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Former pastor faces child sex crime charges in Tarrant County

A person can face sex crime charges years after the alleged offense. That was the case recently in Tarrant County, where a former pastor is accused of sexually assaulting a child younger than 14. The allegations date back to the 1990s.

According to a grand jury indictment, the man was 26 years old when he engaged in sexual behavior with two sisters, ages 11 and 13. The current charges relate only to the younger girl, however. Separate charges are expected when a grand jury hears the other case.

The former pastor moved to Grapevine, Texas, in 1997, and he was invited to live with the family of the two girls he is accused of assaulting. The parents claim they caught the man having sex with the younger sister in the family's home.

A news report doesn't indicate why the parents waited so long to contact authorities.

Until recently, the man was a senior pastor at a mega church he founded in Virginia. He was removed from his position after the sex crime allegations went public.

Now he faces charges of aggravated sexual assault on a child. In Texas that charge carries a first-degree felony status, which means the man could be sentenced to prison for life. He is also accused of indecency with a child, a second-degree felony that carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

Anyone who has been accused of a crime has the right to a criminal defense. No matter how serious the charges are, accused individuals must be presumed innocent unless or until the prosecution proves otherwise. Texas authorities take allegations of child sex crimes very seriously, and people who are facing such a charge will need a strong criminal defense.

Source: timesdispatch.com, "Ex-pastor indicted in Texas," Louis Llovio, Sept. 23, 2013

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