A family representative of an alleged child sex abuse victim spoke exclusively to FOX40, after the alleged abuser appeared in Sacramento County Court earlier this week.
Kareem Abdul Mitchell, 42, is the minister of music for the New Testament Baptist Church Choir in North Highlands. He is accused of sodomy, oral copulation, and other sex acts on a then 16-year-old boy between 2005 and 2008.
A woman who said she is representing the victim’s family told us Mitchell allegedly has a “type.”
“They are usually good looking African American children, males, and usually there is not a father present in the home, and those were the type of kids he targeted,” the woman said.
She said the victim’s father had passed away at an early age, and he sought after a father figure.
Mitchell allegedly invited choir boys to his home for dinners and sleepovers, committing sex acts disguised as wrestling matches.
She said at the time, the family was unaware of the alleged crimes, but did realize the victim was intent on getting away from Sacramento as soon as he could.
She said the victim studied hard, became the Valedictorian on his High School, moved to Los Angeles, and eventually became the first in his family to go to a university.
“In his mind, he felt that he escaped it by leaving Sacramento. Not knowing he was still being held hostage by it all those years,” she said.
For the next eight years, the victim struggled with emotional and social anxiety. he went to counseling for years, until last August, he finally opened up.
“Because of years of therapy, he gathered the strength to talk about it,” she said. “The family asked, ‘What does he want to do about it now?’ And his response was ‘I don’t want any other child to go through this.’ So the family them tried to reach out to the church. So when I called, the response I expected is, ‘I am so sorry, let me look into this right away.'”
Instead, what the family got they said was unbelievable.
“I was called back by a woman named Evelyn Fraizer, who was the chairman of the trustee board at the church, and when I told her what the victim had said, she said, ‘I really want to know what the statute of limitations are and then she went on to ask me ‘was the victim gay?'”
Fox 40 visited Evelyn Fraizer’s last known address to confirm. A woman who said she knew Fraizer answered the door, and tried to answer our questions. By the second question, she slammed the door.
A few months shy of when the statute of limitations were up, the family filed both a criminal suit against Mitchell and a civil suit against the church.
The representative believed the church is covering for Mitchell.
“They have allowed this man to be a father figure to a number of young men, young African American males in that church, under the guise of there is no father figure, so let him be one, all the time, sexually assaulting these kids,” she said.
The long running “Voices of New testament” youth choir led by Mitchell apparently disbanded sometime last year. Now victims’ families are wondering if that was the church’s way of slowly, but quietly acknowledging the problem, and get Mitchell away from teenagers.
The victim’s family said they are relieved Mitchell remains in custody. But it will be a long road until they can forgive Mitchell.
“When you say forgive, there is a lot that comes with that, so I can honestly say no,” she said. “But do I want this man to get help? Yes. Do I want this man to stop abusing children? Yes. Do I want him to pay for what he has done? Absolutely. But past that, I have no other feelings.”
The Sacramento Police Department is asking for other potential victims to come forward. Mitchell’s next court appearance is February 11, 2015.