ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Neighbors of an Abilene church worker arrested for child sex crimes say he ran a “Kid’s Club” out of his home for years.
12-year-old Anastasia told KTAB and KRBC she attended the “Kid’s Club” ran at 465 Cockerell Street by Benjamin Roberts and his roommates since she was 5. Roberts was arrested for Possession of Child Pornography and Indecency with a Child – Sexual Contact Wednesday
Anastasia says she and her friends would visit the home at least once a week, where 2-to-5 adults, including Roberts, would play board games with them, help them with homework, read to them, and take them to the park and church.
Other children who spoke with KTAB and KRBC said they never experienced issues at the “Kid’s Club” and for them, it was a good place for kids in the neighborhood to get together.
One neighbor and parent said she stopped letting her children take part in the “Kid’s Club” after she noticed some of their practices changed, such as allowing adult males to take girls to church instead of adult females taking girls to church.
Court documents reveal Abilene Police began investigating the Cockerell Street house after several child porn videos uploaded to a file-sharing site were traced to an IP address associated with the home.
Eventually, investigators were able to connect the IP address to Roberts, and after several electronic devices and a pair of children’s underwear was seized from his home during a search warrant execution, police say he confessed to possessing the child porn and also “admitted to touching one child under 12 inappropriately in 2017.”
Over the past 5 years, Roberts has worked in daycares and youth ministries at several Abilene churches, including Wylie Baptist Church, Southern Hills Church of Christ, and Beltway Park South.
Police believe that due to the high volume of children he had contact with, there is an “extremely high likelihood” Roberts sexually assaulted more victims.
Parents are urged to talk with their children and if any crime is suspected, to make a report with the Abilene Police Department at (325)673-8331.
BigCountryHomepage will update this article as additional information on the allegations against Roberts’ is released.
Neighborhood interviews on Benjamin Roberts’ “Kid’s Club”: