Community protests alleged sexual abuse at VA Calvary Temple

Sterling, Va. -- Nearly 100 demonstrators peacefully protested outside of a Pentecostal church in Sterling claiming sexual abuse and brainwashing.

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office confirms they have recently reopened the case of alleged sexual abuse at Calvary Temple Ministries, a decade after they closed a case involving similar accusations.

Former church members and residents nearby are using the hashtag: #ExposeCalvaryTemple to spread their message and standing outside of the church to protest.

They claim the church is a cult. They say members need to be rescued, which includes their loved ones.

Shelley Shultz hasn't been back to the church for more than a decade, until Sunday. She joined dozens of other protesters wanting Calvary Temple Church closed because of alleged abuse and what she claims happened to her.

"I think when you get out you want to run. You want to get away. I was abused by one of the teachers. Once a week. He would take me somewhere and park the car," Shultz said.

The abuse claims are not only sexual or isolated.

"I was told I was ugly, worthless, fat, anything they can think of and they would do it in front of my peers," added Cynthia Azat an ex Calvary Temple member.

Alleged victims say brainwashing is rampant and has torn apart families.

"They're taught that if they leave they will not have a relationship with God because no one teaches the standards they teach," Azat said.

But those who have left have sacrificed contact with loved ones.

"I left six years ago and they told me you forfeit your wife and son," explained John Miuccio.

Andrew Lawrence watched his two- and four-year-old daughters walk into church while protesting. When he left the church, his parents stopped talking to him, his wife left him and he is now fighting custody of his children.

"I want them out, I want them free, and right now what they're getting ready to have in there is being told everything out here is Satan they're getting brainwashed every time they walk in there," Lawrence said.

When WUSA9's Surae Chinn and her photographer tried to talk to church leadership they said they had no statement and were told recording is prohibited.

They were greeted by several men in the lobby and escorted into service where Pastor Star Scott addressed the congregation and said the protesters outside were people who were making allegations and nothing more.

"I would love to see them free and all the children who are abused be free," Azat said.

Roughly 350 people make up Calvary Temple's congregation.