District Attorney: No charges in alleged ‘pray the gay away’ Blackwell church assault

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BLACKWELL, Okla. (KFOR) – Three months after a man said he was assaulted by a church congregation because he is gay, authorities announced there won’t be any criminal charges filed.

“I was like, wow, really?” said Sean Cormie. “I’m just disappointed. I don’t know what to think.”

But Cormie said he does know that what happened to him and his partner at the First Assembly of God in Blackwell was not just morally wrong, he believes it was criminal.

In September, Cormie told police that at the end of the service, members of the congregation, including his family, pinned him down against his will and struck him as they prayed to make him straight.

“I was hit in the face, I had a bruised eye, scratches,” Cormie said.

It was a traumatic experience that received national attention.

“It happened, and I’m just sad it happened that way,” Cormie said. “I wish the light and the love that God showed, that they would just pray over me and let me go, and let me go about my day, and none of this would even have come about.”

Cormie wanted to press charges but learned District Attorney Brian Hermanson isn’t going to, saying in a statement in part:

“After examining the thorough investigation conducted by Blackwell officers, no charges will be filed against the named suspects. Inconsistent eyewitness accounts create reasonable doubt as to the validity of the allegations. Since we are tasked with proving all cases ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ we are prohibited from filing criminal charges, which cannot meet that burden.”

Blackwell Police Chief Dewayne Wood also provided a statement, saying:

“I think our officers did a good job of tracking down the witnesses that observed the incident. We put everyone’s recollection of the event on paper for the District Attorney’s review, and I agree with the decision.”

But Cormie said if that’s the case, he doesn’t believe the witnesses were honest about what happened.

“Most of them were probably all coming together and just lying, putting lies together and going with one story just to put a bad impression on my face,” he said.

While he said he’s forgiven his family, he said he still thinks there should be justice for what he’s calling a hate crime.

Now he’s considering getting a lawyer for a civil suit.

“I forgive them, I love them, but there will be a judgment through God’s way,” Cormie said, “not my way.”

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