Among the outrages that 12-year-old Anthony Washington endured in the church camp overseen by Reverend Raphael Warnock: Advisors who threw him urine and locked him in front of his cabin overnight.
Washington, now 30, covered the events in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon, saying his experience in the camp led to a 2003 lawsuit that ended two years later when Washington said he and his family had get a big financial deal.
Washington’s report on the events of 2002 provides the first direct look at the alleged abuse and neglect at Camp Farthest Out that Warnock oversaw as the senior pastor of Douglas Memorial Community Church in Maryland, and raises new questions for the Democrat vies currently for a Senate seat in Georgia.
Washington was surprised to be told that Warnock is currently running for U.. S.. . Senate in Georgia. « I don’t think no one like [Warnock] should be running for the damn Senate anywhere and running such a camp, » he told the Free Beacon. « He shouldn’t run for government. «
Warnock was scrutinized for his arrest in 2002 for alleged disability on a child abuse investigation by the Maryland State Police that focused on treating children in the camp. Washington’s report is supported by records from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene received by the Free Beacon earlier this month, which indicate that campers were routinely left unattended. The employees were not subjected to any criminal investigation. and at least five cases of child abuse or neglect were brought against the director of the camp, who was eventually forced to resign.
Warnock served as a senior pastor at Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore from 2001 to about 2005. His duties included overseeing the expansion of the Church’s sleepaway camp, Camp Farthest Out, which served downtown children. Warnock’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
The Free Beacon reached out to Washington and members of his family because of his name on a lawsuit against Warnock, the camp, and some of the advisors.
« I just wanted to get hell out of this camp, » Washington said in an interview. « I didn’t want to spend another day there. … The camp was really messed up. «
A court record from the case shows that lawyers on both sides decided in May 2005 to reject the case « with prejudice ». This solution often occurs when lawsuits are settled out of court. Officials from the Maryland Courthouse and State Archives told the Free Beacon that they cannot find any record of the case. The attorney representing Washington’s family said he could not raise the matter on the file.
Washington’s sister Dominique, who was also attending Camp Farthest Out the summer her brother said he had been mistreated, confirmed the family’s involvement in the lawsuit when she was contacted by the Free Beacon. Another source close to the Washington family told the Free Beacon that the lawsuit was linked to an incident in which advisor [Anthony] « doused urine » at the camp. «
Washington said the camp was his first long trip from his parents as a kid and his first time in such a rural setting. His mother sent the two children because they had recently moved to Baltimore from California, and she hoped they would make friends in the area, according to Washington.
Consultants were young, in their late teens or early 20s, and showed little interest in looking after the campers, Washington said. As a punishment for wetting his bed, he said a counselor forced him to sleep alone outside on the basketball court the next night.
« I think, ‘Hell, no, I’m not, it’s cold out there, » he said. « [The advisors] wouldn’t let me in at all. … Close the door to the cabin, lock it, « he said. « It was dark. There was nothing out there but the basketball court. I’ve never seen anything like it. You are not in a tent, you are not in nothing. You’re out right now, God knows where. «
Advisors also tossed him urine from a bucket they used when there was no bathroom nearby, he added.
« I had this experience myself. I don’t even like to talk about that shit. This shit happened. … It was like being in a bucket. They’d keep that shit in a bucket, « he said.
Washington said he saw counselors « snap up children » but didn’t know how much abuse there was in the camp or whether others had had experiences similar to his. « I just knew shit happened to me and that’s why I was worried about myself and my sister, » he said.
Campers were forbidden to call their parents, he said. When he was finally able to tell his mother what had happened, she was furious in the camp. « I can hear them in there and yell at them, » Washington said. « Next, I knew my mother was going to go to court. … I thank my mother for what she did. She is a lifesaver. «
At least three state agencies – the Maryland State Police, the Department of Social Services, and the Department of Health – investigated allegations of child molestation in the camp between 2002 and 2003, according to government data obtained from the Free Beacon.
Warnock was born on Jan.. Arrested July 2002 at Camp Farthest Out after a Maryland soldier said he repeatedly interrupted her interviews with counselors while she was investigating allegations of child molestation. Warnock and another pastor were charged with « obstructing and obstructing » the police, but the charges were later dropped by the prosecution.
When inspectors from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene visited Camp Farthest Out in 2002, they also discovered several health and safety violations.
« Employees do not supervise campers, » wrote a health inspector in a report dated Jan.. July 2002. « Conversations with & pool medical personnel indicate that this is routine among advisors. It was seen during the inspection today. «
In June 2003 the Ministry of Health refused Camp Farthest Outs certification for running a youth camp. One reason for the rejection, according to records, was that the camp failed to report at least five child abuse findings made by the Department of Social Services against its director Brian Carter.
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Alana Goodman is a senior investigative reporter for the Washington Free Beacon. She was previously an investigative political reporter for the Washington Examiner and a senior reporter for the Daily Mail. Goodman has written for Commentary, the Weekly Standard, and the New York Post. She lives in Washington, D. . C.. . Her Twitter handle is @alanagoodman. Her email address is goodman @ freebeacon. com.
Raphael Warnock, United States Senate, Democratic Party
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