ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC-TV) – A man in Orleans County has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child, according to the Orleans County District Attorney.
The mother of that child said the man, Robert Schiff, sent inappropriate messages to her then 14-year-old daughter. She also said he was her youth pastor at a church in Medina at the time.
The DA also said an order of protection has been served in the Town of Carlton.
Tonia James said her daughter always loved going to church. That’s why James was shocked when she abruptly stopped going. For a year she didn’t know the real reason why.
“I recently found out from my daughter’s school that she was receiving messages when she was 14 and 15 years old from a youth pastor at her church,” said James.
According to James, that pastor is Robert Schiff. James said the messages from the account with Schiff’s name started off normal but took a turn quickly. She said Schiff asked her daughter to hang out and went on from there.
“The main one that stuck out to me the most was telling her that she would look good in a thong and that was at like 1:30 in the morning,” said James.
James said she asked her daughter why she didn’t say something sooner.
“She just felt that because of his position and he was so known in the church she thought it would be better to not go there anymore,” said James.
James said she posted her story on Facebook and received lots of responses from others who say he did this to their daughters as well.
“I’ve already found more people, maybe some might not want to come forward, maybe some will. Hopefully, they do more than not,” she said. “These kids are all out there suffering because they feel that they’re too scared to say something because of this man’s position.”
The account with Schiff’s name also responded. The account wrote, “I didn’t do nothing,” “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” and “Is that all of them or can I see more?” after James posted screenshots of the messages she said he allegedly sent.
James said she doesn’t feel the child endangerment charge is enough.
“I wanna see this man pay for all this hurt he’s given all these children. They have to live with this feeling their whole entire lives and it’s just not something they should have to live with,” she said.
James also told News 8 that Schiff no longer works at the church.
The Orleans County District Attorney also informed us that a judge decided to release Schiff on his own recognizance.
This is a developing story and we will give you updates as we learn more.