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Former Texas music minister faces child sex abuse charges

Police from two different cities have charged a former Texas music minister with child sexual molestation. The seven felony charges allege that the 49-year-old sexually assaulted boys ages 10 to 13 more than two decades ago.

Investigators say that several of the youth leader’s former students came forward after one alleged victim told authorities about the sex crimes.

The current Mississippi resident, formally charged with gratification of lust, was apprehended at his house. A $200,000 bond was posted for two charges in Clinton, Mississippi, before authorities transferred the alleged sex offender to Jackson. The suspect then posted an additional $500,000 bond and was released.

The charges stem from alleged abuses between 1980 and 1984, when the minister was involved with youth choirs at Daniel Memorial Baptist and First Baptist Church in Jackson. Some of the molestation incidents reportedly happened at the suspect’s Mississippi College dorm room.

Reports say the choir director resigned last spring from the music minister’s position at Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton. In August, the suspect admitted to the church’s congregation that he had past "sexual indiscretions" with boys in Texas, which is why he relocated. A Texas woman who runs a chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests alerted the Mississippi school to the minister’s past.

The choir director, who is married and the father of two daughters, did not return to as the choir teacher at the start of the new school year.

The district attorney’s office will present the case to a grand jury. If convicted, the former music teacher could face up to 10 years in jail for each of the seven felony counts and an additional $1,000 per-count fine. Penalties are based on laws at the time the alleged sex crimes took place.

Source: ClarionLedger.com, "Ex-Minister facing sex charge," Ruth Ingram, Sept. 7, 2011

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