After serving the first of his eight years in prison in the county where pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two boys, a former British Baptist pastor is now in custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections.

By Bob Allen

A former British Baptist pastor convicted last year of sexual abuse has been transferred to custody of the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Robert DandoRobert Dando, former senior minister at Worcester Park Baptist Church in suburban London, is now in custody at Powhatan Reception and Classification Center in State Farm, Va. The facility’s role is to intake offenders from the local jails and process them into the state prison system.

Dando served the first year of his eight-year prison sentence in the adult detention center of Fairfax County, where he pleaded guilty in November of 2010 to four counts of aggravated sexual battery against two male victims who were under the age of 13 when the crimes were committed.

He was arrested the previous July in Oakton, Va., after the alleged victims, then ages 21 and 17, claimed that Dando sexually abused them over a five-year period during visits to a family friend in the United States.

Dando resigned as senior minister at Worcester Park Baptist Church at the time of his arrest. He had been there three years. Previously he was the minister at Orchard Baptist Church in Bicester from 1995 until 2006; Grangetown Baptist Church in Cardiff from 1990 until 1994 and associate minister at Ararat Baptist Church from 1988 until 1990.

Dando was also removed from membership of Boy’s Brigade, a popular Christian youth organization started in 1883. His wife, Janice, was a national vice president for the interdenominational organization that involves 60,000 children in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

From 2005 until 2007, Dando served as a volunteer traveling assistant to David Coffey, who at the time was president of the Baptist World Alliance.