I just came across a thread from 2002, (I'll link it here in the next post), about congregations in upstate NY, many that were with a VT circuit I was in for many years. In there I wrote the following about a infamous pedophile case involving an elder, Don Nicholson. Here was part of one of my posts on that thread. I wonder if any remember this? On that thread were many ex-JWs from the Warrensburg, Granville, Whitehall and Ballston Spa, NY congregations from that time. Usernames like dazedandconfused, YHWHWho, els, tinman72, annalice, Rev. Malk. Any of you still around? What I wrote back then is in italics.
Just checked my files. This is the story, and much of it is public record. I remembered parts of this, then found some participants who were willing to talk when I was helping pull together info for Bill Bowen and the Dateline program.
The elder who abused several young Witness girls was Donald Nicholson, and the congregation was Warrensburg, NY, around 1982. Nicholson, as I remember, was Dave Tennent's bro-in-law. Don was the assembly overseer at the time, I think, and Dave was his assistant. Dave and I became friends, and he worked helping build the Kingdom Hall where I was an elder. I don't think you were the only sister with a crush on Dave. A very good looking guy. And what a tragic death, and for his family who were with him. (Dave died in an airplance crash.)
Nicholson's abuse went on for some time, and was eventually exposed. He was charged and tried in Lake George, NY County Court and was sentenced to prison, again around 1982. He was also disfellowshipped. Lee Steele, a former state trooper, was an elder in the congregation, and he had family members who were victims of Nicholson.
Three of the elders involved in this case, Steele, John Peterson - a CO, and Ross Persons, all have left the Witnesses, to the best of my knowledge.
One of the elders involved in this case told me that the local elders grilled him because he went to court to testify against Nicholson. They tried to tell him what to say in court, and the brother told me specifially that the local elders did not want this case reported to the secular authorities and tried to prevent that. This elder left the Witnesses.
This case caused a lot of people to leave the Org. Nicholson was enjoying all sorts of privileges of service at the same time that it later was proven that he was molesting little girls. Needless to say, this totally shook the faith of the familes of the victims.
Email me privately, and I'll see if we know each other. I eventually ended up as assistant and then assembly overseer myself, but that was after we lost the NY congregations. I used to be over there though in the 80's giving talks, etc.