Former youth pastor and scout volunteer indicted for child sexual abuse

Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

Indian Country, Oklahoma: In anticipation that a state conviction may be overturned on appeal a federal indictment was handed down charging 48-year-old Joe Cheater Jr. with sexually abusing five children between 2005 and 2009.


Cheater was arrested on state charges in October 2011.


Cheater is currently incarcerated in the North Fork Correctional Center in Sayre, Oklahoma.  In 2012 he was convicted on charges that included multiple counts of rape and lewd and indecent acts to a child.


At that same time was additionally convicted on two counts of sexual battery of a person over 16 and a charge of rape by instrumentation. It appears that the sentences on those charges have expired.


According to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma Cheater's appeal was "stayed for approximately 30 days in Rogers County District Court. At that time, the Court will determine which entity has criminal jurisdiction over the case."


The indictment charges Cheater, a "self-described father figure, youth pastor, and Cub and Boy Scouts volunteer" with three counts of aggravated sexual abuse of a minor by force, aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact with a minor and coercion and enticement of a minor. All of these charges are said to have taken place within Indian Country.


Investigators believe that the victims were commonly "neighborhood children" that spent the night at his home with Cheater's own children that were approximately the same age as the victims.


Investigators are asking that anyone with additional information contact the Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Todd at (918) 382-2791.