Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE) has revealed that the allegations about Christian singer-songwriter Chris Rice sexually assaulted older teenagers are "credible." GRACE detailed the allegations in a 29-page report. The report wraps up an 18-month investigation commissioned by Tates Creek Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Kentucky.
Rice is most known as a contemporary Christian singer and songwriter whose songs have been recorded by numerous Christian artists including Kathy Troccoli, Amy Grant, and Michael W. Smith, and who released his first album with Smith's Rocketown Records, "Deep Enough to Dream," in 1997.
In 1998, Rice was nominated for six Dove Awards, including New Artist of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year. His second album released in 1998, and in 1999, he won a Dove Award for Male Vocalist of the Year. Rice's third album, Smell the Color 9, was released in late 2000, and he was nominated for Dove awards again in 2000 and 2002.
From 1995 to 2003, the church contracted with Rice to lead worship at high school and college student retreats, the report states. Young men looking for a mentor in the music industry say they found the singer was more interested in touching them than talking about songwriting.
The victim, called "Alan Doe," told investigators Rice started giving him massages when he was 14 or 15. By the time the former student was 17 or 18, Rice also began massaging his thighs, touching his crotch, and putting his hand down the student's boxer shorts on multiple occasions.
Another student stayed overnight for a week in Rice's home after graduating high school, and the two both slept in a tent indoors. He said Rice asked to see his back muscles and would grab his thighs in a way that made him uncomfortable.
A third said Rice sought him out for one-on-one conversations and time together. When Rice fell asleep lying on him on a bus ride, the student saw their interactions as a "bromance," but now, in hindsight, he views the behaviors as grooming.
The report states police aren't investigating "due to the current preference of . . . Alan Doe and the expectation that the appropriate jurisdiction for further reporting and prosecution would be in Tennessee."