Sen. Kelly Loeffler seized on an explosive story Monday that included an interview with a man who said he was 12 years old when he was abused at a church camp that was overseen by Rev. Raphael Warnock, who she is facing in a runoff election that will determine what party controls the Senate.
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Loeffler tweeted that her opponent “has refused to answer any questions about the child abuse that occurred at his camp & why he obstructed the investigation—and now we know why. This is sickening, terrifying, and disqualifying.”
The Washington Free Beacon interviewed Anthony Washington, now 30, who said that in 2002, counselors at Camp Farthest Out would toss urine on him and lock him outside his cabin during entire nights. He told the paper that he sued and settled with the camp a few years later. The paper said Washington seemed surprised that Warnock was a viable candidate for the U.S. Senate and said, “I don’t think nobody like [Warnock] should be running for damn Senate nowhere, running a camp like that. He should not be running for government.”
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The New York Post reported that the 2002 incident did not result in charges and law enforcement called it a “miscommunication.” Warnock told the Baltimore Sun at the time that the camp “cooperated fully” with the investigation and has nothing to hide. The Post reached out to Warnock about the report and did not get an immediate comment.
The Free Beacon’s report said that the counselors at the camp were in their early 20s. Washington said he once wet his bed at camp and was forced to sleep at an outdoor basketball court. Counselors tossed urine from a bucket onto him, he said. The paper reported that several state agencies at the time looked into allegations of child abuse at the camp and – in 2002—it was denied a certificate to operate as a youth camp.
The Free Beacon’s story went viral, and Warnock is yet to acknowledge the report on Twitter. Warnock has also been criticized for deflecting questions about a police video after a dispute he had with his wife in March.
Ouleye Ndoye, his ex-wife, could be heard telling police in the video that he is a “great actor” and “Phenomenal at putting on a really good show.” Warnock denied that he intentionally ran over her foot and said that Ndoye was preventing him from closing his car door.
“I don’t want to get into a shoving match with her. So I go back around, get back in the car, and I slowly start to move, like I’m gonna move forward. Then she claims I ran over her foot,” Warnock told the officer.