HOUSTON – Houston Police say an ordained church deacon has been arrested in a child sex assault investigation, and investigators are now looking for other possible victims.
Charges are filed against Barry Todd Durrell, 55, for at least two sexual assault incidents in Houston since May 2016, according to HPD. He is charged with super aggravated sexual assault and continuous sexual abuse of a child.
According to HPD, Durrell is a deacon where the two incidents occurred at the West Houston Seventh Day Adventist Church on West Sam Houston Parkway North.
Durrell is accused of taking a 2-year-old boy into a closet at the church where he sexually assaulted him in May 2016. The mom found the child and the deacon alone in the closet.
Raw video: HPD press conference on deacon's arrest
A second male victim, 7, came forward in Feb. 2017 and told family members about ongoing assaults, and that's when the HPD investigation got underway. Durrell was arrested in March and confessed to the crimes, according to HPD.
As the victim was attending a class at the church, Durrell would allegedly take the victim multiple times to the restroom and commit the sexual assault. The second victim also stated he was assaulted in other locations, at 2900 West Sam Houston Parkway South and 300 Memorial City Way.
At a press conference, police said Durrell was convicted of a similar offense in California in 1988. He was not on the registered sex offender list, however.
Because the deacon has been involved in the Houston community for 30 years, investigators believe there are other victims. They are asking anyone with information to contact the HPD Special Victims Division at 713-830-3254 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
After HPD announced the charges, the West Houston Seventh-day Adventist church released the following statement:
The West Houston Seventh-day Adventist Church has been made aware of the recent charges against and subsequent arrest of one of its members. The West Houston Church strongly condemns the alleged offenses and is cooperating fully with law enforcement and its investigation. The West Houston Church is a 700-member multicultural Seventh-day Adventist congregation and the well-being of its members and community is of upmost importance.