Philadelphia Pastor Charged With Sexual Assault and Rape After Victims Come Foward 15 Years Later

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The longstanding pastor of Holy Ghost Headquarters Revival Center in North Philadelphia is being accused of sexually abusing three people, including a former parishioner when they were underaged, according to prosecutors in Montgomery County. 

On Wednesday, Reverend Mark Hatcher. 59, of Blue Bell, was charged with rape, statutory sexual assault, corruption of a minor, as well as other related offenses. Hatcher has remained in police custody while prosecutors successfully lobbied a magisterial district judge in Blue Bell to deny him bail, naming him a “danger to the community,” according to court records.

According to Hatcher’s attorney, R. Emmett Madden, the pastor maintains his innocence and looks forward to defending against the charges in court.

“These are unsubstantiated allegations from 15 years ago with no corroborating evidence of any kind,” Madden said. “‘I’ve received significant outreach from family, friends, and members of the community, which all indicated the opposite of what was alleged.”

Hatcher’s family members declined to make any comment on Thursday, and there have been unsuccessful attempts of reaching out to staff members located inside the Met Philadelphia on North Broad Street. 

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed in his arrest, the allegations against Hatcher, who has oversoon Holy Ghost for decades, succeeding his father in that position, date all the way back to 2000.

Two relatives told police in Whitpain Township in January that he sexually abused them at his Blue Bell home, the affidavit said. One of the victims told authorities Hatcher molested her in 2000 when she was 15. A man also came forward and said Hatcher sexually assaulted him at least 5 times, beginning in 2007 when he was 6 years old. 

The third victim stated that she was abused by Hatcher when she was 13 in 2006. She said she went to dinner with Hatcher, who was her pastor, and he stopped to check on a house being renovated in Brewerytown at the time and was owned by the church, according to the affidavit and public record. She stated they walked into the house, and she sat on an old mattress while Hatcher examined a light switch. He then walked over and pinned her down, and raped her, covering her mouth as she screamed for help, according to the affidavit. 

The rape was reported in 2008, but Hatcher was never charged. 

“We know that delayed disclosure of such abuse is common and we encourage anyone who may have suffered similar harm to report their information to law enforcement. Furthermore, given the age and long career of the accused, we believe there may be more victims out there,” said Mike McDonnell. SNAP’s spokesperson. 

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