Linden Presbyterian Church, where a former minister is accused of sexual misconduct.
At Least 3 Men Accuse Rev. Dr. William Weaver of Sexual Abuse
Former Linden Presbyterian Church minister William Weaver has been accused of using oral sex during exorcism rituals for men who sought counseling. Three men have come forward with similar allegations, saying that Weaver took advantage of their trust and mental states to force sexual contact upon them.
The 69-year-old minister was scheduled for an internal church trial in January of this year. But just one day before the scheduled start date, Weaver renounced the jurisdiction of the Elizabeth Presbytery. By doing so, Weaver gave up his ordination and membership in the Presbyterian Church and avoided an internal trial. The church had accused him of “multiple acts of idolatry and sexual misconduct.”
The Presbytery defines sexual abuse as “whenever a person in a position of trust engages, with or without consent, in a sexual act or sexual contact with another person to whom s/he owes a professional and pastoral responsibility.”
This trial was scheduled after the three men notified the Elizabeth Presbytery of the alleged abuse. This group oversees 41 Presbyterian churches in Somerset, Middlesex, Union, and Hunterdon counties.
The men claim that some of the incidents occurred on church property, including in Weaver’s office and the manse – a house owned by the church for its ministers.
No criminal charges have been filed against Weaver as of June 10, 2019. According to an article by My Central Jersey, the three men did report the alleged sexual encounters to the authorities, including the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, and the New Jersey Attorney General’s clergy abuse hotline.