By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun
A Navarro County jury of six men and six women found Mark A. Green, 42, guilty of continuous sexual abuse of a child Friday in the Navarro County Court at Law, and sentenced him to 50 years in prison without possibility of parole, and a $10,000 fine.
He’ll be eligible for parole when he’s 92 years old, according to District Attorney Lowell Thompson.
Green is the former youth minister of the JBarC Cowboy Church in Palmer, although he currently works for a company that installs flooring.
He is alleged to have molested a 13-year-old girl whose family was in his church. Some of their encounters allegedly took place in Navarro County.
In closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Andrew Wolf said that the way the church reacted after the victim told a friend caused her to become intimidated and take back her story, but even after she’d made that first outcry Green continued to spend time alone with the girl in his home and car.
Church members warned him that it looked bad, but Green felt like the girl would protect him.
“He continued those behaviors, he let her stay over at his house,” Wolf told the jury.
It was only after her parents had a falling out with Green that she felt safe asserting her complaints, Wolf suggested.
Green’s defense attorney, John Perkins of Waxahachie, told the jury it wasn’t necessary for his client to prove his innocence, that it should be presumed.
During closing arguments, Perkins tried to pick holes in the prosecution’s arguments and the testimony of the youth and adults who had testified all week. “We don’t send people to prison on the words of someone who lies,” Perkins told the jury.
Assistant District Attorney Amy Cadwell described Green as a man with a messiah complex.
“He’s a smooth talking con-man who started to believe his own lies,” she said.
The jury returned with a guilty verdict after one hour and 15 minutes. Deliberations over the sentence took 30 minutes.
Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com