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Local pastor arrested on new sexual-assault charges

Local pastor arrested on new sexual-assault charges

August 12th, 2016 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News

A Texarkana pastor charged earlier this month with two counts of sexual assault involving a teen girl was arrested a second time Friday.

David Wayne Farren, 41, was booked into the Miller County jail Friday on a charge of second-degree felony sexual assault and a misdemeanor charge of mandatory reporter failing to report sexual abuse, jail records show. The most recent arrest for sexual assault involves a different alleged victim than involved in three counts of first-degree sexual assault for which Farren was arrested Aug. 3.

David Farren

David Farren

Farren serves as lead pastor of Anchor Church in Texarkana. At a hearing Aug. 4, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell said Farren has worked as pastor and youth director at other area churches including Heritage Baptist Church, Trinity Baptist Church and Faith Church. Mitchell also said at the hearing that she expected Farren to face additional charges involving other alleged victims.

Second-degree sexual assault is punishable by five to 20 years in prison. Members of the clergy, educators, and medical personnel, for example, are considered "mandatory reporters" under the law. That means if they acquire knowledge that a child may have been sexually, abused they are obligated to report it to authorities or face a criminal charge. Farren is accused of violating the mandatory reporting law and faces up to a year in the county jail if convicted.

Farren was arrested Aug. 3 on three counts of first-degree sexual assault. Those offenses allegedly occurred in 2013 when the girl was 16 and 17 and Farren was serving as her youth pastor. First-degree sexual assault is punishable by six to 30 years in prison.

Farren was free on bond posted on a $25,000 bail at the time of his arrest Friday. He is now being held in the Miller County jail. Farren is expected to make an initial court appearance Monday on the new charges.

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