WILBARGER COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — A former Assembly of God pastor in Vernon has pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child during proceedings of the 46th Judicial District Court of Wilbarger County on Wednesday afternoon.

Brian Pounds, 46, was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Pounds became the target of a law enforcement investigation in July 2021 when a woman called police stating she believed her daughter was at a local hotel room in Vernon and needed assistance.

When officers arrived at the hotel, they found Pounds sitting in his vehicle in the hotel parking lot and told officers that he had gotten a hotel room for a person in need.

Later, at the Vernon Police Department, the 15-year-old victim reported to police that Pounds had given her methamphetamine and sexually assaulted her in the hotel room.

During a search of the hotel room, officers located a small amount of methamphetamine on the comforter.

According to the child’s mother, Pounds had been providing the family with assistance and had offered to provide counseling to the victim.

The victim reported to police that she had been sexually assaulted by Pounds at his church and at the hotel over a period of weeks.

During a search of church facilities, officers located a small baggie containing methamphetamine in an area where the victim described smoking methamphetamine with Pounds.

“Brian Pounds abused his position of trust as a pastor in the most horrific way,” stated District Attorney Staley Heatly. “Our community and our children are much safer with him in the custody of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.”

Under Texas law, a person is not eligible for parole for a sexual offense until they have served at least one-half of the sentence.

However, Heatly noted that sex offenders generally serve much more than half the sentence and often times serve the entire sentence.

“I have to acknowledge the incredible amount of time and effort put into this case by the Vernon Police Department, the Texas Rangers, and by DA Investigator Jeff Case,” said Heatly. “This case would not have been resolved this way without their very thorough investigation.”