Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Christian Coalition leader steps back after allegations
Continuing the story, thanks to Jan:
SALEM, Oregon -- The chairman of the Christian Coalition of Oregon said he will "withdraw from public life" until sexual abuse accusations made against him by three female family members have been resolved.
Louis Beres, 70, denied any criminal conduct in a statement posted Monday on www.coalition.org. Beres said he will pursue "the Biblical response" and do all within his power "to reconcile with that person."
He added: "Even Christ refused to be called 'good.' Who am I to proclaim my righteousness?"
Beres didn't respond to messages on Monday. In his statement, Beres blamed a nephew for spreading false information.
Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk told The Oregonian on Saturday that authorities are investigating complaints that Beres molested three relatives when they were in their pre-teens.
All three are now adults, but authorities confirmed that one case could fall under Oregon's statute of limitations on sex abuse, which expires after six years.
Beres family members told The Oregonian that they called the child abuse hotline last month after several women in the family said they spoke openly on the matter for the first time. The names of the family members have been withheld because the newspaper generally doesn't identify alleged sex abuse victims.
Beres is a longtime leader of the Christian Coalition in Oregon and is the former head of the Republican Party in Multnomah County.
Oregon Republican Chairman Vance Day told The Associated Press that Beres hasn't been a significant factor in state GOP politics since he stepped down as county chairman about 10 years ago.
"I don't view this as having any major impact on politics here in Oregon; I don't think the Christian Coalition has a big footprint here at all," he said.