Worship leader accused of sex assault on a child
A worship leader who also helped run a homeschool group is facing trial for sexual assault on a child.
A member of the Community Fellowship of Christians church in Florissant spoke to 11 News on the condition of anonymity. She says she and others in the church were shocked to hear that 58-year old Torin Smith is facing charges of sex assault on a child.
"I didn't expect that from them because they lead the homeschool group and they're leaders in the church," she said.
The woman tells us that dozens of young students were involved in the homeschool group ran by Smith and his wife.
According to court documents obtained by 11 News, Smith sexually assaulted multiple children. Court documents list six potential victims.
One of the alleged victims reportedly told investigators that the assault had been happening for years.
Before Smith was arrested in September 2017, he was working at Community Fellowship of Christians and was also running a Christian retreat in Florissant called Praise Mountain Ministry.
Smith's wife is facing charges of tampering with a witness in connection to the case. Court documents say Rena Smith reportedly sent emails to the alleged victim offering her "counseling and prayer" and asked her to "please drop the charges."
According to a victim statement, Rena allegedly told her "the past needs to stay in the past" and not to talk about the "bad things" that were done to her.
The church member said their congregation has been reeling from the news.
"I think our community has been violated. ... There are people who have left the church; they don't want to have anything to do with it because their trust has been violated, and that's very sad to see."
But she's hopeful they can pick up the pieces.
"Once justice is served, then healing can begin, so that's really important."
Both Smiths are out on bond. They are scheduled for trial in May.
Torin's attorney said he had no comment at this point.