weather icon Partly Cloudy

Local pastor faces sexual assault, child abuse charges

Updated August 18, 2022 - 5:05 pm

A local pastor is accused of sexually assaulting and inappropriately touching two women and a girl, according to police.

Bobby Cornealius Smith, 45, has been charged with three counts of sexual assault and one count of child abuse.

Smith was arrested Friday after a victim came forward in February and told police she had been sexually assaulted in 2012 when she was a minor. Smith sexually assaulted the victim about 30 times between August 2012 and March 2013, according to a North Las Vegas Police Department arrest report.

When Smith tried to provide the victim with a sex toy, he said that God had told him that if she did not participate, her life would be ruined, according to the report.

Smith texted the victim telling her when he would be going into her room at night, according to the report. The victim told police she knew of at least one other victim.

The report did not include the church where Smith worked, but “Bobby Smith” was listed as the pastor at New Beginnings Ministries in North Las Vegas.

Officials at New Beginnings could not be reached for comment, but a voicemail message said, “We are under the leadership of Pastor Bobby Smith.”

Last week, police were contacted by another woman who said she became one of Smith’s “God daughters” and spent time at his house. She told police that in 2013 Smith exposed himself to her and sexually assaulted her, according to the report.

His wife, LaShawn Smith, was charged with one count of child abuse, according to court records.

Bobby Smith’s attorney could not be reached for comment.

Both are due in court on Tuesday and have posted bail, according to court records.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.