Sex abuse victim speaks out
Posted at: 09/07/2012 5:23 PM
| Updated at: 09/07/2012 6:58 PM
By: Lynette Adams | WHEC.com
One of the victims of a former church leader convicted of molesting three boys is speaking out.
On Friday, Joe Flowers was sentenced to one and a third to four years in state prison. He was sentenced to seven years on Thursday for taking one of the victims across state lines to Florida and abusing him. Flowers is currently in prison for abusing one of the boys from his church. In total, he’ll serve 14 years in prison.
The young man that News10NBC spoke with Friday had left Rochester and was in college when he heard people were questioning the story of the nine-year-old victim who came forward last spring. He says he broke his silence to support the boy because he too had been molested by the pastor for four years.
Joachiem Bradley closed a chapter in his life. In Friday in a Monroe County courtroom, Joe Flowers was sentenced for molesting him and his brother. He told the court how the former pastor used the word of God to win him over.
Bradley said, “It started off with massages, then it moved to sexual conduct and every time especially at first he would bring out the biblical references.”
Bradley says Flowers convinced him if he told anyone, it would destroy Flowers and the church.
Bradley said, “I was young. I didn't know the scriptures like that, yeah I went to church but I really didn't know, so I went along with it and let it happen."
Bradley says Flowers also bought his silence with extravagant gifts, money and took him on family vacations. Bradley didn’t tell anyone, not even his mother.
Bradley said, “Joe, “the bishop” as we once called him. He knew how to cover his tracks very well.”
Latara Hayes was shocked to learn about the abuse. She says she didn’t see any signs.
Latara Hayes, Joachiem Bradley’s mother, said, “I felt sad, I felt angry. I felt as if my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I felt betrayed.”
Bradley and Hayes have learned a lot and that’s why they’ve come forward.
Hayes said, “A mother’s intuition. I would say, if you have that feeling, act on it, follow through. If you’re being touched by someone period, whether it is a public figure, a parent it’s wrong, it needs to known. Somebody needs to find out to help you.
Bradley and Hayes also advise parents to be leery of an adult bearing gifts and money to a child. They also recommend, if your child tells you an adult makes them feel uneasy or has touched them inappropriately, believe it.