Bartlett TN May 22 2017 A 67-year-old man is facing a sexual battery charge after allegedly touching a 17-year-old girl at a Bartlett church.
Robert Stephen Austin has been charged in Bartlett City Court with one count of sexual battery. He was arrested Thursday and released on $25,000 bond Saturday.
According to a Bartlett police affidavit, the girl told police that she was at Faith Baptist Church sitting at a table in the gym with her youth group on April 26 when a man placed his hand under her arm touched her breast.
Police said another person was sitting next to the alleged victim and witnessed and reported the touching.
According to the affidavit, when police spoke with church security, the head of security reported several complaints had been made against Austin regarding his "behavior with women and children at the church." Security also provided police with emails dating back to August 2015.
Austin reportedly told police he does not remember touching anyone inappropriately.
"He said that sometimes he pokes girls in their rib cage as a joke, but would never jeopardize his family's standing in the church," the affidavit states.
Representatives from the church could not immediately be reached for comment Saturday.