Community members hold protest after pastor’s comments about sexual assault victims

Residents in Monroe continued their protests on Sunday over comments a local pastor made concerning victims of sexual assault.

Bobby Leonard has been the pastor of Bible Baptist Tabernacle Church on Walkup Avenue for more than four decades.

In his latest sermon, Leonard said women make themselves targets for assault based on how they dress.

This comment led to outrage from members of the community and Sunday’s protest.

“I would just like to give a voice to the woman, the little girl who is being brought up in this, who is being assaulted or abused,” Leslie Shlappich, a Union County resident, said. “It is not your fault; you are not responsible.”

Anson County resident Jacob Bowlin was pleasantly surprised by the community’s response.

“I like to see people coming out and standing up for what’s right,” Bowlin said. “The bottom line is that what’s right is right no matter how many people are doing it, and what’s wrong is wrong no matter how many people are doing it.”

Leonard has since offered a public apology for his comments.

(WATCH BELOW: Pastor apologizes after remarks during sermon about sexual assault)