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Tuesday, January 24, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Culpeper minister faces sex charges

A prominent Culpeper VA minister charged last week with child endangerment has been arrested again.

This time, Charles V. Shifflett, 54, faces one count of "intentionally proposing [that a child under 18] feel or fondle the accused's sexual or genital parts," according to Culpeper sheriff's Sgt. Vern Fox. Shifflett is being held without bond, Fox said.

The charge alleges the incident occurred between Dec. 1, 1991, and June 1, 1993, Fox said. He added that the latest charges were brought by the unidentified victim and not as a result of a Sheriff's Office investigation.

Last week's charges were brought as the result of the office's investigation into incidents alleged to have occurred in 1992 and 1993. Neither of those involved any sexual misconduct.

Fox said yesterday that last week's two charges point to a single victim, not two different victims as the Sheriff's Office had initially reported.

Chad Robison, 26, told The Free Lance-Star Thursday that he was the alleged victim in that case. Robison was a student at Calvary Baptist Academy in 1992 and '93.

Fox would not release the name of Shifflett's latest accuser and offered no further details about the charges.

Shifflett assumed pastorship of Calvary Baptist Church in Culpeper in 1983 and transformed it from a 25-member congregation to one with more than 1,000 members. The academy, which Shifflett and his deacons oversaw, was added in the early 1990s.

Shifflett abruptly resigned as pastor about three months ago over what he called a difference of opinion between himself and church elders. He attributed the earlier charges to vindictiveness by some church members.

"It's strictly out of hate," Shifflett said Thursday.

Archie Seale, who says he is now interim pastor at Calvary on Alum Springs Road, said that is not the case. Seale said in a Thursday e-mail to The Free Lance-Star that an investigation began before Shifflett resigned and "was not initiated by anyone who is still a member of our church."

"We had the meeting [on Nov. 2, 2005] with the hopes of talking about the investigation but after about five minutes of discussion, Pastor Shifflett lost his temper, resigned and walked out, informing us to find a new pastor. Since this was the fourth time he had resigned, all [seven] of the men present accepted his resignation," Seale wrote.

Seale said Shifflett later gave the elders a letter--to be read to the congregation the following Sunday--saying that he had resigned "at the request of his doctor for medical reasons."

Following his resignation, Shifflett formed the First Baptist Church of Culpeper, which has been meeting at Dominion Skating Center. About 150 people, including many former Calvary members, are reportedly attending his new church.