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Former Missouri City Pastor Sentenced to 10 Years for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child

(RICHMOND) – A former Missouri City pastor has been sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child. William Benjamin Woodward, 62, who served as pastor for a Baptist church in Missouri City from 2009 until his arrest in April of 2021, elected to have his punishment assessed by a judge.


When a defendant charged with this crime waives his right to a jury trial and enters a plea of guilty, that defendant in eligible to ask the court for deferred adjudication, which is a form of probation.

Woodward’s attorney argued that Woodward was an “excellent candidate” for deferred adjudication because he had no criminal history, had served his community as a church leader, and had immediately started sex offender therapy after the child in this case made an outcry of abuse.

The Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office, represented by prosecutor Jessica Ramos, argued that prison time was the only appropriate form of punishment given the young age of the victim and the fact that Woodward perpetrated his crime on a child whose parents had trusted him with the care of their child.

After hearing evidence and arguments from both sides, Judge J. Christian Becerra denied Woodward’s application for deferred adjudication and sentenced Woodward to 10 years confinement in prison.

“During the punishment hearing, the father of the victim provided compelling testimony about how Mr. Woodward’s actions have detrimentally impacted the child, their family, and their church community,” said Ramos. “William Woodward broke the trust of people who loved and trusted him, as well as those he served. Judge Becerra’s sentence is fair and just given the facts of this case.”

“No one is above the law and justice requires the punishment to fit the crime,” said District Attorney Brian Middleton. “Considering the egregious nature of the offense, Judge Becerra’s punishment decision was just.”


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