The Norman Police Department says a former local pastor has been arrested for child sex crimes.
According to police, 77-year-old Phillip Paul Ratliff was arrested at his home in the 2400 block of Bonnybrook Street on two complaints of lewd acts to a child on Tuesday, May 22.
Police said it was reported that Ratliff was in possession of child pornography and believed to have molested a juvenile girl at his home.
Ratliff was booked into the Cleveland County Detention Center.
News 9 has confirmed Ratliff is a former pastor of Alameda Baptist Church.
Tristan Martin from the church issued the following statement on the situation:
On May 22, 2018, I was made aware that Phil Ratliff, the former pastor of this church had been accused of the sexual assault of a minor. Child pornography was also found on Phil Ratliff's personal computer. Norman police had already been made aware by those close to the victim. The assault is alleged to have occurred while Phil Ratliff was the pastor of this church, though there is no reason to believe anything occurred on church grounds at this time. Those that brought this matter to the attention of church leadership are trustworthy and credible. Norman police have found sufficient evidence to bring charges and Phil Ratliff has been arrested. Phil Ratliff is relieved of any and all ministry responsibilities at this church effective immediately.
Alameda Baptist Church mourns with the victims and seeks justice for them. Thought crimes are not known to have occurred on church property at this time, we ask that anyone who knows of suspected abuse involving Phil Ratliff to let Norman Police and leadership of this church know. We are committed to the safety of all children and will review all child safety procedures, making changes where necessary.
As to Philip Ratliff, formal church discipline has begun in accordance with the scripture (1 Corinthians 5). We pray for his public and private repentance, while seeking justice, and looking to keep the children of this church safe. With that in mind, Phil Ratliff will bot be allowed on church property until sufficient and extensive evidence of repentance has been demonstrated to church leadership.
The investigation is ongoing. Police are asking that anyone with information concerning the investigation to contact Detective Kellee Robertson at 405-366-5261.