"Seattle--Chinese Southern Baptist Cross" by Joe Mabel / CC BY-SA 3.0
By Julie Zauzmer
The Rev. Bud Heckman, who was facing a church trial that was set to be the first prominent #MeToo case in the United Methodist Church, admitted guilt and agreed to retire, the church said Thursday.
Heckman was accused by four women, including his ex-wife, an ex-girlfriend and two young women who said he harassed them at an interfaith conference. On Thursday, the church’s West Ohio conference said in a statement that he had admitted harassment as well as failure to be celibate while single and faithful while married.
“I deeply regret the harm that has been caused to any person due to an act of sexual misconduct by a pastor. There is no excuse,” Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, who leads the West Ohio conference, said in a statement.
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