CLEARWATER -- A former pastor has
been sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading no contest to
charges he molested two young girls.
The Rev. Charles Robinson, 63, former pastor of Mount Zion AME
Church in St. Petersburg, pleaded no contest Friday to five felony
charges of sexual contact with parishioners, ages 13 and 15, in 1998
Investigators said while sexual relations were consensual with
the older girl, the younger teen told police he forced her.
Under Florida law, it is illegal for an adult to have sex with a
minor even if the contact is consensual.
In an agreement with prosecutors, Robinson pleaded to four counts
of handling and fondling a child under 16 and one of performing a
lewd and lascivious act.
Prosecutor John Drizis said Robinson faced a maximum sentence of
75 years in prison if convicted at trial. He said the minister was
offered the plea agreement because the victims' families wanted to
avoid the trauma of trial.