Former pastor pleads guilty to child sexual assault charges

By From page A4 | February 01, 2013

Robert Ruark is shown in a photo provided by the Fairfield Police Department.

Robert Ruark is shown in a photo provided by the Fairfield Police Department.

FAIRFIELD — The 65-year-old former pastor of St. Timothy Orthodox Church in Cordelia pleaded guilty Wednesday to 18 felony child sexual assault charges.

Robert E. Ruark, also known as Father Silas, was arrested in July 2012 after Fairfield police received reports that Ruark had repeatedly molested children either at the Central Way church or during sleepovers at his Suisun City home between 2001 and 2007.

Ruark, who faced 30 felony sex charges, agreed to an 18-year prison sentence as part of a plea deal pre-empting a probable cause hearing scheduled for February.

Four victims – now adults – told police Ruark molested and photographed them when they 12- 0r 13-year-old children.

The molestations were uncovered in June 2012 when a church employee overheard two people in their 20s talking about abuse at the hands of Ruark. Officials of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese Church in New York contacted Fairfield police.

Police said Ruark targeted children entering puberty at age 12 and 13, allegedly telling them what he was doing was educational and would prepare them for adulthood.

Ruark is scheduled to be sentenced March 11.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

Discussion | 6 comments

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  • pornacFebruary 01, 2013 - 7:48 am

    A christian pastor with low moral standards. Must be one of those liberal pastors.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 01, 2013 - 8:22 am

    pornac, keep trying. Everybody knows about the GOP propensity to use god as an excuse for their nasty little deeds. Heck, better than half their constituency is church leaders and their relationships with evil-minded religious freaks are well documented. Your responses are good comedy though.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • pornacFebruary 01, 2013 - 5:26 pm

    CD. You figured me. I'm just trying to get a reaction out of the right wing religious type folks. Someday I may have the time and knowledge so many of you other progressive folks have.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • FF64February 01, 2013 - 9:32 am

    This man was pure evil and his crimes over many years will effect several young adults and teens for the rest of their lives. He abused his position of trust and now the members of his church will be faced with the inevitable civil litigation. This was also an outstanding example of the work of the FPD Family Violence Unit. Great Job Guys!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksFebruary 01, 2013 - 9:47 am

    Does this fall into the category "god works in mysterious ways?" When will people finally realize that RELIGION is evil? Suggesting this is only one case is redundant and a lie...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • StRFebruary 01, 2013 - 9:58 am

    I will pray for you. Yes religion has been corrupted. This has always been the devil's plan, read the Bible. ???? Suspect any organization with a common purpose? Organizations can be corrupted that is why a real Christian relies only on Jesus and tests all things against the 10 Commandments and love your neighbor as yourself. BTW...From what I have seen living different places in the world, it is the Christian religion that uplifted the status of women...the Bible directs men to love their wives as they love their own body and to honor your father AND your mother.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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