THORNTON, Colo. — Court documents question whether church leaders in Thornton conspired to protect a fellow pastor accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
What’s more incredulous is the reaction from the victim’s own parents.
A 16-page arrest affidavit paints a disturbing picture of what was going on inside Agape Bible Church at West 88th Avenue and Huron Street after it came to light one of its former pastors was having a sexual relationship with a girl who is now 14 years old.
Robert “Bob” Wyatt is accused of sexually assaulting a child of a congregation member for nearly two years, a child he came to know at Agape and then began homeschooling her.
The arrest affidavit shows the girl told police he had sexual intercourse with her. It’s an act that started with holding her hand, leading to kissing, fondling her and massaging her breasts.
The girl also told police that Wyatt told her he loved her, that when she turned 18 they could move to another state or another country and start a family together.
The affidavit shows the head pastor, Darrell Ferguson, and the girl’s adoptive parents agreed not to report the sexual assault to police or social services because they were concerned with what would happen to Wyatt.
Another congregation member reported it to police because it appeared there was no concern about the impact of the crime on the child.
That whistleblower said despite admitting the sexual relationship, Ferguson allowed Wyatt to continue going to church and crossing paths with the girl.
Police also contacted the girl’s adoptive parents whose reactions were unexpected.
According to the court documents, the father told police he wouldn’t let their daughter talk to them and “felt biblical counseling they would receive through the church was sufficient.”
The affidavit said the officer told the father, “A crime had been committed against his daughter and he was refusing to do anything to help her and was keeping her around the person who violated her.”
The officer says the father “made it clear his interest was in protecting the church and its reputation more than protecting his daughter.”
When police contacted Ferguson about what Wyatt had told him, the pastor said he “read the statute regarding mandatory reporting and feels he is not required to make a report since the information was discovered during counseling.”
The church held a prayer service at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in which the pastor answered questions about the sex scandal.
He did not return a phone call for a comment.