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Former San Jose Youth Pastor Charged With Multiple Sex Crimes After Years of Parental Complaints

While the church has been cooperating with the police department’s investigation, The River stated, “Our previous employment reviews identified performance deficiencies leading to Mr. Bymaster’s departure in 2019.”

“The subsequent 2021 pastoral inquiry further resulted in numerous substantive findings of inappropriate and unprofessional conduct by Mr. Bymaster,” the church added.

Brett Bymaster’s Family Maintains His Innocence

Bymaster left The River in 2019. His attorneys argued that his “Christian values were more conservative than those of the members of The River church. As a result, he was not a good theological or cultural fit for that institution.”

Since leaving the church, Bymaster has served as the executive director of Healing Grove Health Center in San Jose. A representative from the clinic told KRON4, “Mr. Bymaster has been placed on unpaid leave pending outcome of the investigation. We have no further information at this time.”

Dr. Angela Bymaster, Brett Bymaster’s wife, is on staff as a family physician at Healing Grove Health Center, the same clinic from which Bymaster is now on leave.

“Brett is a kind and honest man who has dedicated his life to helping others,” Angela Bymaster told ABC 7 News. “This outrageous accusation against my husband [is] penitently [sic] false. He is absolutely innocent. I have faith that the truth will ultimately prevail.”

Matthew Gatkuch, the Bymasters’ adopted son from Sudan, also spoke with ABC 7 to defend his father. Gatkuch claims that the accusers are targeting Bymaster because of the good work that he does.

“A man cannot go and adopt a Black kid like us, you know. So he didn’t do nothing wrong,” said Gatkuch. “People are lying to ruin his career because he is winning and he is a Christian guy.”

When ABC 7 reporter J.R. Stone pointed out that the allegations of sexual abuse across multiple years were quite significant, Gatkuch replied, “That’s a big allegation, but they’re lying ’cause he is a youth pastor helping everybody.”

Law enforcement is asking anyone with information regarding the case to come forward.