Due to his good behavior, the youth pastor who was discovered to have se*xually assaulted fourteen girls at Denton Bible Church and another church in Little Rock, Arkansas, was released from pr*ison early.
On January 11, 2023, Robert Shiflet was freed from pri*son following a 25-month sentence for repeatedly assaulting two girls s*exually.
According to a plea deal, Shiflet was sen*tenced to 33 months in pris*on in June 2021 by a federal judge. Regretfully, the judge said, the sentence was not longer.
The victims of Shiflet contend that the U.S. Department of Justice withheld information about his early release from them for more than six weeks. The sudden and unexpected nature of the release meant that there was no way to notify the victims in advance, according to an email sent to them.
52-year-old Shiflet is required to register as a se*x offender because she currently resides in Weatherford, Texas. In addition, he will be monitored for the rest of his life.
Shiflet’s name was recently added to the Texas S*ex Offender Registry because his original registration was made under an incorrect name.
Tommy Nelson was the lead pastor of Denton Bible in the late 1990s when the abuse occurred, and he is still the lead pastor there today.
Shiflet was found responsible for one of his 1996 offenses. At Denton Bible that year, he met a fourteen-year-old girl. In 1997, Shiflet organized a camping trip to the Buffalo National River in Arkansas for eighth graders. He was able to seduce the girl in question by isolating her during this trip. Shiflet allegedly told the girl not to tell anyone about the incident, according to the prosecution.
Speaking to the congregation in May of last year, Nelson claimed that he was not aware of Shiflet’s crimes until 2015. But according to research done by a church-employed lawyer, Denton Bible Church had revoked Shiflet’s ordination ten years earlier.
Shiflet’s request for a promotion to the high school pastor role was denied by Denton Bible in 2001, according to a letter, because of his history of spending time alone with girls. However, that same year, Pastor Nelson gave him a recommendation to serve as the youth pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. The prosecution claims that while Shiflet was working at the aforementioned church, he had s*ex with a sixteen-year-old girl from the youth group several times when he was thirty-two years old, including during a youth trip to Florida.
Two victims who were se*xually abus*ed by Shiflet as minors were very courageous in 2005 and told a counselor at Denton Bible about their experiences. Church leaders confronted Shiflet directly rather than reporting the incident to the authorities. When confronted, Shiflet admitted his wrongdoing.
It is important to remember that the two girls who came forward with reports of abuse in 2005 were 19 years old. Church leaders were not required by law to report abuse incidents during that time.
Shiflet’s transgressions were not made public until 2019. This happened when the two victims who had first told Denton Bible about the abuse in 2005 realized they needed to report it to the police.