The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
Robert Gilmore, Sr., pastor of an unnamed Evangelical church in Casper, Wyoming, stands accused of repeatedly sexually abusing church girls . While the news story does not name the church Gilmore, Sr. pastors, a LinkedIn page for Robert Gilmore, Sr. says he is the bishop of New Life Tabernacle (no web presence) in Casper.
[Pastor] Robert Lee Gilmore Sr. often took on a father figure role for the girls — whose dads were in prison or absent for other reasons — before sexually abusing them, court documents state.
In one case, a victim took her own life after turning to drugs and alcohol to cope with the abuse in her adult life, court documents state.
Gilmore Sr. is charged with six counts of second-degree sexual assault and seven counts of indecent liberties with a minor. If convicted of all charges, he could be sentenced up to 190 years behind bars.
He has not entered a plea to the charges.
According to a heavily redacted affidavit of probable cause, a man contacted Casper police in March involving Gilmore Sr. The man told police that Gilmore Sr. spoke at a funeral for a family member. As Gilmore Sr. spoke, a woman got up and left the chapel.
The woman told the man Gilmore Sr. sexually assaulted her when she was a child and Gilmore Sr. was the pastor, court documents state.
Court documents do not specify at which church Gilmore Sr. was a pastor.
A Casper police detective contacted the girl and described an incident in 2003. She told the detective that she was in Gilmore Sr.’s office preparing for her baptism into the church when Gilmore Sr. sexually assaulted her, court documents state.
Gilmore Sr. allegedly told the girl, who was 5-years-old at the time, that God had chosen her to perform those sex acts with him and that they were necessary to prepare her to be baptized and given “the holy ghost.”
According to the affidavit, a woman came forward and told investigators that she witnessed Gilmore Sr. sexually assault a friend of hers when he was in his 20s and the girl was 11.
As the girl in that instance grew older, the sexual relationship between her and Gilmore Sr. continued, court documents state.
“(Gilmore Sr.) would provide (the alleged victim) with methamphetamine and money as a way to keep her from disclosing the sexual abuse that (Gilmore Sr.) inflicted on her as a child,” the affidavit states. That alleged victim, as an adult, took her own life in 2009.
The affidavit goes on to describe an additional victim who disclosed to a friend that Gilmore Sr. sexually abused her as a child.
Charging documents detail an incident in 2018 when a woman was taking care of her parents who lived in an apartment. An alleged victim of Gilmore Sr.’s was also at the apartment helping out when Gilmore Sr. called and said he would stop by. The alleged victim panicked to the point that she jumped out a window and started running away.
According to the affidavit, yet another alleged victim came forward and described an incident that happened in the spring of 2004 or 2005. In that case, the alleged victim described being taken into the church basement after Sunday school to change into a baptismal gown. Gilmore Sr. allegedly accompanied the girl into a closet to change her clothing. He reportedly took the girl’s clothing off, including her undergarments, and molested her.
In that instance, Gilmore Sr. told the girl that the assault was God’s will and that God would be angry at her if she did not relent.
According to court documents, police spoke with a victim from 1998 who described preparing to be baptized when Gilmore Sr. brought her to his office and said it would “hurt” God if she didn’t let him sexually abuse her.
Bruce Gerencser, 63, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 42 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen awesome grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.
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