Hill Country Church Hit with Molestation Accusations

KXAN [Texas]
December 9, 2006

Child sexual abuse charges shake the foundation of a church in the Hill Country.

At least five boys say they were touched or exposed inappropriately at Faith Christian Cowboy Church on Highway 281, just north of Johnson City.

KXAN's Hill Country reporter, Connie Swinney, spoke with the families who say they want to see a predator behind bars.

A group of families tells KXAN they sent their children to the church, and they believed they were safe. But a string of molestation charges has surfaced. Now, some are unhappy about the potential fate of the accused.

"I was very sad for my grandson, very hurt," said Gretchen Zamora, grandmother of one of the accusers. "He is such a good kid."

Five Blanco County families are dealing with accusations of child sexual abuse.

"Everybody wants to see justice done and [to have] him not get away with probation," Zamora said.

The boys, ages 7 to 10, were allegedly molested at Faith Christian Cowboy Church. The pastor's 16-year-old stepson faces a string of indecency charges.

"That's why my children attended, because I wanted them to get the godly influence," said the mother of an alleged victim. She wished her identity hidden, to protect her son. "My son does not like to attend church anymore because of this. You just look at people differently now that this has come out."

As the families await the outcome, they rely on each other for support.

"It's hard to go to a church and have something like this happen to you without it testing your faith," Zamora said.

The 16-year-old boy remains under house arrest and wears an ankle monitor, pending the outcome of these cases. The youth program at the church has been suspended.

The county attorney who handles juvenile cases says the investigation is ongoing. More charges are possible.

The teenager came into contact with the boys while he helped coordinate the church's youth programs.

The pastor's family declined an on-camera interview and referred us to their attorney.


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