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Thursday, June 19, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

Pastor arrested on child sex charge

FORT WORTH, Texas — A pastor has been arrested on accusations that he sexually assaulted a teen girl who attends his church.

James "Jay" Virtue Robinson IV, pastor of Southwood Baptist Church, surrendered at the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday evening in response to an arrest warrant accusing him of sexual assault of a child, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. He was released after posting $20,000 bail.

Robinson has denied having a relationship with the girl. A phone listing for him was disconnected. His attorney, Cheyenne Minick, didn't immediately return a phone call Thursday from The Associated Press.

The girl, now 18, was 16 when she and Robinson, then the youth minister, struck up more than just a friendship, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. The relationship escalated to sexual touching, occurring about 10 times at the church, the affidavit states.

By the time she was 17, the relationship progressed to sexual intercourse. Robinson would pick her up from school and take her to his home, where they would have sex, the affidavit states.

The Fort Worth Police Department's crimes against children unit began investigating the case in March after the girl's father called police.

Police and church members say that after one Sunday evening service, the pastor addressed the congregation, saying that the girl and her parents were being manipulated by former church members whom he described as "wolves in sheep's clothing"

"We now have reason to believe that the preacher may actually be himself a wolf using the pulpit to prey on the sheep he's been charged to protect," said Lt. Paul Henderson, a police spokesman.

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