A Warsaw pastor is accused of having sex with a handicapped teenager. His family says he didn’t do it, but court documents say otherwise.
Robert Haywood, 77, is now facing three felony charges for alleged sexual encounters he had with a 14-year-old girl. According to court documents, the victim has cerebral palsy.
Investigators say the first incident happened in the basement at Harvest Time Ministries church in Pierceton – when Haywood allegedly kissed then touched the girl inappropriately.
According to court documents, the second incident – sexual intercourse – happened in the woods behind the victim’s Warsaw home June 20, in Haywood’s truck.
“It is hard to believe because he's an extremely nice guy,” said 17-year-old Christopher Stetzel who lives next door to Haywood on Washington Street in Warsaw.
Stetzel and several other neighbors who said they’ve known the Haywood family for years are shocked about the allegations.
“[He] always just seems like he's willing to be there to talk to you no matter what the circumstance is. He's always been super nice and caring,” Stetzel added.
Haywood’s daughter told WSBT in a phone conversation this has been “a nightmare” and said the allegations aren’t true.
“Pastor Haywood did not do what is alleged, he is innocent,” she said, reading a prepared statement. “Our attorney is out of town today, he advised us not to give a statement. We will honor that advice.”
According to court documents Robert Haywood’s wife, Christine, discovered a voicemail from the 14-year-old on their home phone saying, “I love you, I’ll take my clothes off, let’s make sex.”
Police say the pastor’s wife called the teen’s legal guardian – a congregation member – who then asked the girl about it. The girl reportedly told her about the alleged incidents and the guardian reported it to police.
Court documents also say detectives interviewed a boy who lives in the same home as the 14-year-old who told them Pastor Haywood took him ground hog hunting. He said he saw the pastor take the girl into the woods in his truck, but the documents do not name any witnesses to the alleged sex incidents.