Cover Story: Pastors past and current charges

By Jeff Atkinson - bio l email

ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) -  A South Carolina minister has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy.  And it's not Rev. Johnny "Bill" Cabe's first run in with the law.

We covered Rock Hill Pastor John Cabe during his federal trial on fraud charges in Columbia in 2001.

During the trial only thing we could get out of him was Scripture references.

Cabe was convicted and sentenced to nine years in federal prison.  He was convicted on 26 counts of bilking investors out of millions of dollars.

But it wasn't his first time in front of a judge.

"Thank God..."

In 1994, a York county jury acquitted Cabe of sexually assaulting teenage boys.

And 5 years years later Cabe was accused of practicing medicine without a license.. for allegedly fondling underage boy's private parts while doing supposed hernia operations.

But those charges were dropped.

Cabe in federal court at the time.. was looking at nearly a decade behind bars.. a far longer time than he would get on a conviction for practicing medicine without a license.

"The consensus among the victims and all the parties involved in those cases at the time was let these cases go.. he'll do his federal time."

York county Solicitor Kevin Brackett telling us that Cabe's arrest this week for allegedly having an inappropriate sexual contact with a boy who was 10 at the time, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and an unlawfully practicing medicine charge.. warrants a review of Cabe's other cases from a decade ago.

"There is no statue of limitations in South Carolina. So you can certainly go back and revisit those cases," says Brackett.

Once Cabe got out of federal prison July 2008 he went back to Riverside Baptist Church outside Rock Hill.. the independent Baptist church he pastored before he went behind bars.

A flock that faithfully protected him.. as we saw first hand during trial.

It was at Cabe's church that investigators say he had inappropriate sexual contact with the 10-year old boy from January 2009 until this past June.

A former associates of Cabe's, Dennis Smith who lives in Easley, South Carolina, said, "The whole church kinda revolved around his personality, see. I'm surprised they've been able to weather the storm. I'm actually surprised after all of this and that they would allow him to fill a pulpit."

The charges against John Cabe from a decade ago - allegedly performing hernia exams on two teenage boys - were dismissed with the right to refile.

What's the next step for prosecutors?

Prosecutors plan to review those case, talk to the victims, and see whether to re-file those along with the latest charges.

Cabe is out of jail on bond.

Copyright 2010 WBTV. All rights reserved.