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Former youth ministry leader pleads guilty to sexual abuse charges

Editor’s Note: In support of the sixth strategic action of Vision 2025 adopted by messengers to the 2021 SBC Annual Meeting, Baptist Press will continue to report every instance of sexual abuse related to Southern Baptist churches or leaders of which we are made aware.

COVINGTON, La. (BP) – A former youth worker has pleaded guilty to sexual abuse charges. Darrell Jay English, 50, entered the plea in the 22nd Judicial District Court on July 18.

English served as a youth ministry intern and, later, as a youth ministry associate at the First Baptist Church of Covington, according to a report from The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate.

He was arrested in February 2021 and charged with felony and misdemeanor counts of sexual battery. The abuse occurred in the early 2000s when the survivor was 16 and continued into adulthood, according to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, English will not serve jail time but will be listed on the sex offender registry for five years.

The victim, Nicole Marshall, is now 36 and lives in Utah.

“It’s a pretty frustrating sentence; it comes up pretty short for me,” Marshall told nola.com. “It’s a common problem with delayed reporting. There’s not enough evidence to show when I was 16 versus 17 and 18.”

If you are/have been a victim of sexual abuse or suspect sexual abuse by a pastor, staff member or member of a Southern Baptist church or entity, please reach out for help at 202-864-5578 or [email protected]. All calls are confidential.

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