Society

Kentucky Pastor Who Was Registered As Sex Offender Arrested For Sexual Abuse

| by Will Hagle

Officials at the New Gospel Outreach Church have been forced to admit that they knew they were hiring a registered sex offender in 46-year-old Roy Yoakem, a pastor who was recently arrested for rape charges involving a 14-year-old member of the congregation. 

According to Raw Story, Yoakem has been accused of sexually assaulting the boy on multiple occasions, both in his home in Gallatin, Tennessee and at the church in Scottsville, Kentucky. He faces charges of aggravated statutory rape, sexual battery by an authority figure, statutory rape by an authority figure and fugitive from justice. He is currently being held in Sumner County Jail on a $250,000 bond. 

Yoakem had been registered with the state sex offender registry for several years, as he was found guilty of sexual assault involving an 8-year-old boy in Kentucky in 2005. 

Church interim pastor Stephen Bratcher explained that Yoakem’s past was known by the church but that a repeat offense was not expected.

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“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. 

Gallatin Police Department spokesman Bill Storment claimed that anyone with information about possible additional attacks should come forward immediately.

“We are not aware of any additional victims at this time, but because of his position of authority in a church certainly if someone becomes aware or suspicious that their child might be a victim, then we need to talk to them,” Storment said, according to the Tennessean. 

Sources: Raw Story, The Tennessean