In 2016 Bontrager faced trial charged with four counts of sexual assault of a child under 13 years old, two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child, and one count of sexual assault of a child under 16.
Other allegations of repeated rape of a child, more than 20 years prior, were not pursued because of the statute of limitations.
Hours before his trial was due to start, Bontrager entered into a plea agreement through which he pleaded no contest to reduced charges and was found guilty by the court, of1) Repeated sexual assault of a child, which is a felony and carries a 40-year prison sentence, 2) Exposing his genitals to a child, and 3) Sexual assault.
The judge initially expressed that the plea deal (deferred prosecution agreement) that was proposed for the felony charges of repeated sexual assault of a child was outrageous and that he couldn’t agree to let Enos get away with only probation and no jail time for a charge that carries a 40-year prison sentence.
Bontrager was sentenced to nine months jail, fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $6,800 restitution. He was released after seven months.
There never was a chaperone program for Bontrager. There never was an email explaining his conviction, nor what was to happen when he was released from prison. There has been zero communication in the field or to the state of Wisconsin regarding Enos Bontrager.
More detail: https://wiscnews.com/community/baraboonewsrepublic/news/local/woman-criticizes-columbia-county-law-officials-speaks-out-after-childhood-abuser-released-from-jail/article_79fe536e-af42-569f-99c5-b3ae92e24516.html subscription required
In April of 2023, a victim sent a message to her overseer, Jeff Thayer (of MN and IA), saying “I deserve to feel safe and if there are policies being put into place regarding sexual predators I would appreciate knowing”.
The victim notes:
Two days later Ray Hoffman sent me an e-mail asking me to call him.
Ray Hoffman asked that she not share my experiences with sexual assault given the recent events surrounding Dean Bruer.
When I asked Ray what the policy will be when someone comes forward about abuse, he said: “Well, it’s tricky because a lot of times victims who come forward are mentally unstable and while we feel for them, it’s hard to know what to do.”
Ray talked about mercy to perpetrators because we want them to go to heaven. He asked me if I wanted the perpetrators to go to heaven.
When I asked Ray why Leslie White (an abuser) was allowed to participate in gospel meetings a couple of years ago, the answer was, “Well, he’s losing his mind now, so I doubt we really have to worry about him at this point.” I asked Ray if an abuser is old and losing their mind, is there no restriction or consequence in our “church group”? Ray stammered with no answer. What I heard during the conversation was that I was wrong, that I had a victim mindset, and that I was living in a victim world and therefore, he couldn’t reasonably talk to me. I could no longer take Ray’s victim shaming, so I hung up on him.
I wish I had known before calling that Ray isn’t a “safe” person. I feel it would be unfair to others if I didn’t share my experience. Please still call them, document the call and PLEASE have a witness for support. Every victim deserves support.
3 years ago when many were gathered (workers and friends) at the courthouse to hear me talk about the years long sexual abuse that Enos Bontrager committed on me no one set up a policy then or warned the state of how dangerous he was/is. Now that his stupid minimal sentence is served he’s allowed in meeting free to continue to destroy lives.
I saw Enos at a funeral last July. Had no idea what his charges were. There were many children there…
This is heartbreaking..so sad that Dale and Ray can continue to appear of “workers lists” with this type of behavior and get away with it.
There is so much wrong here. So. MUCH. WRONG.
“Do you want the perpetrators to go to heaven?”
That’s so manipulative and gross. WTF!
So what ray, is ultimately saying, the only way to get to heaven is by ATTENDING MEETINGS. Even for rapists and molesters? Attendance in meetings is a cure-all? A cure for all wrong that Enos has done?
“Well, it’s tricky because a lot of times victims who come forward are mentally unstable and while we feel for them, it’s hard to know what to do.”
This response by Ray demonstrates complete ignorance, arrogance, and insensitivity, and it turns my stomach. If someone does happen to have mental struggles, there needs to be recognition that it comes as a direct result of CSA. He needs to know what to do????? I would suggest that if he’s having such a struggle with that, given the preponderance of evidence they have been presented with, he should step away from the ministry.
Absolutely! I asked him in 2017 if he said that he can’t do anything about Robert Fillipo’s romantic relationship because according to him it was consensual, still waiting for a reply…..
Ray is just keeping the status quo’s going and it’s not going to end. Ray’s sentiment and ego is similar to the cult founder, William Irvine— it’s his way or the highway. I was a member for 50 years and it took an earth shattering reality when my daughter was abused by Bill Dink and Bill was later backed up by head worker Jerome Frandle. These people are working in tandem with the devil. I’m now aware of that but it took a major event for me to realize the damage that had already happened to my family. The sooner people realize that this is a cult and they leave the better they will be!!! Ray, Jerome, Billl and the list goes on, are the ones that are in charge in this cult — NOT God.
Jerome worked very hard for the survivors of Peter Mousseau and did the best he knew. An abusive mother who trafficked her adopted daughters to local politicians went after Jerome and Bill after they started to try to help her children that she and her husband severely abused. Her political connections were successful in getting Jerome and Bill Denk in trouble when she was the abuser. I am not aware of Bill Denk ever doing anything inappropriate. What are the allegations against him? Jerome diligently worked to get Peter Mousseau out of the work, believed survivors and did what was typical at that time for overseers to do. I was the first to speak up about Peter after he inappropriately touched my friends and I Summer 1993 while playing soccer and in our home, hugging us to compare our bodies then telling us his opinion. He later hugged me while I was doing dishes, under the bust from behind and my friend told me that I should report it. My Dad reprimanded him, he cried and acted repentant then targeted much younger girls and maybe boys too until he was caught in 2006 at my grandparents’ home.
Good contribution here. We know from present day politics how much powerful politicians can manipulate outcomes, and it is well known that trafficking of children is prevalent in politics and the elite. Just as I want the guilty exposed, I equally do not want someone falsely accused if they were actually trying to help. There is no benefit to that.
Jerome FAILED to report sexual abuse. He is not a victim. Actions have consequences. He also lied about being a minister. All of the court documents can be found online with a simple Google search. Jerome is the current overseer of Kentucky and Tennessee.