Sgt. James Ray Wilson has pled guilty in the Fort Hood Child Molestation case.

    In a plea arrangement, Wilson was convicted of Sodomy on Diverse Occasions and three counts of Indecent Acts with a Child.
    March 28,1998 Wilson was sentenced to Reduction in rank to E-1, Forfeiture of all pay and allowances, Dishonorable discharge from the Military, and 13 years confinement.  He could have received up to 25 years in prison.
    This case came to the attention of the Pagan Community in December when rumors began circulating the internet regarding Wilson's alleged involvement in the Fort Hood Open Circle.  Online speculation regarding Wilson's guilt and Pagan affiliations became so intense that it could have led to a claim by Wilson's defense lawyers that he was unable to get a fair trial at Fort Hood.  Fortunately, his victim was spared further lengthy legal procedures by Wilson's guilty plea.
    The custodial parents of the victim, Michael and Cheryl Materne (who are not Pagan), were subjected to verbal abuse and harassment by numerous individuals, some of whom claimed to be Pagan, as a result of the inaccurate information posted on the net.
    Most of the mailings dealt with an argument over whether Wilson did, or did not, hold a leadership position in the Fort Hood Open Circle.
    Mr. and Mrs. Materne claim that Wilson had been elected to lead the Fort Hood Open Circle shortly before his arrest.  Their contention has been supported by Captain Mike Devine, the Military Prosecutor in this case.
    The Maternes at no time accused the Fort Hood Open Circle of any involvement in the abuse of their daughter.  They freely acknowledged that the violation of their child did not occur during any group activities and that at no time was the Fort Hood Open Circle ever suspected of any wrongdoing.
    In an email from David L. Oringderff, the Director of the Sacred Well Congregation, the Denominational Sponsor of the Fort Hood Open Circle,  it is stated that Wilson's involvement with the Fort Hood Open Circle was limited to the attendance of functions that were open to the general public.
    Whether Wilson was the Grand Pooba of a Pagan Circle, or just an occasional visitor, this case should still serve as a wake up call to the Pagan Community.  We are not immune to predators.  Surrounding our children with white light helps, but it is not enough.  Pedophiles can be found EVERYWHERE.  They can be Pagan High Priests or Priestesses, they can be Baptist Preachers, they can be Episcopalian Ministers, they can be Boy or Girl Scout Leaders, they can be Teachers or Coaches, and they can be friends or relatives.  The creatures that prey on our young can be found wherever there are children present.  Educate yourself.  Learn what to look for, and above all else, watch, and listen to, your child.
    Out of the Dark, Inc.  maintains a list of convicted sexual predators that are known to frequent Pagan events and Gatherings.  This list is available for free to any Pagan Organization upon verification of their credentials.  It is blessedly short.  Wilson just became the latest entry.
    Hopefully, the Materne family's ordeal is drawing to a close, and they can begin the long healing process dictated by the horrible experiences they have suffered.
    The Pagan Community is so incredibly fortunate that the Maternes are an enlightened couple who hold no prejudice against those of a Faith other then their own.
    The child of a Christian couple was sodomized by a professed Pagan.  Every Pagan reading these words knows how such a situation could have been twisted and used to make us all look like baby eating devil worshipers.
    The Maternes did not do that.  The Maternes presented the truth, and one Pagan went to prison where he belongs.
    The Maternes would like to express their thoughts in an

    Open letter to the Pagan Community.

    The staff and management of  Out of the Dark, Inc.,  send our love, support, and prayers for the relief of their pain, to Michael and Cheryl Materne and to their dear child.
    May the Divine Bless You, and Send You Peace and Healing.