Former Church Intern Accused of Sexual Assault No-Show for Trial

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An Abilene man who is accused of sexually assaulting a child while serving as an intern at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church more than two decades ago did not show up for his trial Monday.

Jeffrey Forest, 44, is charged with two counts of sexual assault of a child and was scheduled to face a jury Monday in the 350th District Court in Abilene.

A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

According to an arrest report, a victim came forward saying he/she was sexually abused by Jeff Forrest back in September of 1993.

Forrest was the victim’s after-school daycare teacher, court documents state.

The victim reported that alleged abuse continued until the child was in 8th grade.

Records say that after several years of keeping the abuse secret, the victim finally admitted the abuse to the victim’s father in 2011.

According to court documents, the victim’s father then confronted Forrest, forcing him to tell his wife about the abuse.

Forrest’s wife then reported the sexual abuse to Child Protective Services.

In April of 2014, as part of divorce proceedings between Forrest and his wife, Forrest participated in a clinical assessment from a licensed sex offender treatment provider.

In the assessment, he admitted to committing a sexual offense against a child several years ago.

Forrest arrested in Denton on a on a charge of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child in Taylor County.

According to former church employees, Jeff Forrest worked at various Abilene churches in the early 1990s, including at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.

Sources say that he served as the Pre-teen youth intern at Pioneer Drive while he was in school at Hardin-Simmons University.

Forrest was arrested on a $100,000 dollar bond from a warrant out of Taylor County.

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