Monday, April 6, 2009

Greg Tatton Arrested

June 25, 2009 UPDATE

Original Post

Former Sonoma Valley soccer coach arrested on sex charges

Published: Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 11:48 p.m.

A former Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer Association coach was in jail Sunday night on charges of having a sexual relationship with a teenage girl on his team.

Gregory Vance Tatton, 43, was arrested late Friday in West Hollywood after a lengthy investigation by Sonoma County Sheriff’s deputies.

The investigation began in November 2007, Sgt. Dave Thompson said. At that time, Tatton was suspected of having ongoing sexual relationships with players on his girls’ under-17 traveling soccer team based out of the Sonoma Valley area, Thompson said.

Thompson and another coach described Tatton as a manipulative character who controlled his players and their parents during his more than five years as a coach.

“He would groom people so he could take advantage of them,” Thompson said.

The allegations of sexual misconduct emerged after parents filed a complaint with the California Youth Soccer Association’s northern section in early November 2007, according to a soccer league spokeswoman.

Later that month, the association revoked Tatton’s coaching license and banned him for life. It issued a letter accusing Tatton of “inappropriate interactions with female players under the age of 18 years on multiple occasions.”

Only weeks before the accusations surfaced, Tatton had been charged with a felony for falsifying the registration stickers on his vehicle. That felony charge led the Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer Association, which is a member of the larger California association, to automatically suspend the coach, said Vikki Griggs-Demmin, vice president of the Sonoma Valley association.

As news of his falsified registration stickers spread, other allegations of improper conduct began percolating up, Griggs-Demmin said.

“After that, people were more inclined to believe this was a dishonest person.”

Still, many parents and players were in disbelief, she said.

“He was a coach who inspired a lot of loyalty among his players and the parents,” she said.

Tatton had two daughters who played in the league, Griggs-Demmin said.

Tatton, who joined the Sonoma Valley soccer association in 2002, worked his way up from assistant coach to head coach of the elite traveling teams. He applied for the job held by Pamela Wiley, who is head coach of the girls soccer team at Sonoma Valley High School.

Wiley was forced to fight for her job after parents began urging the high school to appoint Tatton as head coach, Wiley said. She had been a board member at the Sonoma Valley soccer association for 15 years but decided to resign from the board after Tatton, who was also a board member, tried to take her job at the high school, she said.

He had a control over his team that was “unhealthy,” Wiley said. “I couldn’t allow him to take my team,” she said.

The school administration retained Wiley and later that year the allegations about Tatton surfaced.

Sheriff’s deputies opened their 17-month investigation in November 2007, Thompson said.

Detectives recently tracked Tatton to the Los Angeles area, where he was working as a real estate agent, Thompson said. Two deputies were sent to a residence in West Hollywood and arrested Tatton late Friday.

He was booked on five counts of lewd and lascivious crimes against a child ages 14 or 15 when the perpetrator is more than 10 years older, and on five counts of oral copulation with a child under the age of 18, Thompson said. The counts involve a single girl, but investigators believe there are other victims, Thompson said.

“We believe that there are others out there,” he said.

Tatton was held late Sunday in the Los Angeles County Jail in lieu of $150,000 bail.

Tatton was a familiar face in the county’s soccer community. The Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer Association named Tatton “Board Member of the Month” in August 2006 for creating its development program. He coached the boys’ junior varsity soccer team at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley in 2007.

Detectives are still unraveling Tatton’s alleged sexual involvement with under-aged girls. The Sheriff’s Department asked anyone with information about the case to contact Detective Jake Vivian at the Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Unit at 565-7600.

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April 9, 2009 UPDATE

Tatton set to be arraigned Monday

Greg Tatton, the former Sonoma Valley soccer coach arrested April 3 in West Hollywood on charges of molesting a teenage girl on his 2007 select team, is scheduled to be arraigned in Sonoma County Superior Court Monday morning.

Arraignment proceedings involve the formal reading of charges against a defendant and the defendant's responding plea. Tatton, 43, is charged with five counts of oral copulation with a minor under the age of 18, and five counts of performing lewd acts (which include intercourse) with a minor 14 or 15 years old by someone more than 10 years older than the victim. The victim, a Sonoma Valley resident, was a star member of Tatton's elite, under-17 traveling soccer team. She was reportedly 15 and 16 years old when the sexual contact occurred over an eight-month period, mostly during 2007. At least one of the inappropriate sexual contacts occurred during a team soccer trip, according to Sgt. Dave Thompson, head of the Sheriff's Department's Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault unit.

Thompson said Tatton was returned from Southern California by bus Monday night and spent about four hours in the Sonoma County jail before posting bail of $150,000. Thompson said he did not know who posted Tatton's bail, which would have required a $15,000 cash payment. "We were kind of hoping he'd stay in custody," Thompson observed. "We hope he shows up on Monday." Thompson said he doesn't know where Tatton is staying locally. He had been working as a real estate agent in the Los Angeles area when arrested and gave court officials a Los Angeles-area address that Thompson said he believed belonged to Tatton's sister.

A charismatic, successful and highly competitive soccer coach, Tatton held a powerful position with the Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer Association (SVYSA) as a board member and coordinator of the Select Team Program, which oversees the traveling teams. He had a major influence on the girls he coached, many of whom held him in awe and, according to one former player, "had crushes on him." Playing for Tatton was considered by many Valley girls as the ultimate attainment in league soccer.

But on Nov. 6, 2007, Tatton was arrested on Second Street East by an alert deputy who noticed something strange about the date sticker on his license plate. Tatton, it turned out, had used a digital camera to photograph a current registration sticker, then covered the image in plastic and glued it to his license plate. The Toyota Land Cruiser he was driving had not been registered since 2002. The act was classified as fraud and therefore a felony, and Tatton was booked into the Sonoma County jail. The charges were reduced to misdemeanors in court and were later dismissed after Tatton completed a diversion program. But the arrest came to the attention of the SVYSA and on Nov. 12, 2007, the parent board - California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA) - issued an immediate suspension from all soccer-related activities and demanded surrender of his coaching pass.

On Nov. 16, 2007, the unidentified parents of a player on Tatton's under-17 team sent a letter to the District-V CYSA commissioner complaining that Tatton had repeatedly violated CYSA "risk management policies." Tatton's alleged violations including failure to have a valid drivers license, vehicle insurance and registration, and violation of rooming arrangement rules at out-of-town tournaments.

On Dec 7, 2007, the victim's parents, who had once been close friends of Tatton, sought - and were granted - an emergency restraining order barring him from any contact with their daughter. Tatton had allegedly given the girl a cell phone to remain in contact and had more than one secret rendezvous with her outside her home.

On Dec. 16, 2007, a hearing was held by the CYSA Protest, Appeals and Disciplinary Committee and Tatton was invited to testify in his own defense. He declined to appear and did not submit any rebuttal to the charges.

The committee suspended Tatton from all CYSA activities for life due to his "inappropriate interactions with players younger than 18 years of age on multiple occasions." On Dec. 31, 2007, Tatton's team was officially disbanded by newly-elected coordinators of the SVYSA Select Team Program, the group Tatton had formerly controlled.

In late January 2008, the SVYSA board voted to orchestrate a meeting with the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department to cooperate in the investigation of Tatton's behavior.

In the aftermath of the Tatton accusations, SVYSA vice president Vikki Griggs-Demmin released a statement assuring parents and the public that, in addition to the risk management program managed by CYSA, SVYSA has its own protocols and uses a security firm to conduct fingerprint searches on all coaching and program personnel. Griggs-Demmin added that SVYSA also conducts its own review of driver's licenses of all personnel.

In a prepared statement, Griggs-Demmin wrote, "Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the 1,200 Sonoma Valley children who sign up to play soccer with us each year."

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April 10, 2009 UPDATE

Soccer league tightened screening process after coach dismissal
Val Robichaud Special to the Sun

Three months after firing coach Gregory Vance Tatton in 2007 for “inappropriate interactions” with players on his under-17 girls team, the Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer Association added a mandatory fingerprint check to its risk management program Tatton, 43, had been under investigation by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit since leaving the county in early 2008 and was arrested last week in West Hollywood and charged with having molested a 15-year-old player on his team. He was transferred to Sonoma County Jail on Monday, and released Tuesday after posting $150,00 bail. He will face 10 felony counts when arraigned on April 13.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of the 1,200 Sonoma Valley children who sign up to play soccer with us each year,” said Vikki Griggs-Demmin, vice president of the Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer Association, who added that rumors about Tatton had begun to circulate in mid-2007. The concerns were nothing specific but rather in regards to “his unusual hold over his team,” she said. League officials were unsettled to the point that they began actively looking for something factual, a violation of league rules for example, to force Tatton from his position.
That came in November 2007 when Tatton was arrested for tampering with a vehicle registration tag, with alleged intent to defraud. Parents’ concerns then broadened to include “rooming arrangements at out-of-town tournaments,” according to a California Youth Soccer Association chronology.

In December 2007 an emergency order of protection was served on Tatton. He was then banned for life from participation in all CYSA activities, “due to his inappropriate interactions with players younger than 18 years of age on multiple occasions.” The team, which included Tatton’s daughter, was disbanded.

The episode lead the league to revaluate its screening procedures. “There was a flaw in the previous system,” admits Griggs-Demmin. “We needed to institute something more foolproof.”

As part of its own security screening process, the California Youth Soccer Association runs background checks only on random or select applicants, a protocol that had applied to the Sonoma Valley league.

In March 2008, the SVYSA itself hired a firm to fingerprint all coaches, assistant coaches, managers, and directors. “We have a Risk Management Coordinator who is informed when someone’s fingerprints bring up any conviction for a 
serious crime or any arrest for a felony,” according to Griggs-Demmin.

She also said there has been a rededication to “common sense” rules such as players never being alone with an adult, no private meetings or meals and no text messaging. “We rely on parents a great deal,” said Griggs-Demmin, to make sure every interaction is appropriate.”

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Creeper Alert California

--- end ---

April 14, 2009 UPDATE

Greg Taton

Mon 4/13 6 PM
Tatton pleads not guilty Monday

Greg Tatton, the former Sonoma Valley elite soccer coach charged with having sexual contact with a girl on his under-17 select traveling team, appeared in Sonoma County Superior Court Monday morning and pleaded "not guilty" to all 10 counts against him.

A settlement conference was set for 10 a.m. Wednesday, May 13. Tatton has been under investigation by the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault unit of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department since late 2007. In November 2007, he was suspended for life as a coach by the California Youth Soccer Association after allegations surfaced that he had violated various association rules, including requirements that he carry auto insurance, hold a valid driver's license and not share motel rooms with team members.

According to allegations by both sheriff's deputies and the association's complaint, Tatton's car was not legally registered or insured and he did not have a valid driver's license until shortly before he was stopped on Nov. 6, 2007, for affixing a fraudulent registration sticker to his license plate. Police said they were delayed in their investigation of the case by the reluctance of the victim and her parents to come forward. According to friends of both parties, Tatton and the girl's parents had been close friends at one point, and the parents considered Tatton a mentor for their daughter.

According to other parents who had daughters playing for Tatton, he held out the promise of securing college athletic scholarships for the top players on his team. That expectation helped inspire some parents to lobby for Tatton's appointment to the position of Sonoma Valley High School varsity girls' soccer coach, a job already held by Pamela Wiley. Wiley had to mount a defense of her job, a fight she eventually won.

Criminal charges filed against Tatton include five counts of oral copulation with a minor under the age of 18, and five counts of performing lewd acts (which include intercourse) with a minor 14-or 15-years-old by someone more than 10 years older than the victim. The victim in the case was 15- and 16-years-old during the time the alleged acts were committed.


  1. **"Thompson and another coach described Tatton as a manipulative character who controlled his players and their parents during his more than five years as a coach."

    Really? i totally disagree with that! how can this thompson guy say somthing like that without even knowing the guy. greg is not manipulative and how thompson put it it made it seem like he controlled us and our parents on everything. he didnt at all!

    **“He would groom people so he could take advantage of them,” Thompson said

    once again how does this guy have the rite to say this wen he doesnt even know him at all? greg never takes advantage of anything.all he ever did was try to make us stronger and better at everything we did!

    **The allegations of sexual misconduct emerged after parents filed a complaint with the California Youth Soccer Association’s northern section in early November 2007, according to a soccer league spokeswoman

    PARENTS?! u mean one parents who is the mom of this girl.the reason y this girl took so long to admit to this crime is because the mom threatened her and has taken everything away from this gurl.this gurl has no life now due to her moms mistake!!


    PAM WILEY wrote "He had a control over his team that was “unhealthy”

    no he didnt have controll of his team in an unhealthy way. just because no one wanted u to coach the team everytone wanted the best coach and thats greg. he doesnt just talk the sport and tell us wat to do he showed us how to play and made us better and stronger. we didnt want a coach who just told us wat to do and couldnt do it them selves.

    greg tatton was one of the best things that could have ever happened to sonoma valley youth soccer. we went from playing rec soccer to being a undefeated div 1 team. he comited to this league like it was his life. people forgot all the wonderfull things he did for this league over a rumor that got out of hand in the link of the moms on our team. soccer will never be the same without him!!!


    4RM ur 4 year team captain!

  2. i wrote this below and i relized im making him seem like a great guy and a hero and thats not th ecase my heart goes out to the victim since i love her to death im on both sides i just wish thsi never happpednn. im sry if i hurt anyones feelings wit the comment beloe i was very upset

  3. There are no easy answers in all this.

    May the truth come forth and may healing come to those who are hurting I pray.

  4. Greg Tatton was one of the best guys i have ever known. Not only as a coach, a teacher, or a father, he has taught me the most important things in life on and off the soccer field. nobody can say these things about him when they did not know him, nor the circumstance. it hurts not only him, but all of the players on the team see him leave like that, for something that will never be understood, but i know that Greg is one of the reasons why i will both keep playing soccer, and also go to college. We will miss you alot Greg, and we believe in you <3

  5. Not manipulating! I knew Greg from before he ever coached in Sonoma. He is and was one of the most manipulating men I have ever met. The girls all had crushes on him and he took advantage of that. The parents on this team are to blame also. They were too busy partying and having fun with him to even see what was going on with their girls. What about Sam Honey and Erin Glago? Where were they? Sonoma Valley Youth Soccer should hold some blame here also. They took his coaching Lic because he lied about a dirvers lic! WOW what about having sex with his under age players? All men coaches on an under 15-17 girls team? What were you thinking???? I suggest all the girls on his team get some ser ious conseling and NOT by the couselor (mother) on that team. She sure turned her head the other way. Shame on you!

  6. I hope you find someone to talk to, captain anonymous. Please, if the real story is different from what is being reported, you should talk to someone. What really happened? Tell the truth. We'd all like to hear it.

    It's hard to believe that the coach who made your group a successful soccer team could also be the sick person that he is.

    Adults are not supposed to become intimate with teenagers. It is immoral.

  7. Ahh internet comment threads, good times...

    This is a tough situation, really sucks, there are a ton of things going on here well beyond anything written in this "article". Theres no way Greg's life isn't going to be seriously damaged from here on out by all this so I'll stick to wishing that the collateral damage to the girls and his family stays minimal.

    re: the article itself?

    Geez what a hit piece, is that what counts as reporting in Sonoma? Hey Sherrif, coach who hated Greg, what do you want to say about him to prejudice a potential jury and to just bash him out of spite? Anything you want I'll print it as if its gospel. I'll also throw in a couple mentions of how he happened to be in West Hollywood (psst teh gays!!) which means he must really be a miscreant *wink, wink*

    Circle the wagons Sonoma! Defend the children!!!

    Side note: Why is the active comment thread for this story on this nutter's ufo blog? lawl

  8. many girls know the real story. i have already had many replys from people saying i shouldnt be in it cuz its no concern of mine but this is a concern of mine i rele wish i wouldnt always have to be the one fight foreverything.plz girls one of u guys need to say wat u know im tired of no one believing me

  9. captain, you say what you need to say. you know greg just as much as we do, and you have the right just as everybody else commenting here. say your opinion, who cares what others try to say to you. if thats how you feel, then express it because im sure thats how us players will feel too.
    we love you captain, and this is why you made an amazing one because you stand up for yourself, and the team. were all rooting for you and greg

  10. Everyone needs to respect that detectives, sherriffs, the court all believe there is enough evidence to go to court or they would not be here.
    This is a serious crime. And he has already committed one felony.
    The statements from the reports are saying she claims they had sex not just one time, but on numerous occassions in different locations.
    You think she is just making that up to make her life easier? What kind of crazy logic is that?
    She has to testify in court. Maybe this coach is not who you think he is. If it was just one time, then some doubt, but numerous times over a long period of time is a far different story.
    Maybe you need to take a long look at what your relationship was with him and really see why you are taking his side against a peer who has obviously gone through hell.
    Child molestors are good at keeping there victims quiet, this girl is very brave to say what happened to her. She was just a 15 year old! Have some faith in her as well. You are trashing her with your comments that she is a liar and taking the side of an already convicted person .

  11. were not going against her word by all means, she is a great friend of ours and we respect her. some of us just dont understand the word "rape" does anybody realize maybe his intentions were not beside a rapist, and that there was some what of a relationship present?

  12. Even it there was a relationship, the legal age of consent to have sexual intercourse in California is 18 years old, so sexual contact with a minor under the age of 18 is illegal even if the minor says it is consensual.

    Read more:

  13. either way, it was not forced from what we assume. and yes that is wrong because it is the law, but greg was her support. he was the friend she never had, and he was her hope to becoming happy, since she that did not fulfill her at home.
    As a close friend we knew she had difficulties off the field, so greg was the friend to help her escape that. he was only there too help, and we, along with she, loved him for that.

  14. Wow. Girls who are defending Greg: you need to know that it is not normal for a 43 year old man to be with a 15 year old girl. There is not one girl on the team whose household is so horrible that she needs to be fulfilled by a married man who has a daughter her age. Your comments indicate the degree of the sickness surrounding this situation. Adults are supposed to protect children, not take advantage of them. I know you feel grown up, but you still have much to learn. PLEASE seek counseling. The fact that you are admitting that he had a relationship with her, but are still defending him, is twisted.

  15. o one is stating he had a relationship with her at all!! they had a relationship like we all had with her she told us her problems at home. she would tell us numerous stories were we all felt bad. honestly i blame the mom!! there was a thing between the mom and greg! the mom took him on vacation with her and her familyy!and were was the victims dad?hmm not ther!!! i wonder y! i wonder y greg lived with them for a while wen he was goin thru rough times with his wife. i wonder why he would always pik up her kids from skool and take them places for her. yah maybe people should think about that! and when they stopped talking thats wen all of this blew up uhh. thats because greg ended it and the mom was mad and took the victim off our team and we pleaded for her to be bak on and the mom made this story to save her ass and her marriage!! wierd uhh yah if u agree with this side of the story just post a comment and say u agree and see how many ppl know this side of the story!!! and yha they say that all these hookups happened at tournements with the victim thats wierd ! wen all the parents were with greg out drinking providing beer,wen we were either in a room watching a movie or at the pool. storys that have been made up thru out this thing is getting out of hand~!!!!
    plz girls agree with this if this is wat u believe!

  16. This is such an unfortunate thing that has happened to our community, regardless to who the real victim might be. I truely hope that the people responsible for investigating this case keep an open mind and investigate all parents, because things aren't always how they seem. Why aren't the parents of the victim speaking out?

  17. We've known Greg for 20 years and we just found out about his arrest today. We have befriended him and his family when they lived in LA and I am thoroughly DISGUSTED by what I've just learned. There's NO justification for having a "relationship" with a CHILD. I don't care how adult she is, you are still a child and he is a predator. For all you girls on his former soccer team; would it be ok for your father to have sex with one of your teammates? It's soooo... wrong, no matter how great a coach he may have been.

  18. i agree. the mom was sick and twisted

  19. I quite honestly don't know what to think about this whole situation. Greg is a member of my family so I've known him for quite some time now and I just can't see him doing any of this. I've never thought of Greg as being twisted, never could imagine him doing what he's been accused of. He's always seemed like a genuinely really sweet and down to earth person, proud of his kids like you wouldn't believe. Maybe there was a side of him I wasn't exposed to because I'm just a kid, but I still can't even see that. If he is in fact guilty, there is no justification for what he did. But until we find out for sure, please keep in mind, he's not sick and twisted like all the newscasters make him out to be.

  20. troy McArdle7/24/09, 11:28 AM

    WOW...please stop defending Greg Tatton. I know the real story, and his actions have ruined the lives of a few girls and their families, including his own. How do you guys think his poor daughter felt when she found out about this? I cannot believe some of you are so brainwashed that you are defending Tatton and trying to place the blame upon the girls! Do you even understand how despicable you seen? I knew Tatton well, and was associated with him through SVYSA. Those who think he was a great coach and man know nothing of the sport, and do not know how to judge people. I could see he was taking the parents for a ride with this college scholarship thing, but they all went along with it, and he got inside them and their girls circle of trust, and then did sick, sick things. There is no defending him. I went to school with the girl who he had relations with, and heard some of her side of the story. He is a terrible man, and deserves to rot in hell.

  21. i had greg as a coach.
    He was the best coach i ever had or will have.
    What he did was wrong.
    There was not much brain washing done.
    that was a dumb comment.
    our team was not unhealthy pam.
    you are just an incompetent coach and will never deserve the varsity coach job.
    i wish this didnt happen so he could be the coach at the hs.
    this whole thing sucks.

  22. The testimonies are clear. The case will reconvene tomorrow morning.

    I want to make one think clear. Nearly every single girl that Greg coached or trained had strong college potential. That aspect wasn't a joke, or a menacing scheme of any sort. Those girls trained hard. Greg taught them how to really compete and come out on top.

  23. Pamela Wiley should not have quoted for anything.

  24. Dear "captain",
    I believe you.

  25. Do not point fingers at Sam Honey or Eran Glago. They both do everything they can for the league.

  26. F*** this situation.

  27. This all makes me feel sick.

    The bottem line is it was agenst the law.
    People can say Greg knew nothing about soccer and controlled everyone around him. But the truth of the matter is, Had none of this "love" "rape" bullshit happened, no one NOT ONE PERSON would say he was a bad coach. People can point fingers because they know they wont be turned against or not agreed with, people who don't even know Greg. The parents are just as much to blame as Greg with the partying buisness. You can say the us the kids( young 14 15 16 year olds) were Brain washed, but whats your reasoning for the parents turning the blind eye?

    Greg is one the the best coaches out there and i learned more from him then i will every learn from anyother coach around. He tought us so much about soccer and life that i will forever respect the man. Pam will never ever ever be half as great of a coach. She needs to be fired no question about it. Find one player that thinks she is ligit and should keep coaching.

    And a big fuck you to everyone who thinks they know, Yeah i can read the newspaper too.

    Greg, i hate you for being such an idiot, we all needed you.

    Excel/vipers I love you all.


  28. You guys are blind. He is a sex offender and the truth will come forward. allegations like this just dont happen..they must be true and they are. He is guilty and that poor girl has to live with the past forever

  29. Greg isn't an idiot. He's innocent.

  30. You people dont have a right to say ANYTHING if you havent been in this situatuion yourslef. This happens to girls all the time and people look past it..not stepping inside the girls shoes and thinking about what they are actually going through. This is bullshit..hes guilty OBVIOUSLY. Stop being in denial people, this isnt just a rumor, people dont just make this shit up.

  31. bottom line another child malester hes lucky it was not my kid or i would of showed him swift justice

  32. oh great coach so if i am a great coach that gives me the right to malest kids where do you people come from your why this happens its all good until its your child right child malester bottom line

  33. I knew something was off with Greg tattoo the minute I met him.. he was charming, but secretive and would only let you in if he thought he could fool you. I was never let in. I always thought his relationship with the victim was incredibly manipulative to her, her team mates and was always shocked the parents didn't see it for what it was. Promises, promises, was how he manipulated. Good time Charlie who created a successful soccer team. It would have been hard for those closest to see through. He is a sick bastard!


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Over the years my opinions have changed but this will never change: Jesus Christ, Lord, God and Savior, died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay for my sin.