WENATCHEE — A longtime pastor accused of rape and other sex offenses against members of his Bible study group is free from jail.
Michael Edward Wilson, 69, of Wenatchee left the Chelan County Regional Justice Center on Monday after posting $750,000 bond — an amount that was reduced from $1 million by Superior Court Judge Robert Jourdan during an arraignment hearing. Wilson's attorney Brandon Redal cited Wilson's lack of prior felonies and connections to the community in arguing for the lower bail.
Wenatchee police say Wilson sexually abused two young adult men in the Bible study group that he led in his Sunnyslope home. At the Monday arraignment, deputy prosecutor Julia Hartnett told Jourdan a third alleged victim has come forward since Wilson was arrested Nov. 8, and the investigation is continuing.
Wilson, who previously worked as a youth pastor and was an academic counselor with the Wenatchee School District until 2019, is charged with seven felony sex offenses — second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree attempted rape, third-degree rape, indecent liberties, second-degree assault and first-degree voyeurism — and two counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, a gross misdemeanor.
Wilson faces another court hearing in December and a Jan. 10 trial date. Judge Kristin Ferrera, who set Wilson's release conditions in a second hearing Monday after he posted the new bail amount, ordered him not to provide pastoral service in his home, and not to attend religious services without accompaniment.
Social media links have connected Wilson with Wenatchee's Grace City Church as recently as 2017, and Ferrera's release order bars him from contact with 15 people who might act as potential witnesses in the case, including at least one member of the church's pastoral staff. Redal told NCWLIFE today he's not certain what church Wilson currently attends, but said his client is "not active" with Grace City.
In an email Tuesday evening, Grace City Church media liaison Luke Ellington told NCWLIFE, "Mike Wilson has never been on staff at Grace City Church, whatever group he was leading was not connected to Grace City, and he stopped attending Grace City a few years ago.
"We're grieved by the situation and praying for all involved," Ellington wrote.