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Youth pastors and sexual abuse don’t go together

A youth pastor in Garland, Texas, had the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a young girl — and he did. Imagine the parents of a 14-year-old girl when they discovered that their youth pastor, with whom they entrusted their child, was not only sending sexually explicit emails to their daughter, but was having sexual relations with her as well.

On Oct. 3, the young girl’s parents notified authorities that the youth pastor of South Garland Baptist Church had sent an email to their daughter requesting photos of her performing sexual acts. A search warrant uncovered pictures of the girl’s genitals, as well as pictures revealing her face on the youth pastor’s phone. The 37-year-old was arrested on Oct. 17 on charges of online solicitation of a minor, possession of child porn and ongoing sexual abuse of a child.

The 14-year-old spoke with a counselor from the Dallas County Children’s Advocacy Center on Oct. 16 and revealed some startling accusations. She alleged that she and the youth pastor had been having sex since she was 13. According to the man’s arrest affidavit, from January to September, they allegedly had 20 sexual encounters. The counselor was told that the encounters took place at the pastor’s home and in the church.

The youth pastor is being held on a $150,000 bond. He is currently in the Sachse jail, but will be moved to the Dallas County jail.

Children who are victims of molestation often experience years, if not a lifetime, of emotional problems. When the abuser is someone who is supposed to be a trusted mentor in their lives, it can be even worse. They may never learn to trust again. Many times, there is no justice for the victims in the criminal courts. Considering civil remedies is another option to help fight and advocate to put a stop to sexual misconduct on young victims.

Source: WFAA.com, "Garland youth pastor arrested for sex assault at church" Josh Davis, Oct. 18, 2014

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