By Bob Allen
A former Southern Baptist “cowboy church” pastor was sentenced to 50 years in prison without the possibility of parole after a Texas jury found him guilty April 5 of continuous sexual abuse of a child.
According to the Corsicana Daily Sun, Mark Allen Green, 42, will not be eligible for release from prison until he is 92 years old.
Green was arrested May 31, 2012, on charges of sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl in Waxahachie, Texas. The news disrupted the Cowboy Church of Marshall County, Ala., which fired him after only a couple of months as pastor.
In September, a grand jury in Ellis County, Texas, returned a “no bill,” or refusal to indict. Another grand jury in neighboring Navarro County, however, handed down an indictment in July.
According to the local newspaper report, a Navarro County jury of six men and six women returned a guilty verdict after one hour and 15 minutes. Deliberations over the sentence took 30 minutes. In addition to time in prison, he was fined $10,000.
The newspaper identified Green as the former youth minister of the JBarC Cowboy Church in Palmer, Texas, but said he currently works for a company that installs flooring.
Green reportedly got the girl to retract her allegations, leading to the dropped charges in Ellis County, but after her parents and Green had a falling out, she renewed them, leading to his conviction in Navarro County.