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3/27/2003

Trial of youth pastor begins
By Renée Ruelas

Sun-News Reporter

The trial of a youth pastor accused of having a sexual relationship with a teen-age girl began Monday in District Court with the teen-ager taking the stand.

Marty A. Hynes, 33, is charged with eight counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor, three counts of criminal sexual penetration of a minor and one count of attempted criminal sexual contact of a minor.

Hynes was a youth pastor at the First Assembly of God church when the alleged incidents occurred, between July and December 2001. The church dismissed Hynes from his position shortly after the allegations were made.

According to court testimony, the teen-ager met Hynes when she was 15 years old, while she was a high school volleyball player. Hynes' wife was the coach.

The girl testified that after she turned 17 years old, Hynes began to kiss and fondle her, and it eventually lead to sexual intercourse.

In opening statements, defense attorney Mario Esparza said Hynes does not deny the sexual relationship, but said it was consensual. Esparza also denied that Hynes used his position as a youth pastor to influence the girl and said he never forced her into physical contact.

"It does take two to tango," Esparza said. He said the teen-ager would call Hynes' cell phone and e-mail him, proving it was consensual.

Esparza said the teen-ager was not a member of Hynes' church, nor did he work at her school.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Susan Riedel said it does not matter if it was consensual.

"It's against the law," Riedel said.

The teen-ager held back tears as she described how she told Hynes "no" when he would touch her.

"I was afraid of what he would do if he got angry," the teen-ager said as to why she did not fight him off more vigorously. "I thought he was Godly. I forgave him. I thought he wouldn't do it again."

The allegations came to light after the girl attempted to take her life with over-the-counter medication.

Hynes took notes and whispered to his attorney as he listened to the testimony. Hynes, who is free on bond, is married with two children.

If convicted, Hynes faces a maximum sentence of 51 years.

The trial will resume this morning, before Judge Stephen Bridgforth.

Renée Ruelas can be reached at href="mailto:href="mailto:href="mailto:rruelas@lcsun-news.com ">href="mailto:href="mailto:rruelas@lcsun-news.com ">href="mailto:rruelas@lcsun-news.com ">rruelas@lcsun-news.com .

Renée Ruelas can be reached at href="mailto:href="mailto:href="mailto:rruelas@lcsun-news.com ">href="mailto:href="mailto:rruelas@lcsun-news.com ">href="mailto:rruelas@lcsun-news.com ">rruelas@lcsun-news.com .

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