The former pastor of what was once a large church congregation in Oceanside was arrested in Alabama on charges of sexual torture and child abuse, a police captain in the southern state said.
Police in Montgomery, Ala., arrested Barry Albert Cook on Thursday, Montgomery police Capt. Ron Cook said. Barry Cook, 47, was placed in the Montgomery County Detention Facility. He remained jailed Tuesday in lieu of $500,000 bail, according to online jail records.
The former pastor also had an outstanding warrant for domestic violence in the third degree, the police captain said.
Alabama television station WSFA reported that the victim was a boy younger than 12.
North County residents may remember Cook as the founder of the Ambassador Family Church, which he founded in Oceanside in 1995. The church eventually opened a large building at the southeast corner of Oceanside Boulevard and El Camino Real.
The church building fell into foreclosure in spring 2008 after membership dropped from 800 members to about 200 members, a church spokesman told the North County Times three years ago.
In 2002, the Oceanside Community Relations Commission selected Cook, who is white, as one of four finalists for the Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Award.
About a decade ago, Cook stirred controversy when, during a speech against racism, he said, "We must see through the leech causes ... like non-citizens who want the same rights and the homosexual agendas who try to equate immoral sexual practices with the issue of racism."