Past accuser can testify

Molest: Manhattan minister to stand trial for allegedly molesting teen boy from his church

Last Modified:
2:15 a.m. 10/12/2001

By Chris Grenz
The Capital-Journal

MANHATTAN -- A judge ruled Thursday that a man who was allegedly molested years ago by a Manhattan minister will be allowed to testify at the minister's trial, where he will face charges that he molested a teen-age boy.

Brian N. Savage, of Manhattan, was bound over for trial in July. He faces two counts of aggravated criminal sodomy, two counts of criminal sodomy, two counts of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child and one count of aggravated indecent liberties with a child.

According to court records, Savage, 44, met the then-13-year-old victim at the Seventh Day Adventist church in Manhattan where Savage was a pastor and the victim attended. Savage took on a fatherly role, according to court documents.

After a relationship developed, Savage began engaging in sexual acts with the boy, the records say. In at least one instance, Savage gave the boy $100 for oral sex. Some of the molestation took place at the church.

Court records say Savage and the boy traded e-mails in which Savage wrote, "You are like a son to me," and signed them, "Love Dad."

On Thursday, Judge Paul Miller ruled he will allow a witness to testify about other acts of molestation allegedly committed by Savage. The man, who was 13 when he was allegedly molested, is now 23.

Court documents say the other man met Savage at the Enid, Okla., Seventh Day Adventist church where Savage was pastor. Savage invited the boy to live with him and Savage soon began molesting him, records say.

In court, Brenda Jordan, assistant Riley County attorney, argued the other man's testimony would be important in the new criminal case.

"In both situations, the defendant utilized his position as the pastor of the church to target a young boy who he would then befriend and begin to abuse sexually," Jordan wrote in her motion.

Also, because the older victim is now active duty military, Jordan asked that he be allowed to give a sworn deposition before the trial in the event that he is overseas and unable to testify during the trial. The judge granted that motion.

The judge denied a defense motion filed by Savage's attorney, Barry A. Clark, of Manhattan, seeking to suppress evidence gathered during a search of Savage's home. The search was prompted when the alleged victim's mother became concerned about her son's relationship with Savage, court records said. During the search, authorities found sexually explicit pictures of young men engaging in sexual activity. They also seized Savage's computer, which contained e-mails Savage traded with the teenager.

According to court records, in one e-mail intercepted by a detective, Savage wrote: "I know you can use a computer and can read. Do you still know how to write? Please tell me something, anything. I love you a lot. It's hard for me to hear nothing back and wonder if you still love me."

A trial is set to begin in Riley County District Court on Jan. 15. Savage faces related charges for other acts of molestation with the same victim in Geary and Pottawatomie counties. A trial is set to begin in Pottawatomie County on Jan 29.

Chris Grenz can be reached at (785) 295-1190 or

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