GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A self-proclaimed pastor who faces life in prison for allegedly sexually assaulting children denied the allegations in an interview from jail.
Joseph Allen Cahill, 37, is accused of sexually assaulting one victim nearly 20 years ago in Wyoming, when he was 18 and the alleged victim was 10. The second case is from five to seven years ago on Grand Rapids’ West Side and involves a victim younger than 13.
In a Tuesday video call from the Kent County jail, Cahill claimed he was in foster homes, juvenile detention and a youth home in northern Michigan at the time of the allegations from 20 years ago.
“What I want people to know is that I’m not some terrible guy as I’m being portrayed,” Cahill said. “I know I ain’t got money to fight the case.”
He told News 8 that he came to the ministry after a life of crime and witchcraft. He said he studied online and was ordained at a home in Kentwood six years ago as part of an organization called Word of Faith Apostolic Fellowship International. He said he worked in churches out of state and has not worked with a congregation in West Michigan.
Cahill said as a result of the publicity of the case, he is being targeted in jail and his career as a pastor has been damaged, though he plans to attend seminary once he gets out.
He remains in jail as a repeat offender on five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. His defense attorney is seeking a psychiatric exam.