Iowa native Stephen Collins confesses to sexual abuse of underag - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa native Stephen Collins confesses to sexual abuse of underage girls

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 (NBC) Stephen Collins, the actor best known as the pastor on the former hit show "7th Heaven,'' has admitted to inappropriate sexual conduct with underage girls in a statement shared exclusively with People magazine.

In a thousand-word statement, Collins called his behavior "inexcusable,'' saying that he has never done anything since his last incident, which he claims came when he exposed himself to a teenage girl in 1994. 

"I deeply regret the mistakes I've made and any pain I have caused these three women,'' Collins wrote. " I admit to, apologize for, and take responsibility for what I did.'' 

He writes that he twice exposed himself to a pre-teen girl in 1973, when he was 25 years old, and had another inappropriate encounter with the same girl in his home.

"When the girl and I were watching TV alone, I moved her hand in such a way that caused her to touch me inappropriately,'' Collins wrote. "It was a completely impulsive act, and it's haunted me ever since to think of what I put her through." 

Collins also claims he exposed himself to teenage girls in 1982 and 1994 and has been in therapy for the past 20 years. He wrote that there were no incidents during his 11 years as a cast member on "7th Heaven." 

"I appeared for eleven seasons on a television series with a cast that included minor females in our TV family, and countless other young actresses throughout the show's eleven years,'' he wrote. "I never behaved inappropriately on or off that set – or on any set I've ever worked on.”

Collins allegedly admitted to inappropriate sexual conduct with young girls in an audiotape released by TMZ in October, which he said was secretly recorded by his estranged wife, Faye Grant, during a marriage counseling session in 2012. Grant, who is in midst of divorce proceedings with Collins, claims she gave the tape to police but did not leak it to the media. None of the alleged victims have come forward and no criminal charges have been brought against Collins, who has lost multiple acting roles in the wake of the revelation.

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