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North Texas youth pastor charged with sexually assaulting a child

CBS News Live
CBS News Texas Live

NORTH TEXAS —  A youth pastor at Lakeside Baptist Church in Granbury has been charged with sexually assaulting a child.

Lakeside Baptist Church told its congregation on June 2 that 41-year-old youth pastor Luke Cunningham was suspended after church leaders learned from "outside sources" that he had been accused of inappropriate conduct with a minor at a different church.

The church launched an investigation and said within days that they had enough evidence to dismiss Cunningham. They also gave the results of their investigation to local and state law enforcement agencies.

On Wednesday, Cunningham was arrested by U.S. Marshals near Lubbock.

Lakeside Baptist Church said it is not aware of assaults on any of its students and clarified they stand against clerical sexual abuse. Church leaders said they "plan to do everything possible to encourage national leaders to exercise their spiritual responsibility, identify perpetrators in the churches, and stop this from happening again."

"We believe that, if the Southern Baptist Convention had a working database for offenders, we would likely have never been exposed to Mr. Cunningham," the church said in a statement.

Cunningham was booked into the Lubbock County jail and is held on a $200,000 bond.

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