KEY POINTS

  • A North Carolina pastor stands accused of over 100 sex crimes
  • Victims say the crimes date back to 20 years ago
  • He is currently in jail on $1 million bail

A pastor in North Carolina has been charged with over 100 sex crimes involving three children, according to local authorities. Fifty-eight-year-old Rodney Luffman, pastor at Open Arms Outreach Ministries in Elkin, NC, was arrested at his home in Eastern Wilkes County last week, and has since been charged for a decades-long litany of sex offenses against minors that began around 20 years ago.

Time reports that Luffman is accused of abusing three victims, dating back to the late 1990s. At the time of the alleged crimes, the victims were between four and 15 years old. Det. Amanda Boyd with the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office told news outlets that the department believes the crimes continued for around 16 years. Luffman currently remains in prison on $1 million bail, and it is unclear whether or not he is represented by council.

Calls to Luffman’s phone number listed on the church website remain unanswered, and the church has yet to issue any sort of statement regarding the incidents. He is charged with 115 felony sex charges: 80 counts of indecent liberties and 35 counts of sexual offenses.

The revelations of Luffman’s apparent sexual abuse are just the latest in a wave of child sexual assault allegations facing members of the religious community. Last year, it was reported by NBC that  nearly 1,700 priests and clergy accused of sex abuse remained unsupervised, a number that glaringly illustrated just how pervasive and widespread the problem is.

The story also reports that many of those credibly accused were now working as teachers, counselors and in other roles in which they regularly interact with children, both in the United States and across the globe. Many of them have never been charged with a crime or tried in a court of law for their alleged behavior.

In the early 2000s, right around the time Luffman was allegedly starting to commit his alleged crimes, the Roman Catholic saw a wave of sexual abuse allegations that prompted a new monitoring and reporting database.

handcuffs-3655288_640 Handcuffs Photo: Pixabay