A Lakeland man infected with HIV faces a $1.25 million bond on charges that he allegedly raped a 13-year-old boy without using condoms.
Jere Michael Temple, a friend of the boy’s family, faces six felony counts of sexual battery with a minor over 12 and engaging in sexual intercourse without disclosing HIV infection, Lakeland police said.
Investigators said 58-year-old Temple had unprotected sex with the boy during all of the sexual encounters and think he could have been in contact with more children.
“Temple’s frequent contact with children through the youth ministry, and his willingness to engage in sex with a child while being infected with HIV, poses a great risk to the community,” the arrest report says.
Lakeland police records show Temple and the victim met at the Rainbow Promise Community Church, a religious organization that reaches out to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Polk County. Both were members of the congregation, according to the church’s Rev. Karen Ducham.
“There were no indicators to catch our attention,” Ducham said. “It’s terrible that this happened to any child, but one you can put a face to it, makes it even more horrible.”
Ducham said Temple joined the church in 2004 and often volunteered in events. He wanted to become part of the youth ministry, but had not completed all the background checks, Ducham said.
Actually the foot dragging on completing background checks is all the indicator you should need. When I worked with kids I had to go to the cops and be fingerprinted for a background check. I did so within a week of the interview. When I hired people for a summer camp in Brooklyn several young(ish) men showed up, were given the background check forms and never came back. Had they come back sans form I would have rejected them.
I don’t care if it’s a rainbow painted magic church where Jesus himself comes down to grill perfectly cooked steaks. No background check, no access to children, period.
If I may be so bold, I find that sometimes the gay community, like the Pagan community, Black community etc, has a tendency to trust a little too much. Just because someone says he’s gay doesn’t mean when he’s working with your kids he can be trusted any more than a straight man can be trusted working with children until he passes the background check. And even then, no adult in a program I was involved with would ever be alone with a child.
The pervert involved should be charged with attempted homicide if you ask me.