At least 6 children were ritually sexually assaulted by George Otis Johnston (right, sometimes identified as ‘Johnson’), the pastor of Grandview Valley Baptist Church North, and four elders at its sister church Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church: pastor Raymond Lambert (left), his wife Patty Lambert, and her brothers Paul and Tom Epling. All the children in Grandview Valley compound were homeschooled at the Grand Valley Christian Academy. Some of the abuse occurred while Johnston was tutoring one of the children in algebra.
The abuse came to light in May 2006 when eight members of the commune walked away from the church with no money or physical belongings. One of the women told authorities about abuses that had taken place at the compound. In August 2006, the approximately 20 children who remained at the compound were taken into custody by social services. Johnston and the others were charged with a number of felonies; however, all of the charges were eventually dropped due to witnesses’ being unwilling to testify, the statute of limitations being invoked (some of the abuse had occurred in the 1970s and 1980s), and the victims’ desire to avoid further victimization in court.
Date: August 24, 2006
Location: Granby, Missouri; Pineville, Missouri
|Children pulled from compound||08-25-2006|
|Pastor pleads not guilty in child sex abuse case||08-31-2006|
|Rural Granby pastor faces new charge||08-31-2006|
|Religious Commune Child Molestation Case Rocks Ozarks||09-06-2006|
|Grand Valley Baptist Church in Missouri||10-08-2006|
|Johnston Trial to Move||10-30-2006|
|Missouri Church Leaders Accused of Child-Sex Abuse||12-14-2006|
|Court dates set for leaders||02-20-2007|
|Most charges dropped in Mo. ritual sex abuse||05-03-2009|
|Grandview Valley North & Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church||12-11-2009|
|Charges dropped against Granby pastor||12-22-2009|