Updated: Thursday, 23 Jul 2009, 10:58 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 22 Jul 2009, 5:15 PM EDT
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A former church volunteer has been arrested for allegedly molesting a teenage girl.
Robert Posey, 39, is facing a charge of child molestation for allegedly having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl he met at church.
"We're deeply disappointed at the accusation of someone who attended our church," Pastor Thomas Manbeck of the Good Shepherd Baptist Church said.
Manbeck said he's shocked to find out Posey, who drove a church van, has been accused of molesting a fellow church member.
It's an allegation the pastor's taking very seriously.
"Robert was removed from his position that day and has not been
back to our church since and is not a part of our church," Manbeck
While Posey and the girl met at church, the alleged abuse happened at Posey's apartment in the Deming Center. That's where the victim claims Posey had sexual intercourse with her.
Posey spoke on his way out of the courtroom Wednesday about the allegations.
"I'm innocent," Posey said. "I have no idea why someone would
accuse me of such a thing."
Police said Posey's arrest should send a message to parents.
"It could happen to anybody anywhere," Detective Rick Decker of the Terre Haute Police Department said. "We're glad he's in custody so now the judicial system can take its course."
If convicted, Posey could face up to 50 years in prison.
Meanwhile, Manbeck's focus is on the victim's family.
"We're doing everything we can to help them through their rough time," Manbeck said.
Manbeck said the church does background checks on all volunteers
as well as employees and Posey had no criminal past prior to
He also had no direct contact with children while he was driving the church van, only adults.
Posey's jury trial is set for Jan. 5.
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