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.
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