Volunteer Chaplain in Exeter Arrested for Sexual Abuse

May 8, 2012

[with video]

Alton Dorrough was a respected man, a man many people trusted. He was a volunteer chaplain for the Exeter Police Department. Chief Cliff Bush has known him for years, "He was the kind of person you would think, this person has the community at heart."

His reputation was tarnished Monday after a teenage girl walked into police headquarters. According to authorities, she claimed Dorrough sexually abused her for four years. Investigators called him in and took him away in handcuffs.

Chief Bush said, "I'm sick to my stomach, this is just awful. It's just shock, betrayed, disappointed."

Dorrough is 62-years-old. He was involved with several drug recovery groups and ministries. Chief Bush said he was also a minister at The Church of God of Exeter.

"He was there to comfort be that understanding ear and shoulder," Bush added, "He let a lot of people down yesterday."

In Dorrough's neighborhood, just outside of Exeter, friends and family declined to talk. Neighbors also declined show their faces on camera.

One neighbor said, "When you have someone professing to be in the faith and this happens...we're all human and we all have's just devastating."

Dorrough is still behind bars. His bail is set at a million dollars. The accusations against him were enough to end his relationship with the police department.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Department is handling the investigation. Dorrough is expected to be in court on Wednesday.

Joe Ybarra reporting.


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