Rodney Dean Luffman

Rodney Dean Luffman

A State Road man charged with committing dozens of sex crimes involving juveniles while he was in the role of pastor was sentenced to a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 29 years in prison Monday after pleading guilty to one count of statutory sex offense with a child.

Rodney Dean Luffman, 59, also pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent liberties with a child and one count of first-degree sex offense with a child.

Luffman entered his pleas pursuant to Alford pleas, which means he pleaded guilty while not specifically admitting to guilt.

Judge Michael D. Duncan of Wilkesboro sentenced Luffman in Wilkes Superior Court.

Det. Amanda Boyd of the Wilkes Sheriff’s Office, investigator in the case, said Luffman was charged in cases involving three male and two female juvenile victims for offenses that mostly occurred at Luffman’s home on Pleasant Ridge Road in the Wilkes portion of the State Road community.

She said the offenses mostly occurred between 2000 and 2015.

Boyd said one of the victims was as young as 4 and another as old as 16 when the offenses occurred. Luffman was friends of the families of two of the victims through his church and was connected as extended family to the other three victims at the time, she added.

Two of the victims spoke during court Tuesday and parents of two other victims spoke. Luffman also briefly addressed the court.

When Boyd first charged and arrested Luffman in January 2020, he was identified online as pastor of Open Arms Outreach Ministries, a non-denominational church on N.C. 268 in West End Elkin.

Boyd said that by the time Luffman was arrested, Open Arms Outreach Ministries had closed and Luffman was engaged in online ministry. She said he also had been affiliated with Methodist churches, at least one in North Carolina and another in Virginia.

Boyd charged Luffman with 181 counts of indecent liberties with a child, 58 counts of first-degree sexual offense, 22 counts of statutory rape/sex offense and one count of first-degree statutory offense. Most of the charges were dropped as part of a plea agreement.

Assistant District Attorney Cameron Waddell was the prosecutor in the case. Attorney David Freedman of Winston-Salem represented Luffman.

Luffman remained in the Wilkes County Jail under a $1 million bond since being charged.

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