Wenatchee Settles Sex-Case Settlement with Former Pastor

Associated Press, carried in Seattle Post-Intelligencer
December 26, 2007

WENATCHEE, Wash. — The city of Wenatchee and a former pastor acquitted of child sex charges in the 1990s have settled a court fight for $700,000.

The settlement ends more than 11 years of civil litigation between the city and Robert "Roby" Roberson, who was one of dozens of people arrested during an investigation into an alleged sex ring at the East Wenatchee Pentecostal Church.

Roberson filed suit accusing the city of violating his civil rights.

Neither Roberson nor the city would reveal the amount of the settlement earlier this month.

Association of Washington Cities Risk Management Services, which also had declined to provide the amount, released the figure $700,000 figure Monday in response to a public disclosure request.

The case was sparked by a claim made by a foster child in the home of Wenatchee police Detective Robert Perez, who said she and other children were sexually abused at the church. The 1994-95 investigations led to the arrests of at least 60 adults for investigation of child sexual abuse in Wenatchee and East Wenatchee.

Of 26 who were convicted, all but one had their convictions overturned or substantially reduced as a result of a plea agreement.

Honnah Sims, at one time a Sunday school teacher in Roberson's church, reached a $350,000 settlement last year. Sims was acquitted in 1995 after she was accused of raping and molesting young girls at the church.

Donna Rodriguez, a former church parishioner, signed a $300,000 settlement in April 2006. Rodriguez was arrested on suspicion of child rape, but those charges were dismissed in 1995.

Earlier this month, city officials said they had never paid more than $25,000 in city funds to settle lawsuits stemming from the discredited investigations. Insurance has always covered the remainder.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.