Bishop Robert L. Carter, a husband, father of four and high-ranking leader in the International Bible Way Church of Jesus Christ, Inc., USA., has been arrested after allegedly raping a family member at least 600 times since she was 7, getting her pregnant as a teenager and forcing her to give up their baby.
Carter, who is the founding and senior pastor of the Sanctuary Church of Jesus Christ in downtown Houston, Texas, according to the Black Preaching Network, is also listed as Diocesan Bishop of the Gulf Coast Diocese for the International Bible Way Church of Jesus Christ, Inc., USA, which has some 350 churches nationally and 600 churches globally, according to the South Carolina-based denomination.
Carter, 39, was arrested Monday and charged with sexual assault of a child between the ages of 14 and 17, and continuous sexual abuse of a child, according to KPRC 2.
Court documents cited by the news outlet claim that Carter began abusing his family member in 2008. He allegedly would visit the child’s room on a nightly basis and make her perform a sex act on him. As the victim got older, Carter is accused of intensifying his sexual abuse inside his home, in a parking lot before dropping her off at school, and at his grandmother’s home.
By the time the victim turned 16, a warrant for Carter’s arrest said the victim got pregnant and secretly gave birth to Carter’s baby. The victim’s father, who asked not to be identified, told KPRC2 that Carter took the baby from the teenager and gave the child away.
“What if she would’ve died that night? She had that baby in the closet, by herself. He came and got the baby and took the baby to a fire station and dropped the baby off,” the father said.
The victim’s father said his daughter was so damaged by the abuse, she once ended up in a psychiatric hospital.
“She’s had an episode where she ended up in the hospital for psychiatric reasons,” he said while noting his shock at Carter abusing his daughter as a child.
“How? How could you even get aroused? It doesn’t make any sense,” the distraught father said.
The pastor’s victim is now trying to get her child back.
Calls made by The Christian Post to the International Bible Way Church of Jesus Christ, Inc., USA., where Carter is still listed as a leader on the denomination’s website, were not returned on Monday.
The pastor’s profile on the Black Preaching Network notes that he is well-known for his work in “church planting, development, and church administration.”
In a 2015 message, Carter referenced Scripture from Romans 7 in the Bible to lament the perils of the lust of his flesh.
“I can’t be caught up in my flesh because I heard it say that no good thing dwells in my flesh,” he said in a video clip from the spirited message he delivered on Facebook approximately one year before the victim gave birth.
“I need you to understand that it is not about my flesh because my flesh causes me to do the things that I would not do. Paul said the good that I would I just can’t seem to do because he said whenever I [go to do good] evil is always present because I’m in my flesh,” he said. “Your flesh will send you right to Hell. Your flesh will get yourself in trouble.”
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