Updated at 8:49 p.m. with an updated statement from Valley Ranch Baptist Church.
A former Coppell associate pastor arrested Monday for the aggravated sexual abuse of a child blamed his past actions on "an evil inside of him" and on the pornography he was watching at the time of the abuse, according to an arrest affidavit.
Jason Thomas, 40, admitted in an arrest affidavit to repeatedly sexually abusing a little girl starting in 1995, when the girl was about 6 and he was about 16.
The victim came forward to police in January of this year after keeping the sexual abuse a secret for decades, only telling her parents, according to the affidavit. She was encouraged by a therapist to report the delayed abuse. She stated in the affidavit the abuse started when she was about 6 years old and continued until she was about 9 years old.
The earliest incident she could remember was when Thomas kissed her and her 10-year-old sister on the mouth. Later, Thomas would "force her to perform oral sex on him behind the [Mesquite Library]" and at one point told her to take her clothes off and get into bed with him, according to the affidavit. She said nothing happened in that instance because someone knocked on the bedroom door.
She said she has had no contact with him since he went off to college at Texas A&M University. When she learned Thomas was a worship pastor at Valley Ranch Baptist Church in Coppell, she said she was worried Thomas might prey on other children, according to the affidavit.
Mesquite police coordinated a recorded phone call between the victim and Thomas where Thomas admitted to the abuse. According to the affidavit, when the victim confronted Thomas about what happened, Thomas said he was sorry and said "he was evil and there was an evil inside him." When the victim confronted him about specific instances of sexual abuse, Thomas again apologized and blamed his actions on the type of pornography he was watching at the time.
Thomas was arrested Monday and has since posted a $50,000 bond.
Thomas is now terminated from his position as the associate pastor of worship at Valley Ranch Baptist Church. He was on staff at Valley Ranch since 2005, according to the church. the church said Wednesday neither they nor the police are aware of any victims who are current or former members or attenders of VRBC or the Valley Ranch Baptist Weekday Preschool.
Valley Ranch Baptist Church pastor Larry Parsley issued the following statement Wednesday:
"We received word on the afternoon of February 10, 2020 from the Mesquite Police Department that Jason Thomas, Associate Minister of Worship, was arrested and charged with one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child. His employment at VRBC, which began in September 2005, has been terminated effective immediately.
"The Mesquite Police have informed us that the charge relates to events prior to Jason’s employment at VRBC. His background checks did not show any arrests, convictions, or allegations. Neither we nor the police are aware of any victims who are current or former members or attenders of VRBC or the Valley Ranch Baptist Weekday Preschool.
"We are cooperating fully with the Mesquite Police Department in their investigation. If you have any information that could be helpful to the police in this matter, we encourage you to contact the Mesquite Police Department directly at 972-329-8303.
"Our church is committed to the safety of our congregation and community – especially our children.
"Like you, our hearts are breaking for everyone involved in this situation. Please be in prayer."
If anyone has information regarding any other offenses involving Thomas, please call the Mesquite Police Department at 972-285-6336 or Investigator T. Rountree at 972-329-8303.
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