NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A former pastor at two central Arkansas Baptist churches has been indicted on a charge of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl in Texas more than two decades ago.
According to Tarrant County court records, 47-year-old Mark Aderholt was indicted by a grand jury Tuesday on one count of sexual assault of a child under 17 and three counts of indecency with a child.
KARK first told you of Aderholt’s arrest in July. He has been out on bond since.
If Aderholt does not plead guilty, the case will more forward to a trial.
His accuser, Anne Miller, said she “became sexually intimate” with Aderholt, her 25-year-old youth pastor. According to the arrest warrant, it ended in 1997. Ten years later, Miller questioned their relationship.
“I think I could be sexually abused,” she said during a July interview.
Miller reported the alleged abuse to the International Mission Board (IMB) in Virginia in 2007, where Aderholt had moved up the ranks as a missionary.
According to documents, IMB found “it was more likely than not that Aderholt engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship with Miller,” and she had “suffered as a result of” it. However, the organization never told police, and Aderholt was able to resign.
Two months later, Aderholt was in Arkansas, working as a pastor at Central Baptist Church in North Little Rock then Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, which he left in 2016.
“When I learned Mark was not reported to authorities and given an opportunity to resign, I knew I had to do something,” Miller said.
She reported Aderholt to police in July. He was arrested and charged in Texas for sexual assault of a child under the age of 17, something that shocked his Arkansas church community. No one would go on camera but talked about how much they love him and called him a good family man to his wife and three kids.
Upon the news of his indictment this week, they gave the same response.
IMB is the missionary arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. Since Miller told her story, it has promised to take abuse more seriously, including launching a sex abuse task force comprised of experts outside of the religious organization.