MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - New questions are surfacing after the arrest of a Bartlett man accused of sexual battery inside a church.
The police report indicates Faith Baptist Church had a record of complaints against the man. Six days after the story went public, the church issued a response (which you can read below).
The complaints against Robert Austin, 67, regarding his behavior with woman and children go back to 2015.
Church officials said Austin was not on staff, was not a deacon, or involved in any type of leadership within the church.
The incident happened at the church, located on Germantown Road, on April 26.
A 17-year-old girl told police she was with her youth group talking with a friend. The girl said she had her elbows on a table and Austin put his hand under her arm and touched her breast for a couple seconds.
The girl told investigators Austin walked out of the gym after she turned around to see who was touching her.
The report goes on to say the church's head of security told investigators the church had received several complaints regarding Austin's behavior with women and children at the church. The head of security said those reports date back to August 2015.
Bartlett Police Department said it was not notified of any possible incidents at the church.
The church released the following statement on May 25:
Investigators said Austin told them he didn't know the victim and doesn't remember touching anyone inappropriately. He did tell police he sometimes pokes girls in the rib cage as a joke.
We were unable to reach Austin for a comment.
He is due back in court June 26 in Bartlett. He posted a $25,000 bond.