Trial of Northwest Philly deacon accused of child rape delayed until February

The trial of former West Oak Lane church deacon Courtney Wilson has been postponed until Feb. 11.

The trial was scheduled to begin this past Monday but the defense requested a continuance for further case preparation.

Wilson, 56, is the former church deacon at the Remnant Church of God 7th Day on Ogontz Avenue. He was arrested in December after five women alleged he sexually abused them when they were minors. The women were all friends.

Wilson is charged with two counts of rape, aggravated assault, terrorist threats and two counts of statutory sexual assault.

The back story

In December, NewsWorks reported that Wilson — a deacon from the Remnant Church of God 7th Day who recently worked at the child-welfare non-profit called Carson Valley Children’s Aid — had been accused of rape and a series of other sexual assaults.

Police learned of the accusations after five women recently spoke up about the alleged abuse occurring between 1997 and 2005. The five women, all now in their 20s, were minors at the time they say they were repeatedly assaulted by Wilson.

The assaults took place at a time when Wilson was an active volunteer in the church. All five women are affiliated with the church and “were friends at some point in their teenage years,” he added.

Emotional preliminary hearing

Three of the victims testified at a preliminary hearing in January which featured graphic details of the alleged assaults.

At the time, Municipal Court Judge Dawn Segal said, “If this is proven, I think it is despicable what Mr. Wilson did.”

Wilson’s defense attorney at the time sought to have the $7.5 million bail reduced, but the request was denied.

Editor’s note: NewsWorks incorrectly reported the length of the delay for the start of the trial. NewsWorks regrets the error and will follow up on Wilson’s case on Feb. 2.

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