Former Gladewater Pastor Pleads Guilty in Sexual Assault of a Child Trial

By Randy Ross

July 15, 2008

A former Gladewater pastor pleaded guilty in court Tuesday morning to two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

Larry Jackson, 55, of Kilgore was arrested on the charges in October. Jackson could face between 5 years and life in prison for each charge. Testimony continued Tuesday in the sentencing phase of his trial.

In her opening statement, Assistant District Attorney Jenny Huckle said Jackson molested two sisters under the age of 14 in the late 1990s. The oldest girl is now a sophomore in college, and the youngest girl will soon be a college freshman.

Jackson was the pastor at Gladewater Church of Christ. The girls and their family did not attend the church.

"That preacher put those little girls through their own personal hell," Huckle said to the jury.

The girls' mother was friends with Jackson and his wife. Huckle said the woman relied on the couple to take care of her daughters while she was at work and her husband, who served in the military, was stationed out of the state. The mother did not learn of the abuse until years later when the family moved to Virginia.

Defense attorney Clifton "Scrappy" Holmes said confession was "good for the soul" but not for a criminal defense. He said testimony in the trial would discuss all aspects of Jackson's character, and he requested the jury remember the good as well as the bad when deciding Jackson's sentence.


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