The pastor agonized about the possibility of more criminal charges during a phone call from jail with his wife, authorities say.
“I’m a dead man,” Brian Pounds told her, according to court documents.
Pounds, who was pastor of First of Assembly of God in Vernon, Texas, had already been charged in July with the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl who authorities say he supplied with meth. Talking to his wife from the Wichita County Jail in Wichita Falls, Pounds spoke of another girl by her first name and “inferred that if the additional charges are related to (her) if would be bad,” a Texas Ranger wrote in a probable cause affidavit.
“I know,” his wife replied, the affidavit says.
Pounds told his wife that his involvement with the girl was a long time ago, the affidavit says.
After authorities learned of a second potential victim, an investigator in the 46th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Vernon met with the woman, who’s now 23. She became “distraught and began crying and shaking” when the investigator shared the allegations against Pounds, the affidavit says.
The woman told the investigator that Pounds sexually assaulted her as a 15-year-old. She described being groped by him during “murder in the dark,” a game where children hid in the church with the lights turned off, the affidavit says.
In the first sexual assault, the woman said Pounds called her to the church for a youth group activity but she was the only child there. Pounds told her to wait in the office until others arrived, then locked the door and forced her to engage in sex acts, the affidavit says.
“These incidents continued for over two years occurring both at the church and the Pounds’ residence in Vernon,” the affidavit says.
One time, Pounds held a revolver to his head in his office and threatened to kill her and himself if she told anyone, the affidavit says.
After Pounds learned of the investigation in July, police say they went to his home in Vernon because of a report that he was threatening suicide. Once there, police removed a .38 caliber revolver from the home. During a search of the church, .38 caliber rounds were found in his desk, authorities say.
Pounds’ wife initially denied knowledge that her husband was involved in “extramarital affairs, inappropriate relationships or methamphetamine use,” according to the affidavit. After being confronted with recordings of their jail phone calls, she “confirmed she was dishonest” about her husband’s “involvement with other females and his methamphetamine use,” the affidavit says.
The wife said she knew of her husband exchanging inappropriate texts with the girl who is now an adult but denied knowledge of them engaging in sex acts, the affidavit says.
First Assembly of God did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday afternoon. Pounds is no longer listed as a pastor on the church’s website.
Pounds was arrested on three additional charges of sexual assault of a child in the second case.
“Mr. Pounds has been a pastor in the Vernon community for over a decade,” 46th Judicial District Attorney Staley Heatly said in a statement. “We are asking that anyone with any information related to this case, including any additional potential victims, reach out to the Vernon Police Department (940-553-3111) or the 46th Judicial District Attorney’s office (940-553-3346).”
Vernon is a town of about 10,300 people, 165 miles northwest of Fort Worth.
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