New charges filed on Vernon minister

Local News

A second victim of sexual assaults by former Vernon pastor named in new charges.

Editors note: The following material may be disturbing to some readers. Discretion is advised.

VERNON (KFDX/KJTL) — Former Vernon minister Brian Pounds has been charged with sex crimes against a child after authorities locate and interview a second alleged victim.

The three counts of sexual assault are similar to those filed last month for alleged assaults of a 15-year-old girl and are reported to have begun when the now 23-year-old woman was 15 and continued for more than two years.

Three additional bonds of $200,000 were set for Pounds who is in the Wilbarger County Jail after his initial booking last month into the Wichita County Jail.

Three arrest warrants were issued Thursday to a Texas Ranger and returned Friday.

The new charges evidently came from information in jail phone calls between Pounds and his wife after Pounds was arrested for the first charges on July 16.

When investigators made contact with the second alleged victim and mentioned the allegations made by the first victim, they say her demeanor immediately changed and she began shaking and crying.

Two days before Pounds was arrested in July, the Texas Ranger and an investigator for the district attorney in Wilbarger County said they questioned Pound’s wife before. They say she denied any knowledge of inappropriate relationships or drug use by her husband.

After his arrest in Wichita County, jail calls were reviewed and the Ranger says Pounds and his wife discussed the possibility of additional charges that might come.

Authorities say Pounds named another victim by her first name, telling his wife “it would be bad” if any additional charges were filed for this victim and that he would be a “dead man.” They say his wife replied, “I know.”

Pounds then said his involvement with this victim was a long time ago and it has never mattered how sorry he was.

The investigator conducted a second interview of the wife two days before the new charges were filed and said after being confronted with the jail calls, she admitted she had not been truthful about her knowledge of Pounds’ involvement with other females and his meth use. But she said she was not aware of a sexual relationship between the second 15-year-old victim and her husband, only of inappropriate text messages.

When investigators determined the identity of the second victim and located her, they said she became extremely distraught, and then agreed to give details of the alleged assaults.

She said they began about seven years ago, at age 15, and continued for about two years. She said the first incident began when she participated in youth group activities at First Assembly of God Church in Vernon when they were playing a game called “murder in the dark.”

She said Pounds would turn off the lights and the kids would hide in places around the church. She said when Pounds found her, he would grope her. She said the sexual assaults began after Pounds invited her to the church for a youth group activity, and when she arrived she found only Pounds there.

She said he told her to go in his office, and he came in and locked the door. Then she said he made her disrobe and forced her to perform various sex acts. She said this continued over the next two years, both at the church and at his home.

On one occasion in the church office, she said pounds put a revolver to her head and told her if she ever told anyone he would kill her and himself.

Investigators say a revolver was recovered from Pounds’ home on July 5 when police got a report he was threatening suicide after learning of the investigation into the first victim. They say they also found ammunition fitting the gun in his church office.

In addition to the three new charges, Pounds has been indicted on six charges involving the other alleged victim.

46th District Attorney Staley Heatly has appealed to the public for anyone with any information related to this investigation, including any additional potential victims, to call Vernon police at 940-553-3111 or his office at 940-533-3346.

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