“The pastor of a conservative Mesquite Baptist church where a father and son have been charged with sexually assaulting girls has been arrested after police say he didn’t report the abuse.
Robert Arnold Ross, 70, pastor of Open Door Baptist Church, was booked into the Mesquite jail Tuesday morning on one count of knowingly failing to make a required child abuse report. His bail was set at $2,500.
In recent weeks, 33-year-old Steven Aaron Winn and 65-year-old Larry Allen Winn were arrested on charges of sexually assaulting children.
The younger Winn, a volunteer assistant youth pastor at the church on South Belt Line Road, was taken into custody Feb. 22. Mesquite police had learned several days earlier about allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a female student at the church’s Christian academy for more than a year, starting when the girl was 15.
Police say Ross learned about the abuse on Feb. 1 — more than two weeks before police learned of the accusation — and did not notify authorities.
Steven Winn faces three counts of sexual assault of a child in Dallas County and three counts of sexual assault of a child in Kaufman County and remains in the Dallas County jail, with bail set at $375,000.
The elder Winn, who ran the church’s bus ministry, was arrested March 1. Police said a church member reported that he had raped her three years ago, when she was 16.
Larry Winn was charged with one count of sexual assault of a child and released from the Dallas County jail after posting $25,000 bond.
Church officials and a lawyer representing the Winns have not responded to requests for comment.
Because of the Winns’ access to children, police believe there could be more victims. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 972-285-6336.
Open Door was previously in the news in 2011, when senior pastor Matt Jarrell was arrested on a rape charge in West Virginia. Two days later, he hanged himself in his jail cell.”