Evangelist charged with child sex abuse

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 13, 2005

WINDSOR – Bertie County authorities say they have yet to be contacted concerning whether or not a pastor has admitted to sexual involvement with young children while the minister lived in the local area back in the mid 1990’s.

Robert Armand &uot;Bob&uot; Enerson, 54, was arrested late last month in Douglas, Arizona on three charges of lewd assault on a child. According to a news report filed by the Arizona Republic, that alleged molestation of a six-year-old boy occurred in 1996 while Enerson was serving as the pastor at New Life Assembly of God in Wahneta (Polk County), Fla.

Upon his arrest in Douglas, where he was in his second year as the pastor at First Assembly of God Church, Enerson admitted to sexually abusing children in North Carolina and Michigan.

Enerson briefly resided in Askewville prior to 1996. There, according to Rev. R.O. &uot;Buddy&uot; Denton Jr., Enerson attended and held revivals at Bethel Assembly of God Church. Rev. Denton, now the pastor at Bethel, said that Enerson was not involved with Bethel Assembly Christian Academy, a private school associated with the Askewville church.

Bertie Sheriff Greg Atkins said law enforcement authorities in either Arizona or Florida had not contacted his office.

Meanwhile, Polk County investigators allege Enerson repeatedly molested a boy for approximately one week while serving as pastor at New Life Assembly. Enerson’s accuser, now 15, told law enforcement authorities the pastor entered his bedroom and fondled his crotch area.

In addition, the affidavit prepared by Polk County lawmen accused Enerson of having &uot;oral relations and masturbating&uot; a North Carolina boy during a seven-year span (from age 10 to 17). Enerson was not in the Roanoke-Chowan area for that length of time.

He also stands accused of sexually molesting a Michigan boy.

Enerson is jailed in Arizona, awaiting extradition to Polk County, Fla.