One of the stars of “7th Heaven” is the focus of an active investigation by the New York Police Department into allegations of child molestation, according to a report by TMZ.com. The report says authorities are investigating allegations against actor Stephen Collins, who played the pastor and dad on the long-running family drama series.
Collins reportedly revealed to his estranged wife that he either molested or exposed himself to several underage girls years earlier. He and his wife then went to a therapist to discuss the incidents, the story says. Collins is in the middle of what TMZ calls a “nasty, prolonged divorce” from actress Faye Grant.
TMZ reports: “Here’s what Collins didn’t know at the time. Grant taped the therapy session. We’re told her lawyer advised her it was legal to secretly record the conversation because in California you’re allowed to secretly record conversations to gather evidence the other person committed a violent felony … and molesting a child under the age of 14 qualifies.”
The story includes audio tape, and adds: “We have protected the names of the victims Collins mentions on tape. As you listen … you will hear Collins refer to a ‘disclosure’ and a ‘list.’ This refers to a confession Collins had already made to his wife … which triggered the therapy session.
“You hear Collins flatly confess to molesting an 11-year-old New York girl — a relative of his first wife — saying, ‘There was one moment of touching where her hand, I put her hand on my penis.’ He also acknowledges exposing himself to the girl ‘a couple of times’ … he says when she was 11, 12 and 13.”
The NYPD is in possession of the tape, and two detectives have flown to Los Angeles to interview Grant, the story reports.
“An NYPD official tells TMZ … there is a current, active investigation. The official says there are ‘at least 3 victims’ and the nature of the investigation is ‘inappropriate sexual contact with minors,’” the piece adds.
Collins was recently on the ABC Family show “The Fosters,” about a family that includes foster kids, and also had a role on “Revolution,” which also had underage actors, the report notes.