2 Accused in Child Rapes at Church; the Cases Are about 10 Years Old

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID HUNT

A whistle-blower's tip led to two men being charged with sexually assaulting children at the Greater Refuge Temple, a Jacksonville church off Lem Turner Road.

One of the men is the church leader's son.

Paul Keith Groover, 56, and Darrell Vincent Moore, 45, pleaded not guilty to the charges this week. Their lawyer, Jason Porter, declined to comment Tuesday.

Each case can be traced back nearly a decade.

Assistant State Attorney Jessica Villella said she is not sure what prompted the whistle-blower to act, but the allegations checked when authorities contacted the victims. Each story was heartbreaking, she said.

Arrest warrants say Moore molested several girls. One was raped at knife-point in the church's video room. When it was over, police say he threatened to kill the girl if she ever told anyone.

Groover is accused of molesting a teenage boy for several years while working as a janitor for the church, according to his arrest warrant.

Police say he exchanged naked picture phone messages with the boy and would text him locations in the church to meet for sex.

To strengthen the case, the authorities monitored a phone call between Groover and the victim, who is now 21, in October.

According to the arrest warrant, Groover criticized the victim during the call and told him that he didn't need therapy, just prayer and time to forget.

Moore is charged with four counts of sexual battery and three counts of lewd or lascivious conduct. …