Wenatchee Bible Study Leader Accused Of Rape Free On Reduced Bail, Pleads Not Guilty
A Wenatchee bible study leader charged with rape is free after posting bail that was reduced from $1 million to $750,000.
An attorney for 69-year-old Michael Edward Wilson filed for the reduced bail Friday and a judge granted the request Monday with conditions.
That same day, Wilson pleaded not guilty to nine charges related to the sexual assault of a 22-year-old man in 2020 and 2021 and a 24-year-old man in 2020.
Both men say they knew Wilson through bible studies held at his residence on Burchvale Road.
Among the conditions for release are the stipulation he have no visitors at his home without adult knowledge of his criminal charges, and the requirement he be accompanied by someone aware of the charges when attending religious services.
He is also banned from offering individual pastoral care inside his home, one-on-one counseling or pastoral care at a private residence, and is forbidden from having contact with a group of 15 people.
Wilson's attorney noted his lack of criminal history as well as his steady employment and community ties in arguing for a reduced bail.
In a Motion to Reduce Bail document, the attorney states that Wilson retired from the Wenatchee School District in 2019, having worked as a counselor to middle school students making the transition to high school.
The document also says he's lived in Wenatchee since 1986 where he's raised five kids, much of the time raising kids after his wife’s death in 2007.
It says that before his time with the Wenatchee School District, Wilson was a clergyman at Wenatchee Free Methodist Church. That church is now known as Sage Hills Church.
The Motion to Reduce Bail document does not specify if Wilson is now associated with Sage Hills, or any church in Wenatchee.
Wilson has a series of hearings in December, including a motion hearing on Dec. 21. His trial is set to begin on Jan. 10 in Chelan County Superior Court.
The most serious the nine charges against Wilson are 2nd Degree Rape and two counts of Attempted 2nd Degree Rape, which both carry a maximum penalty of Life in Prison and/or a $50,000 fine.
He's also charged with 3rd Degree Rape, 2nd Degree Assault, two counts of 4th Degree Assault, Indecent Liberties and 1st Degree Voyeurism.