Convicted Child Sex Offender EMBRACED At Human Rights Campaign Event In North Carolina

By Jennifer Wentworth | Sunday, 18 February 2024 01:50 PM
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The Human Rights Campaign of North Carolina has come under scrutiny for inviting a convicted child sex offender to its annual gala, according to Reduxx.

Chad Severance-Turner, who is listed on the sex offender registry, was seen at the "Without Exception" gala on February 10, an event sponsored by Bank of America.

Severance-Turner, 47, is currently the CEO of the Carolina LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce. He previously served as a youth minister and music director, roles he held during the time of his offenses at the New Harvest Church of God in Gaffney, South Carolina.

In 2000, Severance-Turner was sentenced to a decade in prison for committing lewd acts on a minor under 16. However, he only served two years before a judge granted his parole, as reported by Reduxx.

The victims, all of whom were between 14 and 15 years old, came forward about the abuse when Severance-Turner was the music director at the church. Despite multiple allegations, Severance-Turner was convicted on only one of the offenses, which took place in 1998.

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Court documents reveal the incident for which Severance-Turner was found guilty involved inappropriate touching of a 14-year-old male. The victim testified that Severance-Turner invited him to a sleepover at his house near Bessemer City, North Carolina, where he made frequent sexual comments and questioned the boy about his feelings towards a man performing oral sex on him.

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In another incident, the victim awoke to find Severance-Turner fondling him during a sleepover at another alleged victim's house following a revival meeting. A second victim, aged 15, reported that Severance-Turner showed him a pornographic video at his home and later fondled him while they shared a bed. A third alleged victim, also 15, claimed that Severance-Turner made similar advances on him over a three-week period while staying at the boy's house.

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Following his prison sentence, Severance-Turner became a prominent figure in Charlotte's LGBTQ community. He was elected President of the city's LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce in 2012, but resigned in 2016 when his criminal conviction became public knowledge. He returned to the group in 2021 as CEO.

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In 2015, Severance-Turner was named "Person of the Year" by LGBTQ magazine Q Notes. However, his reputation suffered a blow last summer when Charlotte Pride rescinded his nomination for the Harvey Milk Award after his child sex offenses were brought to public attention.

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