Saturday, July 17, 2010

East St. Louis pastor accused of sex abuse

East St. Louis pastor accused of sex abuse
Charged with molesting 8-year-old girl
BY CAROLYN P. SMITH - News-Democrat
EAST ST. LOUIS -- A Baptist pastor whose wife runs a day care center in their home was charged Friday with molesting a girl.

The Rev. Charles Moore was charged by St. Clair County prosecutors with two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He was arrested Wednesday at his residence. Moore is pastor of United Faith Baptist Church at 1525 Cleveland Ave. in East St. Louis.

He was an associate pastor at other churches before he got his own church, said some residents who know Moore.

The Rev. Charles Moore, minister charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a girl who was 8 in the summer of 2009. - Provided/BND
Moore, 57, of 1640 N. 43rd St., was in the East St. Louis city jail Friday afternoon awaiting transfer to the St. Clair County Jail, Detective Michael Floore said. Moore's bail was set at $250,000.

The girl was 8 when she was molested in the summer of 2009, charges state. Police allege Moore gained access to the girl through family connections and not the church.

Floore, the lead investigator on the case, said the girl's parents reported the incident to the police.

The girl's father said she is now 9 and appears to be OK. Relatives are watching her for signs of trauma.

The father, who is not being identified to protect the identity of the child, said he was devastated when he learned what happened to his daughter by a man who is a pastor, charged with saving souls and teaching wayward individuals what it takes to please the higher power.

The disturbing news made "me immediately angry."

"He's a pastor. Why? How could he do this to me? Evidently, he was faking," the father said.

Moore's wife operates Moore's Kinder Care in their home on North 43rd Street and the victim's father, like police, wonder if there are other victims.

"If there are, I hope they will call the police and report it," the victim's father said.

In this case, the victim's mother saw some things about her daughter that didn't appear right. so she began asking questions of the girl "and it came out," her father said.

The victim was at the suspect's residence visiting other relatives when the alleged abuse occurred, the father said.

The father said the whole situation "is kind of hard for me. I had started going to church. After all of this, I completely stopped. Where does it end. This man is supposed to be a man of God. Where does it end?" the father said.

His message to parents is: "Listen to your children and believe them. And, if anything comes about that needs to be addressed, address it. Make sure it's addressed in the proper way and not overlooked. Children are innocent.

"I am just happy that justice is going to be served for my daughter and our family," he said.

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