Ex-Gay Therapist Convicted Of Sexual Assault

Jim Burroway

September 6th, 2007

Christopher AustinWayne Besen at Truth Wins Out reported today that Christopher Austin, an ex-gay counselor and founder of Renew Ministries of Irving, Texas, was convicted of sexually assaulting a client, a second degree felony of “unlawfully, intentionally and knowingly caused penetration of [pseudonym Stephen Trask].” He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but received seven years probation and was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine. He is also required to register as a sex offender.

In addition to running Renew Ministries, Austin was a member of the National Association For Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). He even held a seminar at NARTH’s 2004 convention, despite being accused of sexual assault by another client 2001 according to Ex-Gay Watch. Also, Ex-Gay Watch reports that despite the conviction, Austin is still answering the telephone as “Dr. Austin, Counseling Center.”

Jeremy

September 6th, 2007

“Also, Ex-Gay Watch reports that despite the conviction, Austin is still answering the telephone as “Dr. Austin, Counseling Center.” ”

It is STILL a counselling center. Chris is not the only Psychologist in the office.

What’s your point?

Robguy

September 6th, 2007

I’m so (not) shocked!

Benton

September 7th, 2007

Does Austin have the degrees to refer to himself as Dr.? Or is this just another “inaccuracy” put forth by the Ex-Gay folks?

Miles Gordon

September 8th, 2007

Another proud success for the ex-gay movement.

Pam in Grand Prairie

September 8th, 2007

I have known Chris since 1995. At that time he volunteered as a facilitator for a group of survivors of sexual abuse. I joined the group when I came to the DFW area. He worked with our group weekly for many years. Chris has continued as my therapist until he called to inform me that he was losing his license.

In many of the groups that I have been to over the last 30 years, people have talked about falling victim to doctors and therapist who made improper advances toward patients. They had put their trust in professionals to help guide them through the healing process. I am always so shocked and outraged by this kind of behavior!
I know how if feels when no one believes you because your abuser is a prominent, Christian adult. I am especially observant when it comes to noticing children who have been or are being abused. It goes hand in hand with my profession. I believe this is because of my own abuse as a child and teenager. Believe me – I AM on the side of the abused!

One of the adults who accused Chris is NOT a stable person and has an imagination warped by his illness. (These were all adults who could have walked away.) At one point this person placed flyers on all the cars in a church parking lot where Chris was a member. There are hundreds of people who will stand up for Chris. I am just one of them. I personally know of at least 30 people that have gone to Chris for guidance. They are as shocked as I am by this misguided campaign of lies.

Chris is NOT an abuser.
It breaks my heart that this abuse is being perpetrated against someone who has given his life helping anyone that has a need.

Please realize, sometimes accusations, no matter how vivid, detailed or “documented” can be imagined and totally false. Some people have an agenda. It has happened throughout history. You have just proved that this is one of those websites that has a one-sided agenda.

Timothy Kincaid

September 10th, 2007

Pam,

I am sorry that this story is so devastating to you. I know that along with the emotional shock of hearing this sort of thing about a friend and an advisor comes a natural inclination to disbelieve.

Of course, none of the authors at this site know for certain all of the details. Nor can we state with authority that the accusations are true.

But we do know that Chris Austin was convicted by a jury of his peers. And we know the defense had the opportunity to present everything they could to discredit his accusors but in the end the jury found Chris guilty.

And, to me, that goes a great way to suggesting that Chris was able to deceive you about things he was doing. Sadly, the history of the world seems to be full of people doing just that. And yet when it happens to us it is so difficult to think that our judgment was not adequate to identify a con-man.

I’m so sorry that you have to experience this disappointment and now find a new counselor. I wish you much success.

But I simply cannot assume that Mr. Austin’s guilty verdict is the result of someone’s “agenda”. And I’m terribly sad that you are incapable of seeing otherwise.

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