A pastor and his wife arrested for investigation of child rape are the latest of more than a dozen area adults accused of having sex with children.
Pastor Robert “Roby” Roberson, 50, and his wife, Connie L. Roberson, 45, both of East Wenatchee, were arrested Tuesday and booked into Chelan County Regional Jail for investigation of first-degree rape of a child.
They made an initial appearance in Douglas County District Court on Wednesday via closed-circuit television from the Wenatchee jail across the Columbia River from East Wenatchee.
Douglas County deputy prosecutor Frank Jenny said formal charges likely will be filed Friday.
The Robersons’ arrests came just days after another alleged member of an area child-sex ring was jailed by authorities.
On Saturday, Linda J. Miller, 35, of East Wenatchee, was arrested in Tonasket for investigation of child rape and child molestation. Chelan County deputy prosecutor Roy Fore said Miller could potentially be charged with 3,200 counts.
Roberson was arrested by Douglas County sheriff’s deputies at the East Wenatchee Food Bank he founded at his Pentecostal Church of God House of Prayer Church. His wife was arrested about the same time at Wenatchee Valley College.
Douglas County Sheriff Dan LaRoche said the arrests were based on information developed by the Wenatchee Police Department, but his agency will conduct its own investigation and interview alleged victims.
Investigators also took stain samples, records, phone lists and other papers, including a large number of clippings and court records involving other people who have been accused or convicted of sex abuse in the valley, the sheriff said.
The allegations stem from ongoing child sex abuse investigations by Wenatchee Detective Bob Perez, whose work in the past year has resulted in the convictions of more than a dozen adults.
A group calling itself Victims of Child Abuse Laws criticized the prosecutions and demanded that Perez be fired.
Suspects and children have been threatened and intimidated into giving incriminating statements to Perez, VOCAL Chairman Bob Kinkade said.
Perez has denied the allegations.
Wenatchee Police Chief Ken Badgley and prosecutors working on the case said they’ve seen no evidence of such behavior by Perez.