Misty Rae Hopkins, above, the widow of a Burnet pastor, has been sentenced to five life terms and four 20-year terms after she was found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and indecency.
According to this report, prosecutors say she and her late husband confined and sexually abused their children over a period of seven years.
Assistant District Attorney Stacy Burke called Hopkins:
A truly evil person who tortured her children.
Hopkins, 49, and her late husband, John Hopkins, lived in Burnet where John Hopkins was the pastor of a church when the offences occurred.
The offences, committed from 1999 through 2005 in Burnet County, involved “numerous acts of sexual abuse” that she and her husband committed individually and in tandem.
When the oldest victim was 14, the family moved to Blanco County and later to Llano County.
The abuse started when the oldest child was seven and continued until she was 21 and was able to leave home with her younger siblings, once they were 17 or older, authorities said.
District Attorney Sonny McAfee said in the press release:
The evidence further showed that Hopkins and her husband kept the children out of school and even isolated them from other family members.
Jurors deliberated for only about an hour before finding Hopkins guilty on all counts. McAfee said:
During the punishment phase of the trial, the four children testified about the impact the years of silence, manipulation, and hiding had on them.
Once more, a Burnet County jury has demonstrated that the people of our district have no tolerance for the abuse of children whether it occurs today or occurred a decade ago. The citizens on this jury did a tremendous job.
Information about the incidents didn’t surface until 2014 when the victim reported the abuse to another law enforcement agency, which forwarded the information to authorities in Burnet, McAfee said.
John Hopkins had died by then.
Meanwhile it is reported here that a Miami-area youth pastor has been arrested and charged with coercing teenage boys into prostitution.
Ron Cooper, 52, right, used his leadership position in the church to manipulate and lure young boys into having sex with other men.
The young victims, who were given Viagra, Xanax and alcohol before being forced to have sex, claimed that they were afraid of Cooper, who threatened to kill them, harm their families, blackmail them with the promise that he would release nude photos of them, and even raped and sexually assaulted them as well.
Placing ads on Backpage and Craigslist, Cooper would make the boys prostitute themselves at cheap motels and an adult bookstore. The boys would only receive $40 to $100 for each sex act and Cooper would often take half of their money.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn