SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office’s Special Victims Unit arrested an area pastor for reportedly distributing obscene material, indecent exposure and contributing to the delinquency of a minor charges.
According to a sheriff’s office news release, deputies arrested William G. Coats, of Newberry, S.C.
Sheriff’s Office officials said Coats is a pastor of Newberry Christian Ministries Church, which is a traveling church that reportedly meets in people’s homes.
According to the release, Coats had been ministering to young teenage boys on several occasions.
One teen victim told the Child’s Advocacy Center that Coats asked him to take off his clothes, along with another young boy, while at a home in Spartanburg County.
Coats is also accused of getting into the shower with the victim on two occasions and performing a lewd gesture.
According to the release, Coats also wrote a fictional book that has only been provided to certain people he chooses, and those people are given a log in to access the book.
The book reportedly includes graphic accounts, including a section detailing a sexual assault.
Sheriff’s Office officials said the case will be referred to Greenville County.
Investigators issued arrest warrants charging Coats with disseminating obscene material, indecent exposure and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
We talked with the executive director of a local child advocacy center to see what’s next for the alleged victim or victims in this case. We also wanted to know how parents can talk to their kids about these kinds of subjects.
Shauna Galloway-Williams with the Julie Valentine Center told us the healing process begins when a victim in these kinds of cases can tell someone what happened. That’s why she encourages parents to communicate with their kids and not be afraid to talk.
“It may be that you’re having a very direct conversation and saying this particular person has done some things that are not okay with other kids. I just wanted to talk with you and see if anything like this has ever happened to you,” said Julie Valentine Center Exec. Director, Shauna Galloway-Williams.
Additionally, you can reach their 24/7 hotline at 864.467.3633.
His bond was set at $20,000 along with GPS monitoring. The judge cited no criminal history.
According to the release, Coats has lived at several addresses across the U.S. and sheriff’s office officials said the potential for additional victims may exist.
Anyone who believes they may have been a victim of Coats is asked to call Inv. Tiffany Hill at 864-503-4579 or email email@example.com.
Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and the State Law Enforcement Division assisted in the investigation.