Former Spiro Baptist Church Youth Pastor & Smithville Teacher Justin White Charged with Rape, Lewd Molestation
A man who formerly taught for Smithville Public Schools and served as a youth pastor at multiple area churches has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing at least two underage girls. 34-year-old Justin White has been charged with second-degree rape in McCurtain County and lewd molestation in LeFlore County.
According to law enforcement, White allegedly had an inappropriate relationship with a student while teaching and coaching basketball at Smithville Public Schools. He is also accused of sexually abusing an underage youth group member while serving as a youth pastor at Spiro First Baptist Church.
At the time of his arrest, Smith was employed as a youth pastor at the Clayton Avenue Baptist Church in Hugo.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation alleges that during the 2013-14 school year, Smith had sexual intercourse with a female student several times at his residence, which was located on school property.
During the investigation into that first allegation, agents talked to another female who was part of the Spiro Baptist Church youth group while White was there as a youth pastor. That female says that when she was underage, White would bring her upstairs at the church, where he allegedly kissed her and inappropriately touched her.
White was arrested at the Clayton Avenue Baptist Church on August 13 and was being held at the Choctaw County Jail while awaiting transport to McCurtain County and then to LeFlore County for processing.
Hi, I’m attorney Brian Kent.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse, I’d be happy to discuss your legal options.
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Legal Recourse For Survivors of Sexual Abuse by People in Positions of Trust
Attorney contributor Brian Kent of AbuseGuardian.com represents victims of sexual abuse in lawsuits against their abusers and negligent institutions, such as schools and churches. We’ve asked Brian for some thoughts on the legal rights of those who have been sexually abused by teachers, pastors, and others in positions of trust:
Individuals who are trusted to work with children must be thoroughly screened to make sure that sexual predators are kept away. School administrators, church leaders, and others who oversee the hiring of these individuals have a legal duty to make sure the kids under their watch are safe.
When a child is sexually abused by someone in a position of trust, it’s important both to prosecute the abuser and to determine if the organization or institution was negligent. In cases of negligence, the victims and their families may have grounds for a lawsuit.
For example, a school or religious organization could be considered negligent if they failed to run background checks before hiring new employees or failed to respond to previous complaints of sexual misconduct against the perpetrator.
If you or a loved one is a survivor of sexual abuse by a teacher, pastor, or another person who was in a position of trust, you can learn more about your family’s legal options by speaking with an experienced sex abuse victims attorney.
Location of First Baptist Church in Spiro, OK
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