that I brought, because this situation was one of the most well-documented cases of institutional cover-up I have ever seen, ever, there was a complete refusal to engage with the evidence,” Denhollander told Christianity Today.
She further alleged that a lawsuit against SGM was dismissed not because there wasn’t evidence for its claims but because the statute of limitations had passed.
In response to Denhollander’s criticism, current SGM (now Sovereign Grace Churches) president Mark Prater applauded her courage, but also pushed back against her accusations.
"At the same time, it needs to be said that she is mistaken in her accusations made against Sovereign Grace Churches and C.J. Mahaney,” said Prater.
Denhollander, who went on to become an attorney and developed an expertise on issues of sexual assault, responded:
"I am glad to know that SGC is concerned about victims of sexual assault, but I assure them the most unsympathetic thing they can continue to do is refuse to respond to the concerns of sexual assault victims, myself included. I have no need to be protected from any evidence or response they have. On the contrary, I have sought out this evidence and a response, for more than seven years.”
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Sir Stafford
Publication date: February 7, 2018