Jeff ForrestArticle from Abilene Reporter-News

Former Abilene church day care teacher accused of sexual assault of child no show at trial

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a former Abilene church day care teacher accused of aggravated sexual assault of a child who did not show up for his jury trial Monday.

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Winston Forrest’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case Monday morning, claiming the statute of limitations has expired.

After Forrest did not show up, Judge Thomas Wheeler scheduled a 1:30 p.m. hearing to check the status of Forrest.

Forrest’s attorney said he had not heard from his client. Judge Wheeler said he would revoke Forrest’s bond and issue a warrant for his arrest.

A Taylor County grand jury indicted Forrest in July 2015 on two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, a first-degree felony.

A former student of Forrest’s claims the day care teacher repeatedly sexually assaulted the boy from 1993 until 1999, from the time the boy was in second grade until eighth grade, according to court records. Forrest worked at the Pioneer Drive Baptist Church Daycare at the time.

Forrest’s attorney, Paul Stuckle, claims that the case should be dismissed because the alleged abuse first occurred in 1993, when the statute of limitations for aggravated sexual assault of a child was 10 years, and Forrest was not indicted until 2015.

“Allowing the prosecution in this case to move forward would be denying the defendant due process and would be against the public policy behind the existence of statute of limitations,” the attorney’s motion states. “In the years that have elapsed since the alleged offense, the memories of those involved as well as the evidence in the case has been allowed two decades to degrade and fade. Having to face trial now would deny the defendant the due process of having reliable witnesses and evidence in his case and would make him answer for allegations so old that they have become stale.”

The boy did not tell anyone about the abuse, even when Forrest moved into his parents’ garage apartment, until 2011 when the “emotional strain became too much,” according to court documents.

The boy’s father confronted Forrest, who admitted that he had sexually assaulted the boy, court records state. Forrest also supposedly admitted the abuse to his wife in September 2011, and it was then reported to Child Protective Services.

In April 2014, court records show, during divorce proceedings between the Forrests, Jeffrey Forrest admitted in a clinical assessment with a licensed sex offender treatment provider that he committed a “sexual offense against a child several years ago.”


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