A man who accused a North Carolina church of holding him against his will and abusing him because he’s gay has recanted. He says he lied about the church violence and about being gay.
Twenty-two-year-old Michael Lowry told The Associated Press he was sorry for making accusations against the Word of Faith Fellowship.
In a prior interview with AP, Lowry had said he fled after the church confined him to a locked building on church grounds because he was gay. He also had claimed that from August 2011 to November 2011 he was taken to the building and beaten and abused, part of his “ex-gay” treatment.
Rutherfordton County Sheriff’s Detective Sergeant Jamie Keever said he has met with Lowry and the investigation is continuing. Lowry could face charges associated with filing a false report.
The district attorney presented the case to a grand jury, but it’s unclear what will happen next.
Lowry filed his complaint against the church last year, with support from a group called Faith in America, which said Lowry was the victim of a hate crime.
Lowry’s was not the first complaint against the church that was founded in 1979 by Sam and Jane Whaley. The church has been accused for years of enforcing extensive control over congregants.