Parents Shocked as Accused Minister Coached Girls Basketball
WDAF-TV news & video
By David Dunn (edited by Jason Vaughn)
WDAF-TV (Kansas City, MO)
April 11, 2009
Robert M. Black
INDEPENDENCE, MO - A metro Baptist minister accused of soliciting a 13-year-old girl over the Internet also coached a girl's basketball team.
And, now parents of the kids coached by Robert Black are wondering if his involvement in the league could have been prevented.
Officials with the Fort Osage Youth Basketball League say that Black, who worked as a minister for a St. Joseph church and is now charged with attempted statutory rape and enticement, cleared a mandatory background check.
"As a volunteer, you think you're getting the best you can to volunteer to help out the kids," said George Johnson, president of the league. He says that he was shocked at the charges against Black, and that the man's involvement with the league is over.
"He's done, he will not be back," said Johnson. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry he came through the league, I'm sorry what he's done to these kids."
The charges also shocked other parents in the league. Lillian Orlando's granddaughter was one of seven 4th Grade girls coached by Black.
"He just seemed like nice caring young man, he took a genuine interest in the girls," said Orlando. "It just totally floored us, we didn't believe it."
Orlando says that she wonders if more could have been done to prevent Black from getting involved in the league, but in the meantime she says that she wants the case to run its course.
"If he is found guilty, he needs to be put somewhere where he can't possibly hurt another person's child again," said Orlando.
Investigators say that Black made contact with more than 100 children online through his Facebook alias "Jon Still," but Johnson says that none of the parents in the league have told him about any inappropriate contact by Black.
If you or your children had Facebook contact with "Jon Still," please call the Clay County Sheriff's Department at (816) 407-3700.
"Baptist church sticking by pastor facing sex charges," Associated Baptist Press, 5/7/09 ("Black is pastor of New Home Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Mo., a small congregation that is affiliated with the Missouri Baptist and Southern Baptist conventions.")