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Aug 23, 2012

Pastor Norman Willacey is no longer principal of Belmopan Baptist High

Norman Willacey

There is development in respect of Belmopan Pastor Norman Willacey who has fallen from grace due to allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a student.  Tonight, Willacey is no longer on administrative leave from the pulpit and the church; he has resigned. Pressure had been building up for action in many quarters because the Baptist Pastor’s Council was seen as slow to act.   Willacey, however, remains on the fifteen day suspension from the Belmopan Baptist High School and investigations continue into the alleged sexual relationship he had with a sixteen year old student. Today, News Five spoke at length with Reverend Ruperto Vicente, President of the Baptist Association and he told us that Willacey has been very cooperative. While the public opinion of the association hasn’t been a positive, Vicente says that they have addressed the issue in the timeliest fashion. He told News Five, that the Association found out about the story when it made the headlines last Friday. Since then, the association met with Willacey and the mother of the child. But, as this interview will tell you, this isn’t the first allegation against Willacey. So did the system fail that high school girl? Here’s what Vicente had to say.

 

Andrea Polanco

“How do you respond to speculations that the public believes that Pastor Willacey is being protected by the association?

 

Ruperto Vicente

Reverend Ruperto Vicente, President of Baptist Association

“And rightly so, if somebody is a part of your family, there has to be some kind of protection, but it is not to say that we are covering up what he has done. As soon as we got that information, I quickly called the executive of the Baptist Association of Belize. So on Saturday we started out work, on the eighteenth of August. I called the executive to an emergency meeting; we met here at one-thirty p.m. after our meeting, we then called in Pastor Norman Willacey and we began our series of question because we had to get all our information. So we began to question pastor Willacey on Saturday after one-thirty p.m. right here in this office.  Thereafter, our next move was to meet with the church that he pastured to chart the way forward for that church and to also comfort the members of that church. We met with that church and on that Saturday evening, we placed Pastor Willacey on administrative leave from the church and pulpit. He was on administrative leave from the church and pulpit on Saturday, but since last night, Pastor Willacey, by unanimous vote from the church and supported by the Baptist Association of Belize was asked to submit his resignation and placed on discipline. So Pastor Willacey is no longer a pastor of the Belmopan Baptist Church. He remains a member of the church, but he is also on discipline from that church and the Baptist Association of Belize.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“People were saying that this is not the first time that Pastor Willacey has been; his name has been called in such a compromising situation with young girls. I think people mention that there were two incidents. Did the association know of this?”

 

Reverend Ruperto Vicente

“In all fairness, I heard of that there was a situation four years ago and in our investigation, I did question members of the church; did this happen? And they said, “Yes there was an allegation four years ago.” what actions did the church take, it was said that there was not enough evidence at that time. Did it reach the executive of the Baptist Association of Belize? It got to I believe one person of the executive association and nothing was done. And in that regards, I must say that on behalf of the Baptist Association of Belize that it is regrettable that no action was taken then and that nobody at that time brought it to the attention of the Baptist Association’s Executive. We regret that. And I believe that as an association, we were not responsible in dealing with the matter. And I will not come before the television and lie to the public and tell the public that in dealing with the situation then that we weren’t wrong. We were wrong. We should have dealt with it there and then. We did not. At that time, I didn’t know about it; I was not even a part of the executive of the Baptist Association of Belize. I became president of the Baptist Association two years ago and it is the first time that I am hearing of an allegation against Pastor Willacey that happened four years ago.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you believe that in not addressing that, it left students wide open?”

 

Reverend Ruperto Vicente

“We agreed as an executive and in any organization that when a situation is not dealt with, t becomes cancerous later on. And this is what happened there. We did not deal with it then; it comes back now to haunt us. This is the reason—I’ve said to the executive of the Baptist Association—under my watch, I am a person who believes in transparency; I’m an individual who believes in doing the right thing; an individual who stands for what is right; I will not let this pass by. We are going to document it and it is going to go into our file and in the event it happens in the future with anybody else from the Baptist Association, it is going to be there as an example of the action that the Baptist Association has taken under my watch.”

 

We’ll have more on that interview on Friday.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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8 Responses for “Pastor Norman Willacey is no longer principal of Belmopan Baptist High”

  1. Rod says:

    This story stinks he should be in jail for being a pedophile why is this man not in jail I hope this mother sues the baptist school the church and willacey himself get a good lawyer or layers and sue the baptist church for everything hey have for negligence for leaving a pedophile in charge of children and for being complicit in the actions of this animal why is he not in jail.

  2. Storm says:

    Good.

    The Catholic Church around the world could learn from the prompt, transparent, and effective way the Baptists dealt with this sad incident.

  3. Rod says:

    See whey a tell unu bout prejudice another teacher was accused of molestation and he was arrested and put in jail immediately he is not black willacey even admitted to his culpability and still no court no jail hasn’t even lost his job but he is black the descrimination in the nation is out of control and this race war is being waged by this pm and gov. Facts are facts and you get to see the bigot barrow doing it every day unu Spanish and maya and Indian and Chinese and the rest of the non blacks in this country Betta wake up you are being discriminated against by this bigot barrow and gov. Only unu the go tha jail only unu can’t get jobs unu Betta wake up.

  4. MADDYVANDIJKDEREALISTO says:

    How many more of them in power are quilty of this same corruption, and who will filter them out?

    Sexual abuse is a big issue in some minority communities.

    Especially in Belize and Mexico
    Where the legal consensual age is as low as 12 years old.

    One can easily say the government and its citizens have condoned this sexual act against our children for many, many years.

    It was always very easy for Belizean men to use their political, religious, education, etc power to commit the act of rape against our children, and even today the Americans are seeking refuge in Belize as an easy access to contribute abuse and exploitation of children.

    Where our FIRST lady stand on this issue is a………… breath holder.

  5. J.J.A.H says:

    Rod. You NEED some serious Help!!!

  6. Ixchel Pop says:

    I sometime wonder if the Baptist Association would have dealt with this situation differently- if they did not feel the enormous pressure to do the right thing. I facts are such that he was involved in this sort of behavior before and they chose to discredit the the child and parents who made this complaint. The parent in this current case was not easily bullied into submission. I am sure her church community must be extremely angry with her for helping to bring down a man of God; they are even blaming the poor victim- as if she was just a loose, wanton temptress tripping up the poor helpless pastor- yea right. For 2012 my hero is this girl’s parent who stood up and fought for her child, stood up for the the right reason and did every female student a favor at the baptist high school a huge favor. Wellacy got what he deserve and should be criminally charged. At least we in Belize are learning to stand up for truth and justice….and not easily fooled by those false religious leaders in the B’pan area who spread bigtory, hate and necessary homophobia.

  7. Bear says:

    Willacey’s behavior was disgusting, but it doesn’t seem to be illegal under our law.

    If we don’t change the age of consent, at least we should make it a crime for any teacher or school administrator to “mess around” with a student of any age.

  8. Unknown says:

    Re: Ixchel pop,
    THE CHILD FROM 4YRS AGO N PARENT WAS NOT BULLIED INTO ANY SUBMISSION. IT WAS THE CHILD WHO BROUGHT IT TO HER PARENTS ATTENTION! SHE DID NOT ALLOW IT TO GO EVEN AS FAR AS A KISS. LOOK IN THE MIRROR BEFORE YOU JUDGE AND KNOW THE FACTS BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR MOUTH!!! IT WENT TO THE BOARD BUT THEY WERE NARROW-MINDED…HE WILL ANSWER TO GOD FOR HIS SINS. HE THOUGHT HE COULD MESS WITH OTHERS AND GET AWAY. WHATEVER HAPPENS IN THE DARK WILL COME TO LIGHT…WHICH IT DID

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