Updated Aug. 26, at 9:55 a.m.

Church says it did not post bail for Erickson

Bail was posted by Erickson’s wife

Lori and John Janczewski told the Glenn Beck radio show that Prince of Peace Lutheran Church posted bond for former West Branch-Rose City teacher Neal Erickson. The congregation council at the church says that is not true.
Lori and John Janczewski told the Glenn Beck radio show that Prince of Peace Lutheran Church posted bond for former West Branch-Rose City teacher Neal Erickson. The congregation council at the church says that is not true. File Photo
8/23/13

ROSE CITY — The congregation council of a Rose City church accused on the Glenn Beck radio program Aug. 19 of posting bail for former teacher Neal Erickson says the accusation is false.

Neal Erickson was sentenced to 15-30 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct after he admitted to engaging in sex acts with a former student.

The victim’s parents, John and Lori Janczewski, were guests on conservative talk show host Glenn Beck’s radio show Aug. 19. During the program, John Janczewski accused the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Rose City of posting bail for Erickson.

“Could you believe a church posted bail for him?” John Janczewski asked Beck. “A church just down the road from my house?”

“John, move to Texas,” Beck responded. “Move to Texas, man.”

However, in a statement issued Aug. 23 by the church, the congregation council says it did not post bail for Neal Erickson.

“We wish to inform the community (and Mr. Beck) that our congregation did not post his bail, nor were any church funds ever used to assist Mr. Erickson,” the statement reads. “The statement made on Mr. Beck’s program was untrue, and his staff has been made aware of that fact.”

“It has further been indicated in follow-up comments to that show on various online discussions that our congregation held fundraising events for Mr. Erickson,” the statement continues. “Again, these statements are not true. No fundraising events for Mr. Erickson have been held by this congregation.”

The Ogemaw County Clerk’s office told the Herald Aug. 26 that Neal Erickson’s bond was posted by Toni Erickson, Neal Erickson’s wife.

John Janczewski told the Herald Aug. 23 that he did not remember who told him that the church posted bond — he and his wife couldn’t recall.

“For the life of me, I cannot remember,” he said. “With all we’ve got going on, we don’t remember. I know it’s one of four people that told us. I really have to think back.”

John Janczewski also related another story he told Beck during his radio interview. He said the church’s pastor came into his place of business, and John Janczewski asked him for help.

“I said, ‘I’m losing my faith in God. My wife has cancer. I have MS. My son was molested. Can I talk to you?’” John Janczewski said. “His reply to me: ‘I’m going on a cruise for two weeks. I’ll call you when I get back.’ Don’t you think it’s been a long two weeks?”

“That’s a true story,” John Janczewski said. “The posting bail is also true. I cannot remember who told me.”

A story posted Aug. 19 Beck’s website, www.theblaze.com, also states that the church posted bail for Neal Erickson. Several people in the comments following the story criticize the church.

“I’m surprised the church is still standing,” says one post.

“The Lutheran church needs to revisit their faith,” another post says. “How un-godly this church must be.”