A former Denton youth pastor, Robert Shiflet, was charged with multiple counts of child sex trafficking, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Arkansas said in a press release.
Shiflet's alleged offenses overlap with his time working at Denton Bible Church, where Shiflet, 50, worked in the church's youth ministry programs from 1995 to 2001, church officials said in a statement Tuesday.
His charges include three counts of transporting a minor across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity and one count of coercing a minor to cross a state line to engage in illegal sexual activity.
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"We are aware that Mr. Shiflet has been charged in Arkansas with offenses that overlap his tenure at DBC," the Denton Bible Church said in a statement. "Church leadership grieve with and are in prayer for the victims of this tragic situation."
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Shiflet was indicted by a grand jury on June 2 and arrested in Denton at his home on June 12.
In May 1997, according to the indictment, Shiflet allegedly transported a minor from Texas to Arkansas for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity and did so again in March 2001 and June 2002 with two different minors.
The indictment also charged Shiflet with enticing the third minor to cross a state line for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity from June through September of 2002, while Shiflet was working as a youth child pastor in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Anyone with additional information can contact the FBI agent handling the case, Gerald Spurgers at 501-221-9180, or contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
The penalty for transportation of minors to engage in illegal sexual activity is no more than 15 years of imprisonment, while the penalty for coercion is no more than 10 years of imprisonment. Both charges carry potential penalties of a fine up to $250,000 and no less than five years of supervised release.