Convicted sex offender working as Birmingham minister captured after 20 years on the run
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A convicted sex offender on the run for 20 years was captured Friday by the FBI and Birmingham Police.
Larry Albert Flake, 75, was convicted of sexual misconduct with a minor on August 30, 2001 from an incident reported to the Richmond, Indiana Police Department in 1999. Flake was arrested Friday morning in the 5200 block of Huguley Road. He was living under the name Larry White, and was a minister of music for the last 10 years at a church nearby. He was known to many as Reverend White.
“I never would have thought that it was to this degree.” Pastor Willie Perry of the Evergreen True House of Prayer Missionary Baptist Church said.
Pastor Perry is still trying to wrap his head around being lied to for 10 years by his minister of music who he knew as “Larry White”.
“He’s a good liar,” Perry said.
For the past decade, Flake has been leading the music at the Evergreen True House of Prayer M.B.C. Perry says he learned Flake’s real identity Sunday when he was arrested at a home near the church.
“It was heart wrenching. I mean you couldn’t imagine the horror of waking up and finding out that someone had this kind of checkered past,” Perry said.
Perry says he never really got to know Flake over the years. He says Flake kept to himself now he knows why.
“When you are on the run, you limit as to what people know about you,” Perry said.
Perry tells us he hired Flake after receiving references from at least two churches but going forward, Perry is going to triple check someone’s background.
“Trust but verify. I apologize to this body of Christ and this congregation. It should not have happened. No minister should have to deal with that. You had somebody in the midst of your congregation that had no character at all,” Perry said.
Flake failed to appear for his trial in Indiana and has been a fugitive from justice since August 2001. Acting on a new lead received in January of 2021, the Investigative Services Division of the Richmond Police Department along with the Federal Bureau of Investigations Indianapolis Field Office worked to bring Flake safely to justice.
Flake was taken into custody for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution. He will face extradition to be returned to Indiana.
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