ONLY ON WOAY: New details about arrest of local pastor revealed at preliminary hearing

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The preliminary hearing for Elbert Eugene “Buddy” Goines was held on Dec. 28. During the hearing, new details that you will only read on WOAY were revealed¬†about the investigation.

Goins is now the former lead minister for Mount Hope Christian Church, and he was arrested on Dec. 8 for allegedly patronizing a minor victim of sexual servitude.

The arresting officer was state trooper R.L. Jones, who was working with the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit of the FBI, known as ICAC.

Jones testified that the ICAC Unit was using a website frequented by people seeking escort services to post ads to root out predators seeking sexual relations with minors.

On July 23, 2023, an undercover officer posted an ad on the website that referred to a “mama bear with cubs” who were available, and Goins allegedly responded to the ad. However, nothing came of that interaction.

Later in the year, undercover officers made another post, and Goins reached out again, this time on Dec. 5, according to Jones’s testimony. He communicated with who he thought was a single mother of two young girls, aged 11 and 13.

That exchange took place mainly through email.

Trooper Jones testified that a meeting was arranged at the Ruby Tuesday on Harper Road, where Goins and an undercover officer discussed the price for a meeting with the two girls. Goins was arrested upon leaving the restaurant.

During the hearing, Goins’s attorney argued that there is a record of emails indicating that Goins, fearing police involvement, had decided not to follow through and agreed to meet only to pay the adult woman for the time that he had “wasted.”

Trooper Jones also testified that Goins drove from Mercer County to Beckley. Along the way, he allegedly changed vehicles to one not registered to him before arriving at Ruby Tuesdays.

At the end of the hearing, Magistrate Paul Blume found that the state had established probable cause and did not dismiss the charges.

The Mount Hope Christian Church terminated Goins’s employment on Dec. 9, one day after he was arrested.

The church also reiterated that the incident did not occur in Fayette County, where the church is located, or in the building or on its premises. We will continue to follow the story and provide updates as they become available.

For the initial story that includes the Mount Hope Christian Church’s statement, click here.

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