NEW BOSTON, Texas - Three women in their 30s testified Monday and Tuesday that they were sexually abused by a Texarkana pastor when they were children.
One of the women, now 38, testified Monday that Logan Wesley III, 56, is a close relative with whom she came to live at age 13. She claims Wesley sexually abused her for years, beat her when she confronted him as a teen and continued in his sexual assaults of her until she was 20, under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards.
A recording of a phone conversation last year between the woman and Wesley was played for the jury Monday. In the recording, Wesley, when asked by the woman if he knew how many times he assaulted her, replied "one time was too many," and expressing that he could receive "life in prison" should the allegations reach law enforcement.
A second woman, now 32, testified that she was a 9-year-old when Wesley stopped to give her, her mother and brothers a ride as they walked down the street to her mother's workplace in 1996. Wesley invited the family to attend the church he pastored, Trinity Temple Church of God in Christ, in Texarkana, Arkansas, the woman testified.
She told the jury Tuesday that within a few weeks Wesley called her into his office at the church, grabbed her face so her lips would pucker and kissed her. The woman said that by age 11 Wesley was taking her to a local park in Texarkana, Texas, and having sex with her beneath a covered picnic pavilion.
She testified that Logan "controlled everything" in the church and that she feared him.
"He told me I was nothing. He worked on me mentally for years," the woman said. "He let me know I was going to go to hell for standing up to him, that I would go to hell if I left the church. He was the pastor. He was right and I was wrong. I made outcries to a lot of people but they didn't believe me."
A third woman, now a 34-year-old nurse practitioner, testified that she was a 13-year-old with a troubled home life when Wesley took an interest in her in 1999, under questioning from First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp. She said Wesley made her feel "seen and heard" before he began sexually abusing her. The woman said Wesley assaulted her in a variety of locations including a local park, at Lake Wright Patman, hotels in New Boston and Clarksville, Texas, and in an office at a Nash, Texas, company where Logan once worked.
"He said it was okay because he was a man of God. Then he started adding in that he loved me and told me about problems in his marriage," the third woman testified.
The woman testified that Logan's wife, Cynthia Logan, sent her a message on social media asking her to "show grace" to Wesley and allegedly expressed concern that public sex abuse allegations against Wesley would hurt her daycare business and her son's musical career.
The third woman told the jury that Logan continued to abuse her until she was 18 or 19 and after she had moved out of her family's home. Under cross examination, Texarkana lawyer Josh Potter asked the woman if the sexual encounters she had with Logan at 17 and older were consensual as she had reached the age of consent.
"The abuse continued. It was manipulation," the woman responded.
The third woman testified during her direct examination by Crisp that she recalls being assaulted by Logan in his car at the end of a dead end road in Texarkana, Texas, and that Logan's car was struck by another driver on State Line Avenue in Texarkana, Arkansas, as he was driving her home afterward.
The accident was addressed during Crisp's questioning of Texarkana, Texas, Detective Tabitha Smith, the lead investigator on the case. Smith said that while Texarkana, Arkansas, police don't keep accident reports as far back as 1999, she was able to find an entry in a multi-agency database showing Wesley's made an accident report Aug. 10, 1999.
Potter and Wesley's other lawyer, Brandon Pickett of Fayetteville, Arkansas, objected because Smith had printed out a screenshot of the computer entry with the report date and a copy of the screenshot had not been provided to the defense. Crisp noted that the printout was not in the possession of prosecutors and is easily discoverable public information.
Potter and Pickett asked 202nd District Judge John Tidwell to grant a continuance in the trial to give them time to more fully investigate. Crisp argued that the defense was aware of the woman's account of the car accident from other reports provided to the defense and could have gotten the information from their own client.
Tidwell granted the defense motion for a brief continuance. Because the auditorium in which the trial is being held to accommodate social distancing was already booked for Wednesday, the trial will resume Thursday morning.
Logan faces up to life in prison on some of the 18 felony counts pending against him. He is being held in the Bowie County jail.