FAIRFIELD (CBS13) – Robert Ruark is at the Solano County Jail after a church member came forward, concerned over a conversation she overheard between two of the alleged molestation victims at a church event.
Parishioners know him as Father Silas. The pastor, ordained in 1995, has been at Saint Timothy Orthodox Church in Fairfield since 1996. And that’s when investigators say the abuse started.
They say Ruark targeted children around 13 years old and molested some of them for years at his church, his home, and even on out of town church trips.
Detectives say he even took various pictures of the teens in different states of undressing. Friday, detectives hauled out computers looking for those photos.
“Some of them were pretty graphic from the descriptions that we got,” said Lt. Greg Hurlbut, Fairfield police.
So far police have identified six victims, both boys and girls. All are now men and women in their 20s.
Detectives say one of the victims has been abused more than 100 times from age 13 until just last week.
“Some would resist early on and others thought it was just something that happened at the church. That’s how it was explained, ‘this is what my pastor does,’ ” said Hurlbut.
Investigators learned of the alleged abuse from the church diocese after a church member came forward to a bishop concerned over a conversation she heard between two of the alleged victims.
But that same member had concerns three years ago after she found inappropriate photos at the church.
Officers say she questioned Ruark about it and he denied any involvement. The member never reported it to police.
Now investigators believe there’s a strong possibility that the long time pastor, entrusted to teach the faith, has used his power to hurt even more children.
Fairfield police are now trying to locate any other possible victims and are asking anyone with information to contact the Fairfield Police Department at (707) 428-7600, or the 24-hour Tip Line at (707) 428-7345.