Pastor charged with sexually abusing another boy after church members rallied to his defense
A West Virginia pastor was accused of sexual abuse of a young boy last year, and the allegations were so graphic that local WCHSTV couldn’t publish them. Now the same pastor is behind bars on another allegation of abuse.
James Robert “JR” Smith was arrested last year on charges he sexually abused a boy since 2009, starting when the boy was 10 years old, WCHSTV reports. He was out on bond when he was arrested again Tuesday for molestation charges in a different state.
Smith was a pastor at Morning Star House of Prayer in West Virginia. The second allegation happened in Indiana.
Last year, a member of his church continued to support him after he was arrested the first time on counts of first degree sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a parent or guardian.
“I just think that it’s somebody that’s out to sabotage him and I won’t believe no different,” church member Janice Allen told the station. “Ever seen he’s been here, there’s been tales told on him. He’s been confronted with it. Nobody can prove anything that’s even been said on him.”
The first victim, now 15, came forward last May and said that the most recent incident of abuse happened in April. The boy told authorities that Smith told him “bad things” would happen if he told anyone. Smith apparently lived with the boy and his family. The alleged abuse happened in multiple states.
Smith was arraigned Tuesday on the second set of charges and is held without bail pending an extradition hearing, WCHSTV reports.
Watch the original report from WCHSTV here: