Mesquite Police Department arrests youth pastor on sexual assault of a child allegations

Fort Worth Star-Telegram [Fort Worth, TX]

April 12, 2022

By Megan Cardona

The Mesquite Police Department arrested a youth pastor on April 5 after receiving a delayed sexual assault of child report.

Mesquite resident Conner “Jesse” Penny, 32, was arrested after police obtained a warrant for continuous sexual abuse of a child.

For children and adults needing more information and resources regarding child sexual abuse, the Child Information Gateway lists the toll-free crisis hotline number to call as 866-367-5444.

According to a police department news release, an investigation found that Penny had sexual contact with a girl under 17 years of age on multiple occasions between 2015 and 2018. Since his arrest, additional victims have come forward alleging Penny abused them between 2013 and 2021, police said.

Penny was employed as the youth pastor at Inspiration Church, formerly known as Mimosa Lane Baptist Church, in Mesquite. Police said Penny’s previous employers include the Mesquite Independent School District and the City of Mesquite, where he worked as a teacher’s aide and a counselor through the Recreational After School Program, also known as RASP.

Penny is held in the Dallas County Jail on a $2.5 million bond on one count each of Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child and Indecency with a Child.

If you or someone you know was a victim of abuse by Penny or you have information that could be beneficial to the investigation, contact the Mesquite Police Department at 972-285-6336 ext. 0 or Detective Christopherson at