Former pastor again facing sexual abuse charge

Oct. 18—PINEVILLE, Mo. — The former pastor of a fringe church in McDonald County at the center of a sexual abuse scandal 16 years ago is facing a new charge that he raped an underage girl.

Raymond L. Lambert II, 67, of rural Washburn, was arrested and charged last week with first-degree rape of a 10-year-old girl in the summer of 2013. The Missouri State Highway Patrol made the arrest after an investigation of information that first surfaced in August.

A probable-cause affidavit states that the victim, who is now an adult, told a state patrol investigator Lambert sexually assaulted her nine years ago when she was visiting a relative in McDonald County.

She told authorities, the affidavit states, that Lambert had raped her in dark shed. She said that shortly after he began sexually assaulting her, the sound of car tires on the road outside sent him into a panic and he stopped, warning her not to tell anyone.

The affidavit states that she did not tell anyone what happened at the time. But her mother was able to confirm that the girl had visited a relative that summer.

Lambert, his wife, two brothers who served as deacons in Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church, and George Johnston, the suspect's uncle and pastor of Grand Valley Baptist Church North in Newton County, were charged in 2006 with various sex offenses when a few women left the churches and told authorities that they had been sexually abused over the years, dating back as far as the 1970s.

No one was convicted in the scandal as the McDonald and Newton county prosecutors' cases fell apart with the victims ultimately backing out of testifying at trial.