8 Apr 2011

Assembly of God pastor arrested for rape, rape by instrument and forcible sodomy of three children

KOCO 5 News - Oklahoma City April 4, 2011

Okla. Pastor Arrested, Accused Of 70 Sex Assault Charges

Tommy Pitts Arrested On April 1

FAIRVIEW, Okla. -- A pastor at a church in Fairview is accused of rape, police said.

Tommy Pitts, the pastor at the Midway Assembly of God Church, was arrested on April 1 on a slew of rape and sex abuse charges against three children.

KOCO does not identify victims of rape and therefore is not offering any further information that could lead to the identity of the victims.

Police said Pitts was arrested on 15 counts of first-degree rape, 15 counts of rape by instrumentation, 20 counts of lewd or indecent acts with children under 16 and 20 counts of forcible sodomy. He is on suicide watch, police said.

Investigators said the abuse went on for months.

"I would say that everyone is in shock," Major County District Attorney's Office Investigator Robert Banks said.

Banks said the pastor's wife noticed some unusual behavior in her husband and decided to launch her own investigation.

"She then confronted the husband. The husband confirmed some of her suspicions," Banks said. "Any abuse of a child, any sexual assault of a child is a travesty, which is just unacceptable."

Banks said Pitts' wife then called the authorities, leading to his arrest.

During the call, Major County Sheriff Steven Randolph said Pitts' wife told deputies Pitts was threatening to commit suicide.

The sheriff said Pitts tried unsuccessfully to shoot himself then crashed his vehicle into a semi in traffic. He refused treatment.

Randolph said Pitts doesn't have an attorney yet. Pitts will make his first court appearance later this week.

The investigation has been turned over to the Major County district attorney.

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