ATLANTA — Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) described a report about mistreatment of children at a church camp that her opponent, Democrat Rev. Raphael Warnock, oversaw in the early 2000s as “disgusting” and said “it should be disqualifying” for his Senate candidacy, providing her remarks in an exclusive interview Monday with Breitbart News.
“What we’ve learned today is really very sad. It’s disgusting, should be disqualifying for serving in the U.S. Senate,” Loeffler said shortly after the Washington Free Beacon published report of one of the camp’s attendees recounting his experience there.
The attendee, Anthony Washington, who was 12 years old at the time, said he received a financial settlement after filing a lawsuit against the camp alleging child abuse, including an instance of counselors pouring urine on him and punishing him by forcing him to sleep outside.
Warnock, who is seeking to unseat Loeffler in Georgia’s January 5 Senate runoff election, served as senior pastor of Baltimore’s Douglas Memorial Community Church, which ran Camp Farthest Out, from about 2001 to 2005. The camp was suspected of child abuse in 2002, and according to a 2002 report by the Baltimore Sun, Warnock was arrested for interfering with a state trooper who was questioning the camp’s counselors on the matter.
Warnock said in his recent debate with Loeffler that he was “trying to make sure that young people who were being questioned by law enforcement had the benefit of counsel,” although the state trooper had said in a police report that counselors being questioned had consented to the interviews after being told they could leave at any time and had no obligation to answer the questions.
Loeffler told Breitbart News she has not received an answer from Warnock about the nature of the child abuse allegations made against the camp but said “her heart goes out to” Washington after Washington went on record about his time there.
“First let me say that my heart goes out to the victim that has talked about this publicly, goes out to all victims impacted by child abuse; this is a very serious issue. … This victim said that [Warnock] was one of the leaders of the camp, and this camp was subsequently shut down, and Raphael Warnock left that church after this, and so I think that Georgians deserve those answers, and I’m glad that we’ve finally started to uncover what happened there.”
Several entities investigated the camp for child abuse between 2002–2003, according to the Free Beacon, and while no reports of abuse were publicly confirmed, Maryland’s Health Department discovered health and safety violations and found that the camp failed to report child abuse allegations to Social Services. The Health Department shut down the camp in 2003.
Loffler lamented that Warnock is not being pressed by media to answer questions about his time overseeing the camp, or about a police-involved domestic dispute he had with his wife, or about some of his more controversial political positions.
Loeffler said, “The mainstream media won’t ask these questions of him. He’s refused to answer these questions, questions about domestic abuse. … I’ve asked him if he would denounce Marxism and socialism; he won’t answer those questions. And he won’t answer a simple question about, ‘Will you pack the Supreme Court, will you support that?’”
She added, “These are answers that Georgians need to know.”
Write to Ashley Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.