Deacon Charged with Having Sex with a Minor

Deacon Charged with Having Sex with a Minor

A deacon at St. John’s Baptist Church on North Alfred Street has been charged with carnal knowledge of a juvenile. The Alexandria Police Department issued a warrant last week charging Richard Bates, 33, with having sex with a 14-year-old Alexandria girl.

The family of the girl approached the Police Department on April 12. The girl told police that the contact occurred in the church between September 2005 and January 2006. Bates, who lives in Fort Washington, Md., turned himself in on Thursday.

In a written statement, Rev. Phillip L. Pointer, Sr., said that he expected church leaders to exemplify Christian character and legal behavior. He also said that members of the church will wait for all of the facts to come out before they make a statement about guilt or innocence.

“We believe that Deacon Bates is innocent until proven guilty, and we will conduct ourselves as such,” he said. “If he is proven guilty, the church will take the necessary disciplinary action accordingly. However, our primary concern is the spiritual condition of our members and their restoration. Until that time we are praying for the wholeness of all parties involved and a swift and fair resolution.”