A former Fayetteville pastor has been accused of sexually assaulting four children over the course of 13 years.
Glenn Tyrone Collins turned himself into police Monday, according to multiple reports, after a warrant was issued for his arrest.
The abuse allegedly began in 1996, though officials started investigating the allegations after one of Collins’ accusers recently came forward, detectives told TV station WTVD.
“This person was going through emotional trauma when they told (their) mother, so a lot of times none of us know that folks are being violated, particularly (by) folks they hold in high esteem,” Fayetteville Police Capt. Darry Whitaker said, according to the TV station.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Collins faces more than 130 charges related to the allegations, according to jail records. The charges include several counts of first-degree rape of a child.
In his first court appearance Tuesday, Collins contended that he is innocent.
“I’m not guilty of any of this stuff,” Collins said, according to the Fayetteville Observer. “I own property. I’m a pillar of the community and I don’t deserve this.”
It was not immediately clear which religious organizations he worked for in the past.
If convicted, Collins, faces life in prison, the newspaper reported.
Court records show Collins had three prior arrests for assault on a female, and two of those cases were dismissed. On a third charge he pleaded no contest, which is not legally an admission of guilt, in 1995. In that case a judge issued a prayer for judgment verdict, which is a form of judicial mercy that some lawyers say are usually used for traffic violations and some misdemeanors.
LaVendrick Smith: @LaVendrickS