'This Is a Slap in the Face': Father Demands DA Answer Why Minister Still Free in Sex Abuse Case

By Michele McPhee
Boston Herald
May 19, 2007

A respected Boston minister and youth worker is demanding a meeting with Suffolk District Attorney Dan Conley to ask why another preacher who confessed to molesting the minister's teenage son has not been arrested and charged with a crime.

"This is a slap in the face that Larry Brown is still out on the streets," the Rev. Shaun Harrison said last night, referring to the Rev. Lawrence Brown, a minister at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in the South End.

"I want the DA to personally tell me why he is not in handcuffs," added Harrison, leader of the Youth in Crisis ministry in Boston.

Rev. Lawrence Brown

Yesterday the Herald reported that Brown admitted to sexual misconduct with Harrison's son, P. Edward Harrison, beginning when he was 14, saying, "Whatever I did was a crime."

Conley spokesman Jake Wark would not comment on a possible meeting, but stressed that the investigation into Brown is "active and ongoing."

"Our primary concern is for the well-being of the child. The investigation remains open and we remain in close communication with law-enforcement agencies here and elsewhere," Wark said. "The allegation of abuse, exploitation or neglect deserves nothing less."

Boston police Deputy Superintendent Margot Hill, who commands the BPD's Family Justice Center, said that the most serious crimes allegedly took place at a New Hampshire campground. State police there are working the case, she said.

"If there are additional victims, or additional information about this case, we urge anyone to come forward," Hill said yesterday.

When reached last night, Brown said that he did not want to discuss whether he was contacted by police or prosecutors.

"I am under investigation," Brown said. "I can't talk about the specifics of the case."

However, Brown did say that Mount Calvary Baptist - where church elders reinstated him as a minister earlier this year - in fact followed the law in May 2005 after he confessed from the pulpit to a "sin" involving the younger Harrison, now 18.

At that time, Brown was also working as a youth minister at the Emmanuel Gospel Center. After he confessed to Doug Hall, the center's president, the gospel center formed a disciplinary committee to evaluate the case and sent two copies of a 51-A child abuse form to the Department of Social Services. The Rev. George Bullock of Mount Calvary was on that committee, Brown said.

"My church did the right thing," he said.

Currently, the DSS Special Investigations Unit is investigating why Mount Calvary did not file its own report with the child abuse allegations.

"We were part of the process all along with the Emmanuel Gospel Center," Bullock said.

Bullock said that while he invited Brown back into the fold of the church as a minister, he is not currently working with youth.

Meanwhile, other black churches in Boston are planning to address the sex abuse scandal from their own pulpits tomorrow.

"When I speak this Sunday morning, my sermon is going to be about this issue and what we need to do to come together to address it," said the Rev. Vernard Coulter of the Warren Street Baptist Church. "This issue needs to be addressed by the pastors and the black clergy. We have to come up with a uniform approach among the churches, among the ministers, to report these types of crimes, we need to start the healing."



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