In the spring of 1998, 18-year-old Jules Woodson and 22-year-old Andy Savage were hanging out together with other kids from church in The Woodlands, Texas. Savage was "an adult in a position of power" with the church, and Woodson says he used this power to sexually take advantage of her.
In a blog post, Woodson revealed the assault and called out the now-pastor by name. As it got late and dark, Savage and Woodson were left alone, and he offered her a ride to her mother's house.
"As he was driving me towards my home, he passed the turn he should have made to go to my house. I asked him where he was going. I don't remember his exact response," Woodson wrote. "But it was "something along the lines of 'you'll see,' or 'it's a surprise.' I assumed we were going to get ice cream."
Instead, he drove them to the end of a dirt road, parked the truck, turned off the headlights, and exposed himself to the young girl. Savage requested oral sex from the girl, and she obliged.
"I was scared and embarrassed, but I did it," she wrote. "I remember feeling that this must mean that Andy loved me. He then asked me to unbutton my shirt. I did," saying Savage also began fondling her breasts.
After a few minutes, Woodson says Savage abruptly stopped and got out of the truck. He ran to her side of the vehicle, got on his knees, and begged her to keep it a secret.
"Oh my god, I'm so sorry. You can't tell anyone Jules, please. You have to take this to the grave with you," she wrote. "The secret quickly began to eat away at my soul. I couldn't concentrate at school," she said, and ended up reporting Savage to an associate pastor at the church.
His response: "So you're telling me you participated?"
"Every ounce of courage I had gathered, to walk in there and tell Larry the truth about what had happened to me, left in an instant," Woodson wrote. "I knew I had broken the rules of silence and that there would be consequences to my actions."
Savage ended up leaving the church, with the only explanation being that he made a "poor decision." Woodson found herself left hurt, angry, and confused.
After the blog post was released, Andy Savage issued a statement, and it left his congregation on their feet.