ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Opening statements are underway in the trial of a former Abilene youth minister accused of sexually abusing multiple children in his care.
Jeffrey Forrest, facing two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child, failed to appear in a court proceeding for the charges in 2017, then fled from authorities until he was apprehended in Mexico in 2020.
Forrest is accused of sexually assaulting two young children while he was a youth minister at Pioneer Baptist Drive in the 1990s.
During opening statements, prosecutors claimed the alleged assaults began while the children would sit on Forrest’s lap, before escalating to other sexual acts.
One of the victims was only six years old when the alleged abuse began and prosecutors say it continued until he was old enough to tell Forrest to stop.
Neither of the victims came forward until they were adults, with the first allegation against Forrest surfacing in 2011.
The trial is expected to last through at least the remainder of the day, likely taking several days to complete.
Stick with BigCountryHomepage for essential updates on this trial, which will also be streamed live each day on the 350th District Court’s Facebook page.