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Kilgore minister pleads no contest to child injury

By Glenn Evans
May 21, 2015 at 4 a.m.

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A Kilgore pastor has pleaded no contest to a lesser count two years after he was arrested on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child.

The Rev. Glenn Barton entered an eight-year probation that, if he adheres to its conditions, will prevent the court from pronouncing a finding of guilt from his no-contest plea.

Barton, a minister at Calvary Way church, was charged in March 2013 with aggravated sex assault of a child. Kilgore police said then that Barton was suspected of sexually abusing a child between 2009 and 2013.

He pleaded no contest May 11 to injury to a child, a lesser charge, before Fourth District Court Judge Clay Gossett in Henderson, Rusk County District Clerk records show.

His plea agreement names a June 15, 2009, offense date.

County Attorney Micheal Jimerson recused himself from the case, and attorney Joe Shumate was made Barton's prosecutor.

Shumate was out of the country Wednesday and not available for comment.

Gossett placed Barton, 64, on deferred adjudicated probation for eight years. The sentence means a finding of guilt by the judge is deferred and will not be pronounced if he adheres to terms of his probation.

The 20 terms in the probation agreement are standard and include counseling sessions for substance abuse and a mental health evaluation.

Barton also cannot own or buy a firearm, drink alcoholic beverages and must submit to testing for alcohol or illegal drugs.

He also was sentenced to 240 hours of community service.

A spokeswoman for Barton's family declined to respond to questions Wednesday but said a statement would be released today.

Kilgore police said upon Barton's arrest, a two-week investigation produced recorded conversations between Barton and his accuser. Police also said evidence backed up the accuser's account.

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