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Lutheran Church launching investigation of Sask. pastor accused of anonymously harassing a woman online

Lutheran Church–Canada has positioned a Saskatchewan pastor on depart because it initiates an investigation into allegations that he has been secretly utilizing social media to assault a Saskatoon woman.

On Wednesday, the church confirmed on its web site that, “Rev. Todd Guggenmos has been publicly accused of harassing an individual online through an anonymous Twitter account.” Guggenmos is the pastor of the Triune Lutheran Parish positioned in Langenburg, Landestreu and MacNutt, Sask.

“We have also received a screenshot of a tweet alleged to have come from the account which condones sexual relationships between adults and minors,” the church’s assertion stated.

The church stated it’s now within the course of of hiring an exterior investigator to look at the allegations.

“Lutheran Church–Canada holds its pastors to a high moral standard and takes such allegations seriously,” the assertion says. “No person deserves to face harassment, as alleged in these complaints. And our church body strongly condemns pedophilia.”

When requested concerning the allegations, Guggenmos replied by electronic mail. 

“I did not write any tweet about sex between minors and adults,” he wrote.

He didn’t immediately deal with the allegation that he harassed a woman utilizing an nameless Twitter account.

“I look forward to the report from the investigator on these allegations that have been made against me.”

Until his suspension, Rev. Todd Guggenmos served a number of rural Lutheran congregations in Saskatchewan. (Lutheran-church-regina.com)

The allegations had been made by Tammy Robert, a distinguished Saskatoon communications guide and outspoken online political commentator who isn’t any stranger to online battle. 

Robert alleged that for nearly two years she had been focused by somebody utilizing the Twitter deal with @notTammyR.

“The tweets from that account have been breathtakingly vile,” she wrote in a weblog. “Vicious personal attacks on myself and other Saskatchewan residents, particularly women.”

Several different Twitter customers are additionally claiming that @notTammyR has been harassing them.

One of them is Tenille Lafontaine of Regina. She says that whereas she’s not sure who’s behind the account, she does know that the individual has been aggressively focusing on her.

In a collection of tweets, she stated that she has complained to Twitter concerning the account and the corporate has agreed that @notTammyR violated the foundations. But that did not cease the conduct.

Tenille Lafontain says she has made a number of complaints to Twitter concerning the behaviour of @notTammyR however the abusive conduct has continued. (Twitter/Tenille Lafontaine)

“The person behind the account violated twitter’s rules against abuse and harassment over and over but was never removed until the owner closed it this week after realizing he was outed. TWO. YEARS.,” she wrote.

Robert believes @notTammyR run by Guggenmos

In her weblog put up, Robert stated she did not know who was behind the account till some “enterprising sleuths” supplied proof that prompt the individual behind the account was Guggenmos.

Robert stated the “sleuths” got here throughout a put up on Facebook during which some associates of the pastor appeared to have “outed the Reverend Guggenmos by name as the man behind the @notTammyR mask.”

She stated when initially confronted, Guggenmos denied that he was behind the @notTammyR. 

She says that shortly after that confrontation, each Guggenmos’s private Twitter account and the @notTammyR account had been deleted “simultaneously.” 

A Google search brings up a Twitter account referred to as @ToddGugg which says it belongs to Todd Guggenmos, “Lutheran Pastor in Sask.” The account seems to have been deleted, as has the @notTammyR account.

Robert says she believes that the actual fact each accounts had been deleted at about the identical time “is a dead giveaway” that Guggenmos was behind them each.

Tammy Robert says the individual behind @notTammyR has been harassing her for years. (Twitter/Tammy Robert)

Investigation being launched

In an electronic mail to Robert, Rev. Timothy Teuscher, president of Lutheran Church–Canada, thanked Robert for elevating her issues.

“We anticipate that the investigator will wish to contact you as part of their investigation,” he wrote.

In a followup weblog put up, Robert responded to information of the investigation by publishing an open letter to Guggenmos.

“The only way you get out of this and keep your job is to admit what you did, genuinely apologize to me, your congregation and everyone else you’ve hurt with your behaviour over the years, then get the professional help you clearly need,” she wrote.

“I have never met you. Your hatred for me is misdirected, irrational and not worth losing your job over.”

In a March 25, 2021, prayer posted on YouTube, Guggenmos made reference to conflicts on social media.

He stated God’s mercy extends to all individuals — “to progressives and to nationalists to your neighbour whose dog keeps getting into your trash and that person whose social media posts get under your skin.” 

It’s unclear when the investigation might be accomplished.

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