Click here to search our archives
Click here for headline news
Abilene/Big Country
  Archive Listing
  Around Town
  Business |  Calendar
  Obituaries |  Religion
  Photos of the Day
  Special Reports
    Anthrax Threat
    War on Terrorism
  Our Slice of Texas
National News
Search Archives
Texas News
Scripps EXTRA
Weather |  World News

Click here for features
Click here for local sports
Click here for editorials, letters
Click here for editorials, letters
Click here for entertainment news
Click here for AR-N classified ads
Click here for Big Country weather information
Click here to learn more about AR-N

  HOME | Contact Us 

Click here for links to our advertisers


Click here for listings of Texas news articles


Monday, October 18, 1999

Former Austin youth minister
convicted of child sexual abuse

AUSTIN (AP) — A former youth minister faces up to 20 years in prison after he was convicted of nine counts of child sexual abuse.

Charles Richard Willits, Jr., 44, a former youth minister at Great Hills Baptist Church, was convicted Saturday. Sentencing was scheduled for Monday.

The victim, now 18, was 14 when Willits befriended him, gave him clothes and took him out of town on trips, prosecutors said.

The relationship eventually became sexual, the victim said, and he told a friend about the abuse two years later.

Defense attorney Randy Leavitt said the teen-ager lied about the relationship to get attention and couldn't back out once the police and a therapist were involved.

Prosecutor Amy Casner said the clothes Willits gave the victim — including polo shirts, a jacket and University of Florida underwear — were proof of an inappropriate and illegal relationship.

“It's time he went to jail,” Ms. Casner said.

Willits' wife testified she wasn't surprised some of his clothes ended up with the teen-ager.

“Our home is an open home,” said E.J. Willits. “The kids knew what was there. They knew that what was ours was theirs.”

Ms. Willits also said she knew her husband took out-of-town trips with the teen-ager and that he paid for at least two trips to Dallas, which cost about $500 each.

Willits also has been charged with sexual assault of a child in Denton in a separate case.

Send a Letter to the Editor about This Story | Start or Join A Discussion about This Story

Send the URL (Address) of This Story to A Friend:

Enter their email address below:

Reporter OnLine

Local News

Texas News

Copyright ©1999, Abilene Reporter-News / Texnews / E.W. Scripps Publications

Copyright © 1995- , E.W. Scripps Publications,
All Rights Reserved.
Site users are subject to our
User Agreement.
We also have a
Privacy Policy.