Pastor rapes boy: Church knew pastor was convicted sex offender

In Kentucky a pastor faces charges of repeatedly raping a 14-year-old boy who attended his church. Even more disgusting, the church knew they hired a registered violent sex offender to be their pastor, but believed the man had been forgiven by God.

Roy Neal Yoakem is accused of sexually assaulting the 14-year-old boy inside the New Gospel Outreach Church in Scottsville, Kentucky, as well as his home in Gallatin, Tennessee.

Previously, Yoakem had been required to register as a violent sex offender after being found guilty in 2005 of abusing an 8-year-old boy in Kentucky.

Officials at the Kentucky church acknowledged that they knew their pastor was a registered violent sex offender when they hired him.

Yoakem, 46, is married and has a 14-year-old son, the same age and gender as his victim. He was hired by the church roughly three years ago.

Yoakem was arrested on several charges, including rape and sodomy. The former pastor could be heading to federal court because the alleged sexual abuse transpired in both Kentucky and in Tennessee. Yoakem was extradited to Tennessee earlier this month.

Stephen Bratcher, the interim pastor at the church, defended Yoakem:

He has been a faithful, dedicated pastor to the church. He’s worked hard. He’s worked at the church with no salary.

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

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.

Irresponsible negligence does not begin to describe the profound moral failure of a church, or any organization, that gives a convicted sex offender access to minors.

The stupid – it burns. And, as always, it is the children that suffer.

If kids got raped at Denny’s as often as they get raped at church… it would be against the law to take your kid to Denny’s.

-Dan Savage

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Pastor Roy Neal Yoakem


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