ORLANDO, FL (WESH) — Orange County deputies are on alert for more victims after arresting a local youth pastor for sexual battery on a child.
The Rev. Samuel Pierre, 35, is also facing kidnapping charges.
Pierre stood before a judge as allegations were leveled that he forced himself onto a young girl. He remained almost silent, with his head down, during his first court appearance on the charges. “You’ve been arrested on a warrant for kidnapping and sexual battery on a child less than 12,” a judge said.
Those who know Pierre of the Tabernacle Prayer and Miracles Church are used to seeing him preach, like he’s seen doing in several videos posted online.
Deputies said about three months ago, Pierre picked up a young girl in a church van for what he claimed was a group gathering. Since that time, the girl’s family noticed she’d been acting differently. She told them why, claiming she’d been taken to Pierre’s relative’s home instead.
The girl, who is less than 12 years old, told investigators she had been given some water and became lethargic, suggesting she’d possibly been drugged, and that Pierre then lifted her dress, raped her, then threatened her not to say a word about it.
Court records show Pierre was charged in 2009 with three counts of lewd or lascivious battery, but that case was not prosecuted.
Pierre is being held in the Orange County Jail without bond.
Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are asking anyone who may have related information to contact them.