The founder of one of Florida’s biggest megachurches has been accused of molesting a 4-year-old girl.
Pastor Robert J. "Bob" Coy, founder of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, reportedly forced a little girl of 4 to perform oral sex on him. He would also “finger and fondle” her genitals and would “dirty talk” to the child, according to accusations.
The alleged assault was reported to Coral Springs police in 2015 when a woman informed authorities about her daughter’s abuse. After the incident was reported, police reached out to the victim, who also confirmed the assault that continued for several years.
The victim also told the police that the abuse ended when she was a teenager and she didn’t report the incidents to anyone in her family at that time.
Coy has not been charged of the offense.
In 2014, long before the abuse was reported, Coy resigned from his position at the church as the pastor after “confessing to a moral failing” in his life.
Another pastor at the church also confirmed Coy’s inappropriate behavior and said he “committed adultery” and “committed sexual immorality, habitually, through pornography.” Debbie Polcino, a former wife of a preacher herself, said, she wasn’t surprised by the revelations, but that Coy found a way to maintain his public image.
“You really felt like you were sitting there and he was talking directly to you. Everyone loved him,” she added.
Michael Miller, the church’s communication director, said in a statement, “We learned of this report after it was disclosed and reported to the appropriate authorities. We take every allegation seriously, and our prayers are with the Coy family as they pursue redemption and healing.”
The sexual abuse claims against the pastor were never known until now. The allegations raise questions about Coy, his church and the police.
According to documents, the police department dropped its inquiry into the case before even interviewing Coy and also kept the allegations a secret.
The pastor, who has kept a low-profile since the case was reported, recently made an appearance Boca Raton's Funky Biscuit where he was questioned about the allegations.
“I can't discuss it on the record. If you're foolish enough to go through with this story... it would hurt a lot of people,” responded Coy.
Reports of sexual abuse against the pastor come at a crucial point as some 1,800 churches in Cavalry’s network were reported to have employees, pastors and volunteers charged with sexual abuse of children.
It is sad and sickening to imagine that a child is going through something like this at such a tender age. It is even more terrifying to think that these acts could be committed by members of the clergy, who are widely touted as being the moral compass of the society.
Bob Coy, the disgraced founder of Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale accused of child molestation. This is a guy who would constantly preach religious right culture war sermons. https://t.co/sbPEUb37yt— Kathryn Brightbill ? (@KEBrightbill) November 14, 2017
Pastor Bob Coy led the 25,000-member Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale until 2014. An accuser said he molested her for more than a decade when she was a child:https://t.co/Z6S8gSbYbN— Tim Elfrink (@timelfrinkmia) November 14, 2017
Banner: Reuters, Beawiharta