Relentless Survivor of childhood sexual abuse pursued indictment of her abuser

Key News Journal

March 12, 2019

By Patrice K. Muhammad

In 2017 Tanyqua Oliver attended a church service at House of Prayer in Nicholasville, KY. To her surprise, she said, Darnell Nutter was there.

When Tanyqua was 14, in 2006, the Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) and Lexington Police investigated Darnell Nutter for raping her over several years, from the age of 9 until she was most 13 years old.

Tanyqua says that Darnell was not a church visitor like her that day, he started helping out and made the alter call, inviting people to accept Jesus and join the church. During the service Tanyqua could not think of anything except the children, she recalled. Children were at the church, many without parents.

Painfully, she confronted the church’s pastor Tammel Thomas, who is her own mother and who was married to Darnell during the years he raped her in their home.

When asked why Darnell was at the church, around children, after her mother participated and pushed for the 2006 rape investigation, Tanyqua said her mother offered the growing church as an excuse and said, “because I need help”.

Alarmed, Tanyqua contacted the Lexington Police Department. “I spoke to an officer and told them that I remember a social worker came to talk to me many years ago and nothing really happened. I reported that Darnell was preaching and was around children and I wanted to know if he was given any sort of restriction” she said.

Her case, as all rape cases are, was still on record and Tanyqua was assigned a new detective who found out what happened in 2006. Her case had been archived, “pending vaginal exam’’. Tanyqua didn’t recall having an exam as part of the investigation but searched for one just in case. When she called the Children’s Advocacy Center, which operates an on-site medical clinic to evaluate children who have reported inappropriate physical contact, she was told that she had never been a client and there was not any record of a referral for her to have an exam.

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