Plano Minister Arrested in Sex Sting Could Face More Charges

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

More charges could be on the way for Joe Barron, 52, the Plano minister arrested in a Bryan Internet sex sting.

Bryan police say they will turn the case over to the District Attorney's Office Tuesday. Through a two week sting operation, police were hoping to raise awareness about online dangers, and that's exactly what they did.

Now a Plano church is trying to cope after one of its ministers was busted for allegedly trying to have sex with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

"Our church has experienced a heartbreaking and tragic week," Prestonwood Baptist Church Pastor Jack Graham said. "We are appalled by the disgraceful actions and subsequent arrest of one of our ministers."

It was a Sunday service different than most others. Pastor Graham addressed the actions of one of his ministers who was arrested in a Bryan Internet sex sting.

Graham spoke not only to his congregation, but also expressed his feelings on the web.

"I am so sorry for the injury this grievous situation has caused," Graham said. "We have requested and received the resignation of Joe Barron effective immediately. He is no longer a member of the Prestonwood staff."

"I think it opens a lot of people's eyes, and our whole key (goal) here is to stop it from happening," Sgt Sharean Gideon said.

Sgt. Gideon was part of the Bryan police team that was waiting for Joe Barron after he allegedly drove three and a half hours to meet who he thought was a 13 year-old girl.

Gideon says conversations between Barron and the officer who posed as the teen, went on for nearly two weeks.

"They were very sexually explicit including what he wanted to do, and what he wanted her to do to him," Gideon said.

In one online chat, according to Bryan police, Barron told the "teen" it would be "fun and an honor" to teach her about sex. He later said, "how else are you going to learn?"

And it's those conversations that could add additional charges against Barron.

"If he gets sexually explicit, his intent is there, and that's a whole other charge. So each time can be a different charge," Gideon said.

Police say Barron had roughly five or six of those conversations with the undercover officer.

While the case against Barron is far from over, his former employer is trying to move on.

"We have taken a hit, but we will rise above and continue to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and proclaim His glorious Gospel," Graham said.

Last Friday, we reported that Bryan Police also found 25 to 30 other similar chats with females on Barron's phone. Bryan detectives say they are looking into those, but it could be quite some time before they know the identities of those involved in the chats or their ages.

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