Former Nichols Hills church leader accused of sexually abusing relative so “he could keep her happy”

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PERRY, Okla. - A former business administrator at a local church is behind bars after being accused of sexually abusing a female relative for two years.

According to court documents, a family friend notified DHS after the 13-year-old's mother told her that 36-year-old Scott Barber was touching her daughter inappropriately.

Barber worked at Nichols Hills United Methodist Church.

He is from the small town of Perry where the news was shocking to not only their neighbors but even Police Chief Brian Thomas.

“We’re 5,500 population, I know a lot of people by face,” says Thomas. “When I saw the video I did recognize him as being a member of our community but I never would have thought anything like this was going on.”

During an interview with police, the 13-year-old told investigators the abuse started two years ago.

The victim says the abuse occurred on many separate occasions and depended on Barber's mood.

“As police officers we deal with a lot of activity that gets to us,” says Thomas. “The detective said this was one of the hardest cases he’s ever worked, just listening to her story.”

She says he would wait until other relatives were distracted and her siblings were asleep before coming into her room.

The 13-year-old told investigators she even has a "holding pillow" that made her feel safe while Barber was touching her.

She finally told her mother about the alleged abuse earlier this month, but her mother was afraid to go to police because she loved him.

Barber told police he is a decorated war hero with PTSD.

At first, he denied any wrong doing, but then told a different story a couple of days later to another Perry police officer.

Barber told police the 13-year-old was actually molesting him and instigating a sexual relationship he did not want.

He called the victim 13 going on 25 and says she was actually molesting him, instigating a sexual relationship he didn't want.

He says, "she has a hard time telling reality from fantasy,” and “if she didn't get what she wanted sexually, she acted like a 'hellion'.

He also says “She's manipulative and screws with his mind."

Barber told police in an attempt to keep her happy he "touched her everywhere he wasn't supposed to."

“Blaming it on her for his actions,” says Thomas. “It was just like, are you kidding me?”

Barber is facing charges of rape by instrumentation, lewd acts with a minor and threats to perform violence.

Randy Scraper, with the Nichols Hills United Methodist Church, released the following statement:

"We are deeply saddened to have been made aware of the allegations regarding Scott' Barber's misconduct. He has been dismissed and is no longer employed by the church. Our hearts and prayers are with the family, and with all who have been affected by something so tragic and inexcusable. We are steadfastly committed to being an integral part of the healting process for the family, for our congregation, and for our church staff."

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