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Sexual Assault victim speaks out against former youth minister - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Sexual Assault victim speaks out against former youth minister

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BRIDGE CITY -

A former youth minister is out of jail on bond after being indicted on six counts of sexual assault of a child.

Joshua Luke McDonald, 36, of Bridge City is accused of having sexual relations with two victims under the age of 17, over a two year period. McDonald's bond was set at $10,000 for each count -- totaling $60,000.

One of his victims said she met McDonald at First Baptist Church in Bridge City where he was a youth minister. She said the abuse began in January 2011, when the victim was 15-years-old.

She said McDonald and his wife developed a parental relationship with her and that she frequently spent weekends over their house.

According to the victim, the abuse began when McDonald put his hand down her shirt and over time progressed to what she called "not just sex."

She said once the abuse started she felt too trapped to leave, which is why she only recently decided to talk about it.

"I was away from him long enough to see through his lies and manipulation," she said. "My health was declining and I knew it was because I was keeping such a big secret."

She said she eventually left First Baptist Church and began attending Commonground Community Church, but said McDonald began working there a month later.

Orange County District Attorney John Kimbrough said the sexual assault charges have to do with the victim's age and nature of the crime.

"A child that's under 17 but older than 13, that would be sexual assault," he said. "Children under 13 that would be aggravated."

Kimbrough said the next step will be McDonald's arraignment. If found guilty of all charges he could face a sentence of up to 120 years.

"Sexual assault is a second degree felony," he said. "He's looking at a range of punishment, on each of the indictments, as low as five years probation and as high as 20 years prison and a $10,000 fine."

McDonald has six children of his own including five daughters, one of whom is a year younger than one of the alleged victims.

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