October 28, 2005

Special Hearing Held For Pastor Accused Of Sexual Assault


POSTED: 3:41 pm EDT October 28, 2005
UPDATED: 6:20 pm EDT October 28, 2005

DELAND, Fla. -- Prosecutors say a former DeLand pastor has a history of sexual abuse to children that has spanned decades. Charles Balfe was arrested earlier this year. He is charged with multiple counts of sexual assault on children.

Friday was a special hearing. The state wanted to establish a pattern of the abusive behavior. To do so, they brought back alleged victims from Balfe's distant past.

The charges against Balfe are almost unspeakable. Three children allege Balfe sexually assaulted and physically beat them over the course of several years. All three were in their early teens at the time.

The state says Balfe has been abusing children for decades. They brought two witnesses to the stand who say Balfe did the same things to them more than 20 years ago.

The statute of limitations is up for them, since so much time has passed and they didn't speak up. But the state believes what they have to say will establish a pattern with the claims of the more recent victims.

Posted by kshaw at October 28, 2005 07:13 PM