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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Arkansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Former Youth Pastor Charged With Multiple Sex Crimes

Indictment Alleges Illegal Transportation and Coercion of Minors

LITTLE ROCK—A former youth pastor appeared in federal court today to face charges involving illegal sexual contact with minors. Robert Shiflet, 50, was charged by a grand jury in an indictment handed down on June 2, 2020. He was arrested on June 12 at his home in Denton, Texas, and arraigned via Skype today in Little Rock before United States Magistrate Judge Jerome T. Kearney.

Cody Hiland, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Diane Upchurch, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Little Rock Field Office, announced the indictment, which charges Shiflet with three counts of transporting a minor across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity and one count of coercing a minor to cross a state line to engage in illegal sexual activity.

The indictment alleges that in or about May 1997, Shiflet transported a minor from Texas to Arkansas for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity. The indictment alleges he did so again in March 2001 with a different minor, and from June through September of 2002 with a third minor. The indictment also charges Shiflet with enticing the third minor to cross a state line for the purpose of engaging in illegal sexual activity from June through September of 2002. During this time period, Shiflet worked as a youth pastor in Little Rock and later moved to Denton, Texas, where he had previously worked as a youth pastor.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kristin Bryant. Anyone with additional information to report about Robert Shiflet can call 1-800-CALL-FBI.

The penalty for transportation of a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity is not more than 15 years imprisonment. The penalty for coercion is not more than 10 years imprisonment. Both charges carry potential penalties of not less than five years of supervised release and a fine of not more than $250,000.

An indictment only contains allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, is available online at

https://www.justice.gov/edar

 

Twitter:

@EDARNEWS

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 24, 2020