Detective, Church Official Speak About Pastor Arrested On Sex Charges

"With these kind of things, it does look negatively on the church. We ask the community not to view the church or its members negatively," Bratcher said.
 

ALLEN COUNTY, Ky. (WBKO) -- An Allen County pastor was arrested Thursday night at a church in Scottsville.

Now, with the pastor is behind bars, detectives are trying to figure out how many victims are involved in this sex abuse scandal.

"He has been a faithful, dedicated pastor to the church. He's worked hard. He's worked at the church with no salary," said Stephen Bratcher, the interim pastor at the church.

46-year-old Roy Yoakem has been involved with New Gospel Outreach Church for six years, but he won't be preaching there Sunday after being arrested on several charges, including rape and sodomy.

"He's a predator and he doesn't need to be on the street. I'm glad we got him," said Detective Chad Keen with the Allen Co. Sheriff's Dept.

The detective says the 14-year-old victim's mom, who attends the church, contacted police when her son's behavior changed and she found graphic messages and photos from Yoakem on his phone.

"They were along the lines of really, really affectionate. There was some emotion in them. He was calling him a liar and telling him he didn't have any feelings for him anymore," Keen said.

Keen says Yoakem took the boy to Gallatin, Tennessee, where he was forced to have sex.

Officials say it happened again at the church.

"We, much like the community, are just getting information and starting to process it ourselves. We're praying about it, praying for him and all the persons involved in the situation," Bratcher said.

Turns out, Yoakem was already listed as a sex offender after a case in Warren County back in 2003, and the church knew.

"We're firm believers in the Bible so if God's forgiven you, then we're in no position to treat you otherwise," Bratcher said.

Keen predicts more charges and victims in this case.

"This is through the victim that I talked to, that there's another victim in Bowling Green that I'm going to have to speak with that Mr. Yoakem's been doing this to as well," Keen said.

"With these kind of things, it does look negatively on the church. We ask the community not to view the church or its members negatively," Bratcher said.

Keen said the case could go to federal court, because the alleged acts happened here in Kentucky and in Tennessee.

Keen said Yoakem will be arraigned in Allen County next week and then extradited to Tennessee.

Yoakem has a wife and 14-year-old son in Gallatin.


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