Pastor does not view son-in-law as pedophile
A SUNSHINE Coast senior pastor has denied a personal relationship "blinded" him from signs his now son-in-law was acting inappropriately with a young boy attending their church.
Ian Lehmann testified at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse he did not ignore a church member's concerns.
The church's youth pastor, Jonathan Baldwin, was dating Mr Lehmann's daughter when worried pastoral staff told Mr Lehmann that Baldwin was spending too much time with the boy.
Baldwin went on to marry Mr Lehmann's daughter.
Mr Lehmann said he acted on the pastoral staff's concerns and cautioned Baldwin three times about his behaviour, but Baldwin told him he was simply mentoring the boy.
Baldwin was later jailed for 10 counts of sexually abusing the boy from 2004 to 2006 when the boy was aged 13 to 15 years old.
The commission heard the abuse occurred on and off church premises and continued after Baldwin married.
The boy's father testified a church member told him she gave Mr Lehmann numerous examples of Baldwin's behaviour - from constantly texting the boy to pulling each other's nipples.
The woman said Baldwin locked himself in his office with the boy, whose name has been suppressed, while there was a mattress in there.
Mr Lehmann denied being told about the incidents.
The boy's father also approached the umbrella group of the Sunshine Coast church, which cannot be named to protect the boy's identity, and other Pentecostal churches - Australian Christian Churches.
He emailed the ACC because the family received "deafening silence" instead of support from the group before and after the trial.
"I had a son who had been proven innocent but he was still tearing his heart out," he said.
Baldwin is no longer in jail, but is still in a relationship with Mr Lehmann's daughter.
Mr Lehmann testified he did not view his son-in-law as a pedophile.
"I have two grandsons by him, a third one about to be born," Mr Lehmann said.
"If I believe he is a pedophile then I've got to face the reality that our three grandsons are at great risk."
The public hearing continues.
- APN NEWSDESK