Winter Haven pastor arrested for child rape
WINTER HAVEN (FOX 13) - A Polk County church pastor has been arrested for having sex with a minor, announced Polk County deputies Friday morning.
David Cooper, of Mountain Movers Ministry Church on Eloise Avenue in Winter Haven, has been charged with sexual battery on a victim under 12 and lewd and lascivious exhibition.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said during a press conference his wife took a child, less than 12 years of age, who she "had access to," to determine if she had been sexually battered. Judd did not disclose what motivated her to take the child to the hospital.
The hospital learned she was not sexually battered, but was a victim of lewd conduct in her presence, Judd said.
Detectives investigated further and found that Cooper, years ago, sexually abused a child between the ages of 10 and 12. The female victim is now an adult, according to Judd.
Judd said there's a chance there are more victims.
"He more than likely abused other children," he explained during a Friday morning press conference. "We're realists in this business. We know you don't sexually abuse a child years ago and do absolutely nothing, and then all of a sudden, you commit lewd conduct in the presence of a child."
He said families that Cooper had access to need to be aware of the arrest.
"Your faith leader is attacking children well under the age of 12," Judd said. "You cut against the grain of the two most precious things we have in this world: our children and our faith."