AUSTIN (KXAN) — The former pastor of First Baptist Church on Heflin Lane in East Austin is accused of sexually assaulting a child from the church. Authorities believe there are other victims.
Court records state Rev. Dr. Henry McGee, 68, had a sexual relationship with a 13-year-old youth member for more than a year.
Williamson County records say the relationship was initially reported to the Austin Police Department, but later referred to Round Rock Police because McGee is accused of having sex with the minor at a Round Rock hotel in October.
Police said the teen was at a youth group church meeting when her friends asked her what was going on between Pastor McGee and her. The teen told her friends about the sexual relationship, leading to her parents finding out and calling police.
“For this individual to take advantage of this young girl, it’s just a terrible situation to find yourself in,” said Bernie Villegas, a detective with Round Rock Police Department. “I don’t wish that on anybody especially the parents who have to find out that you do everything to protect your child and for you to know that’s been going on behind your back it’s just a terrible thing.”
Villegas said McGee turned himself in with his attorney present and has bonded out since.
The Williamson County Children’s Advocacy Center interviewed the girl who said the sexual relationship started in June 2014, when she was then 13-years-old.
The teen told investigators the first encounter happened at a storage unit in Georgetown and the relationship continued at the pastor’s house when his wife was away. The last time they met was at a hotel in Round Rock on Oct. 9.
“He would tell the parents that he would take her down there with his grand kids who are the same age,” said Villegas in regards to how McGee is accused of getting the teen to his home.
The teen told detectives she had sex with McGee more than 15 times and would also have sex in his church office.
First Baptist Church on Heflin Ln. is the oldest black Baptist Church in Austin.
KXAN contacted the church and the interim pastor who said the church recently voted McGee out. A black piece of tape covers where McGee’s name was listed on the church sign.
“Based on the information that we obtained, we believe that there may be other victims out there,” explained Villegas. “I will be contacting her parents and hopefully if she’s willing to talk to us, we’ll be scheduling an interview at the Williamson County Advocacy Center.”
Round Rock Police say McGee was with the church for 15 years.
“It really breaks my heart because my heart because it’s like some people pretend to have the faith and they use it to hurt other people and that’s not right,” said Jordan King, a neighbor who has lived across from the church his entire life.
King said he’s attended the church once before when McGee was preaching.
“A pastor is supposed to be like a shepherd, supposed to lead us into the new day and be a good example and for him to do that, that’s not right,” said King. “Why would you hurt somebody’s child, why would you hurt God’s child like that.”