BURLINGTON POLICE INVESTIGATING ALLEGED SEX CRIMES AT CHURCH INVOLVING A FORMER GREENSBORO GROUP HOME EMPLOYEE
September 25, 2019
My Fox 8
BURLINGTON, N.C. — Burlington police are investigating a man charged with sex offenses with a child at a Greensboro group home.
FOX8 first reported on Richard Heath when police arrested him for allegedly forcing a 15-year-old to perform sex acts at the Center for Progressive Strides.
Since the arrest, several alleged victims have contacted prosecutors about crimes happening in both Guilford and Alamance counties.
“At first I was shocked, not because I didn’t believe it, I was shocked because I never thought the day would come that he would face justice,” said one of the alleged victims, who wanted the remain anonymous.
He came in contact with Heath through Morningstar Baptist Church on Cates Avenue in Burlington.
Prosecutors told a judge last week that some victims have said crimes took place in Alamance County surrounding church activities in the 80s and 90s.
“I thought he would do what he did to me and other little boys forever,” the alleged victim said.
On Wednesday, FOX8 confirmed Burlington police are working to contact witnesses of the crimes. A detective is assigned to investigate Heath’s activity in the city and the church is part of it.
“I can name you at least 50, well some of them aren’t little boys anymore, at least 50 people that were underage,” the alleged victim said.
FOX8 went by Morningstar Baptist. One of the ministers said Richard Heath went to the church.
FOX8 then called the bishop. He told us he had "no comment" and later hung up the phone.
The alleged victim is still dealing with the trauma.
“If I’m around another male by myself I have high anxiety and panic attacks. At the age that I’m at, I’m afraid of being in the dark by myself still because of what happened,” the alleged victim said.
He does feel some sense of closure after the arrest.
“I feel like I can go ahead and live my life the way I’m supposed to because I feel like I can finally close that chapter of my life,” the alleged victim said.
FOX8 is expecting developments in this case and will update you as soon as they can be released. As for Heath, he’s expected to face a judge in Guilford County next month.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.
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