Colorado’s Teller County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Shawn Lance Swisher on Tuesday, a 60-year-old Jehovah’s Witness man, an elder, who is suspected of sexually assaulting a child in the Woodland Park area.
“An arrest affidavit for a Florissant man arrested on the charge of sexual assault on a child sheds light on the case, with allegations stretching back for decades and claims of complacency by others in positions of power,” the news reports.
The affidavit lists eight victims in the case against Swisher. The accusations against Swisher date back to the early 2000s, with some recalling incidents that happened as early as the 1970s.
According to the affidavit, witnesses told investigators that Swisher was “handsy,” would rub up against minors, and groped numerous victims.
One of the witnesses told investigators that Swisher was a highly respected member of the congregation and put on a pedestal.
The witness said, “reporting these things to law enforcement was not something you ever did. (Redacted) stated that’s how they were raised, it was common knowledge, that these things would be handled within the congregation, because the punishment that [Jehovah] God gave was worse than the punishment that men gave you.”Court Docs: Eight victims listed in sexual assault on a child case against Jehovah’s Witness elder
“A search warrant of Swisher’s residence was also completed at the time of his arrest,” part of a news release issued by the Teller County Sheriff’s Office reads. “The second search warrant was executed at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses near Woodland Park. Swisher is currently being held at the Teller County Detention Facility.”
As of Tuesday, the investigation was ongoing.
At this time, the Sheriff’s Office has not said what they were looking for at either location or what connection Swisher has to the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. But, according to the TCSO, 60-year-old Shawn Lance Swisher of Florissant was arrested at his home on a warrant for sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. This is a class 3 felony.
If you suspect child abuse in Colorado you can call 844-CO-4-Kids.