A West Plains pastor has been arrested in connection with allegations he had inappropriately touched and sexually assaulted a juvenile family member.
Randy Dale Brooks, 46, Luna Drive, was arrested at 7:17 p.m. Saturday at his home on seven charges: one count of first-degree sodomy or attempt, two counts of first-degree statutory rape or attempt involving a child younger than 14, two counts of first-degree child molestation and a count each of incest and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child creating a substantial risk/sexual.
Each charge is a felony.
Brooks was released Monday on $100,000 bail. He has been affiliated with the Sixth Street Church of God in West Plains, as recently as June, according to Facebook posts made by the church, in which Brooks is named as the church’s pastor.
Detective Joe Neuschwander of the West Plains Police Department reported at about 7 p.m. Saturday a child contacted the police department and told officers an adult family member was attempting to have sex with her at their home.
When interviewed by Cpl. Brandon Stephens of the police department, Brooks allegedly admitted he had been touching the girl in a sexual manner for about two years, but said it never went any further than him touching her.
Brooks also told Stephens the girl had been enticing him during that timeframe by running around the house in her underwear when the two of them were at home alone, and admitted he had touched her sexually that evening but didn’t elaborate, according to court documents.
After his arrest, Brooks reportedly invoked his right to have an attorney present before any questioning and the interview was terminated.
In an interview with Children’s Division investigators, the child said she had been sexually assaulted by Brooks over the last two years, and that she left the house after that day’s incident and contacted law enforcement, disclosing that prior contact had gone beyond touching, court documents report.
About 2 1/2 hours after the alleged assault, the girl had a forensic examination at the South Central Child Advocacy Center and is scheduled to have a forensic interview at the Child Advocacy Center, according to Neuschwander in his report.
In his probable cause statement, Neuschwander cited Brooks’ “position of trust as a pastor at a local place of worship” and “safety risk to children” as reasons for prosecutors to issue a warrant for his arrest.