The Church in South Colby: Pastor sought in rape of young congregants
Date: October 31, 2007 12:08PM
PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- Sheriff's deputies are looking for a local church pastor who they say is suspected of raping and sexually abusing young girls who were members of his church.
Robbin Leeroy Harper, 60, is pastor of The Church in South Colby, and Kitsap County Sheriff spokesman Scott Wilson said investigators believe there are more victims who have not yet come forward.
"All indications of a predator, past practice in grooming, all of that kind of thing that seems to be so common these days, are quite evident," Wilson said.
The investigation began last weekend when a woman contacted police and said she was sexually assaulted by Harper multiple times over several years beginning when she was 12 years old.
Wilson said the woman informed police of another alleged victim, and investigators said the girl, who was once a member of the church, said she was also raped by Harper.
"The victims in this case, all of them, were scared," Wilson said. "I believe because they lived in a close-knit society, that they were afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation in one form or another."
Deputies searched Harper's home outside of Port Orchard on Friday but were unable to locate him and believe he may be on the run. Wilson said deputies plan to arrest Harper for investigation of two counts of second-degree child rape.
Harper were last reported to be traveling in a red 2003 Hummer with Washington license 432-RLT.
Anyone with information about the case or Harper's whereabouts are asked to call Detective Lori Blankenship at (360) 337-5615.