A Kentucky pastor and convicted sex offender was arrested by Gallatin Police on Monday for raping a 14-year-old member of his church congregation.
Police said at the time of the alleged sexual assaults, Roy Yoakem was the pastor at New Gospel Outreach Church in Scottsville, Kentucky, where he still lives.
The 46-year-old man also has a secondary address in Gallatin.
According to police, Yoakem assaulted the victim on at least two occasions, once at the Kentucky church and once at his Gallatin home in June.
Detectives said they started investigating after the 14-year-old’s mother found a concerning conversation on her son’s phone.
He is charged with aggravated statutory rape, sexual battery by an authority figure, statutory rape by an authority figure and fugitive from justice.
Additional charges are pending.
Yoakem is registered as a violent sex offender in Tennessee for a 2005 conviction for sexually abusing an eight-year-old boy.
Still, he was allowed to become the pastor of a church.
“The bible teaches forgiveness and to give people chances and not to turn people away,” said Stephen Bratcher, the interim pastor at New Gospel Outreach Church.
“If there is anything I can do to go back and change it I would,” he continued.
Detectives believe there is at least one more victim.
This is not the first problem for the church regarding its leaders. Billy Minix, the pastor before Yoakem, was charged with stealing more than $300,000 from the church.
Anyone who believes they may have been victimized should call the Gallatin Police Department at 615-452-1313.