Pastor charged with sexual battery claims devil ‘motivated his mind’ in motel attack
A Forest City, SC pastor is charged with sexual battery after he harassed a woman at a Super 8 motel who he believed was a prostitute.
According to WSOC-TV Channel 9, Harriett Memorial Freewill Baptist Church’s Pastor Robert Harris said that the bizarre incident at the motel happened because “I allowed the devil to motivate my mind.”
Harris told Channel 9 that he intends to ask forgiveness from his congregation after explaining to them that he asked a woman for sex at the motel in Gastonia.
Ten years ago, Harris said, he counseled a couple at the Super 8. On Tuesday night, he went back and knocked on the door of a woman guest who has asked not to be identified.
“He asked me if I wanted to have some fun,” the woman told WSOC.
She told him to go away, then called 911, placing her 12-month old baby on the room’s bed.
Moments later, Harris was back, trying to push in the door. He threw a $20 bill at the woman and told her there was “more where that came from” if she would just let him into the room “for a few minutes.”
The 911 dispatcher said in the police report that he overheard Harris making lewd suggestions to the woman and naming specific sexual acts which he wanted her to perform. Harris also reportedly said that he’d come to the hotel before for sex.
“I should never have been in that place, period,” Harris said to Channel 9 by phone.
He admitted that he had never seen the woman he attacked before but that “I beg for her forgiveness that I was wrong. I asked God to forgive me.”
“I have ruined my life. I have ruined my ministry. I have ruined my family,” he said. “I allowed the devil to motivate my mind.”
The victim expressed astonishment when she was informed that Harris is a clergyman. She said that because of his hypocrisy, Harris should be punished more than an ordinary person.
“He is abusing the people” who depend on him for spiritual guidance, she said, “not just me.”
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