Robert Lee Adams, 46, began sexually abusing the girl when she was younger than 13 and got her pregnant about three years later, according to the Gaston County Police Department. Authorities have been searching for Adams for nine months.
The girl gave birth in the summer of 2008, and an investigation led police to Adams, said Gaston County Police Capt. Joe Ramey.
Ramey said Adams was pastor of Mount Calvary Tabernacle at the corner of Linwood Road and Camp Rotary Road in west Gastonia. Adams’ last known address is 1319 Rosewood Drive, Dallas.
“We hope someone recognizes Mr. Adams and calls us so we can take him into custody,” Ramey said. “Obviously with these kinds of allegations and warrants outstanding, this is not someone we want to be loose in the community.”
Adams may be traveling in a 1970s-model orange pickup truck. People have reported seeing Adams locally in Forest City and out-of-state in Tennessee and Texas.
Investigators want to interview Adams, who does not have a prior criminal record.
“This would be his opportunity as well to come forward and share his side of the story,” Ramey said. “When someone’s on the run, it makes it difficult to do that.”
The alleged sexual assault took place between February 2004 and March 2007, Ramey said. The girl is receiving counseling and other help from social service agencies.
Adams is charged with statutory rape, first-degree sex offense with a child, taking indecent liberties with a child and other sex offenses.
“We’d like to get this individual off the streets,” said Ramey. “It would certainly make the victim and some family members feel relief, and maybe bring some closure to the whole situation.”
Anyone with information on Adams’ whereabouts is asked to call the Gaston County Police Department at 704-866-3320 or Crime Stoppers at 704-861-8000.