Thursday, April 28, 2005


'Internet evangelist' held on child rape charges

DELAND, FLA. -- A self-described Internet evangelist who has preached about everything from morality to spirituality on his family's Web site was arrested Wednesday and charged with raping a child younger than 12.

Charles Michael Balfe, 60, was picked up at his job site at 84 Lumber in DeLand, DeLand Police Cmdr. Randel Henderson said. He is being held at the Volusia County Branch Jail without bail.

Balfe, married and the father of three, is accused in three warrants of raping a child younger than 12, Henderson said. The remaining counts accuse him of sexual battery, lewd and lascivious molestation and domestic violence... includes information promoting prayer in schools, a What Would Jesus Do? checklist and a discussion about heaven and hell.

The Web site also features a family portrait of Balfe, his wife and their three children and includes the question, "Do you see guardian angels in this picture?"


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