|Preacher Did 5 Years on Charges of Sodomy
By David Clemons
Sand Mountain Reporter
May 26, 2009
A little more than two years after getting out of jail, Billy Paul Masters finds himself in trouble again.
Masters, 65, was arrested Friday on a charge of first-degree sexual abuse. DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris said the victim in the alleged abuse is a boy younger than 12. The boy was a member of the congregation at Masters' church.
Masters was convicted in 2001 for first-degree sodomy of three boys of similar age. He served time in prison and got out on Dec. 5, 2006.
Harris said Masters was up to date on his required sex offender registration, which showed him as living in DeKalb County at 107 County Road 412, Boaz.
Masters was acting as a preacher at Harvest Baptist Church in the Kilpatrick area at the time of the latest allegation against him. The incident was reported to sheriff's investigator Mary Waters in January.
Harris said Waters launched an investigation that included a search of Masters' home about a month ago. His computer was seized, but Harris said it appeared the hard drive had been removed recently with a new drive installed.
A warrant for Masters' arrest was issued Friday afternoon, and he was taken into custody at his home a short time later.
He was held in the DeKalb County Detention Center. No bond information was available Monday.
Masters will face charges related to violating his parole on the 2002 conviction.
A DeKalb County grand jury indicted Masters in 2001 on 21 counts alleging sexual abuse of five children younger than 12. At the time, he had not been a pastor of a church in 12 years, but he still referred to himself a preacher.
As in the 2009 case, an alleged victim's complaint led to the investigation several years ago.
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