October 29, 2005

Prosecutor: Evangelist posed as father figure

The Daytona Beach News-Journal

Staff Writer

Last update: October 29, 2005

DELAND -- Charles Balfe, a self-described Internet evangelist, sought out women who had children and used his "father figure" authority to sexually and physically abuse the women and children, a prosecutor said Friday.
In a day of wrenching testimony from young witnesses, Assistant State Attorney Tammy Jacques argued before Circuit Judge S. James Foxman at an evidentiary hearing that Balfe carefully orchestrated his move to get close to people with children. Jacques wants the court to accept the testimony of two people from Oklahoma who say they were sexually abused by Balfe.

Jacques argued the Oklahoma case -- which she says occurred in the 1960s and 70s -- is relevant because of similarities to the sexual attacks Balfe is charged with here. "The defendant was a father figure in each of the cases," Jacques said.

Balfe was arrested in April by DeLand police, accused of raping a child younger than 13. He was charged with capital sexual battery on a child younger than 12, lewd and lascivious molestation on a child younger than 12 and domestic violence. He remains in jail; his trial is scheduled for Dec. 5.

Posted by kshaw at October 29, 2005 08:25 AM