SK pastor charged with abuse
June 12, 2008 · Updated 9:22 AM
A South Kitsap pastor turned himself into authorities Monday after allegations came to light last week that he sexually abused at least two young members of his church, the Kitsap County Sheriffs Office reported.
Spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said a search warrant was served Friday at the home of Robbin Leeroy Harper, the 60-year-old pastor of The Church in South Colby.
While detectives searched the residence on Arvick Road which has the same address as the church Wilson said Harper was not home, and as of Monday morning the suspect had not been located by investigators.
A family member called to inform us that (Harper) knows were looking for him, and that he has been consulting with his attorney, Wilson said Monday, explaining that it was still uncertain whether the suspect intended to come in voluntarily or flee the area.
However, later that day Wilson said Harper did come in voluntarily, accompanied by his lawyer Tom Weaver, and turned himself over to deputies.
He was then booked into Kitsap County Jail on two counts of rape of a child in the second-degree, and was placed under $500,000 bail, he said, explaining that Harper was expected to make his first appearance in court yesterday.
Wilson said the investigation of Harper began when a young woman, now in her 20s, came forward to accuse the pastor of sexual abuse.
She said it began when she was about 12 or 13 years old, and there were multiple offenses against that victim, he said, explaining that since the first woman came forward, his office has learned of at least to other potential victims.
One of them is still a juvenile, but the third may have been 18 by the time the (contact with the pastor) started, he said. So far, the two charges pending against Harper include two counts of rape, one count each for the first two alleged victims.
Following Harpers arrest Monday, Wilson said his office has learned of at least one more victim.
Wilson said he was not sure how long Harper had been involved with the church, but said it was reasonable to assume it had been at least 10 years, given the age of the first victim and when she alleged the abuse began.
The main crux of this, and why we are releasing this to the public, is that detectives believe there are probably other victims out there that may not have come forward, he said.
Anyone who feels they may have been victimized by Harper is asked to call Det. Lori Blankenship of the Sheriffs Office at 337-5615.