Church official charged with sex offender violation

2013-04-08T19:00:00Z 2013-04-08T20:23:32Z Church official charged with sex offender violationStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
April 08, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

MICHIGAN CITY | A Michigan City church official was among the people arrested during a recent sweep of convicted registered sex offenders in LaPorte County, police said.

Darrell Roberts, 53, was taken into custody Friday on a warrant charging him with two counts of sex offender registry violations, according to LaPorte County authorities.

Police said officers with arrest warrants issued out of LaPorte Superior Court 4 found Roberts at the Deliverance and Victory Five-Fold Worship Center at 113 Skwiat Legion Ave.

Roberts is listed as the apostle on the church website, while his wife, Vera, is listed as the pastor.

According to police, Roberts began to resist officers and refused to comply with orders to place his hands and arms behind his back so he could be handcuffed.

He refused to be handcuffed until he made a telephone call, police said.

He was denied the call and handcuffed without further incident, police said.

Roberts was booked into the LaPorte County Jail and held on $750 cash bond on each of the two Class D felony counts.

According to jail officials, he was released later that day after posting bond.

Roberts was among six people arrested out of more than 80 sex offenders whose addresses on the registry countywide were verified during a April 2 sweep.

LaPorte County Sheriff's Department Chief of Detectives John Boyd said Roberts first registered in LaPorte County in November 2010 after relocating from Missouri.

He was convicted in Missouri in 2002 of sexual misconduct in the first degree and child molestation in the second degree, Boyd said.

Roberts was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to be on a sex offender registry for the rest of his life.

“He's classified as an offender against children,” Boyd said.

Boyd said Roberts signed onto the registry after informing authorities in Missouri that he was moving to Michigan City.

Court mandates to be on a registry follow offenders from one jurisdiction to the other, even when the jurisdiction they now reside is in another state, Boyd said.

“We've been tracking him ever since,” Boyd said.

Roberts in November 2012 listed the address of the church when he last updated his residency information, but an investigation showed he was actually living at 211 Ridgeland Ave., Boyd said.

The second count alleges Roberts was living within 1,000 feet of a state licensed day care center, Boyd said.

Roberts could face anywhere from a six-month to three-year sentence on each count.

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