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NEW BOSTON, Texas — Opening statements and testimony in the trial of a Texarkana pastor accused of child sexual abuse are expected to begin following the lunch hour Monday.

Jury selection in the case of Logan Wesley III, 56, began Monday morning at the New Boston High School auditorium. The alternative venue is being used for the trial because it is much larger than a Bowie County courtroom allowing jurors, court staff and involved parties to socially distance in the age of COVID-19.

Wesley is accused of abusing a young family member and of using his position as pastor of Trinity Temple Church of God in Christ in Texarkana, Ark., to abuse young girls, according to a probable cause affidavit and other documents on file in the case. Wesley is facing 18 felony counts in connection with three alleged victims.

Wesley is charged with three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, three counts of sexual assault of a child under 17 and one count of indecency with a child by sexual contact involving a single alleged victim.

Charges involving a second alleged victim include two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 and five counts of sexual assault of a child under 17. Charges involving a third alleged victim include a single count of sexual assault of a child under 17 and three counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact.

Each of the five aggravated charges are punishable by five to 99 years or life in prison. The remaining counts are punishable by two to 20 years.

The trial is expected to take place Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. The auditorium was not available Wednesday to the court and Friday is a holiday.

Wesley is represented by Texarkana lawyer Josh Potter. Prosecuting the case are First Assistant District Attorney Kelley Crisp and Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards. Presiding over the trial is 202nd District Judge John Tidwell.

Continue to check the Gazette's website and read tomorrow's print edition for full coverage of the first day of the trial.

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