A pastor at Cowboy Way Church in Alvarado, who is accused of molesting a teen boy several years ago, allegedly told the victim that it was his way of relieving stress “which helped him be a stronger pastor thereby bringing God to more people,” according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The encounters, the affidavit states, occurred at the Fort Worth home that Dan Haby Jr., then pastor of the now defunct Stockyard Community Church, shared with two ministers from that church.
The alleged victim, who police have said was 15 when the alleged abuse began, had volunteered at Haby’s church and frequently spent weekends at Haby’s home along with two other teen friends.
He told police that, at that time, he planned on becoming a minister himself and that Haby mentored him.
But while the other two teens would sleep in the living room, Haby soon invited the alleged victim to sleep in his room on a mattress he had put on the floor next to his bed, the affidavit states.
“During each visit thereafter, Dan directed the victim to sleep in his room and he would always keep the door closed and locked,” states the affidavit, written by C.W. Daniels, a detective with the crimes against children unit.
The victim, now in his late 20s, told police that Haby soon began lying with him in bed and touching him.
“Dan told the victim that he wasn’t married and he didn’t have a way to relieve stress,” the affidavit states. “He explained that by lying with and holding the victim, this allowed him to release stress, which helped him be a stronger pastor thereby bringing God to more people.”
“He told the victim this was the path and the will that God had for him so Christ could be brought to more people,” the affidavit went on. “The victim explained that he was initially alarmed by this, but he soon began believing the things Dan would tell him and he felt it was a sacrifice on his part.”
Haby has previously declined to comment, referring questions to his attorney, Daniel Hernandez. Hernandez has not returned messages left by the Star-Telegram.
Arrested last week
Haby was arrested last week at his Alvarado home on the two warrants for indecency with a child by sexual contact and released on $30,000 bond.
He was charged Tuesday with indecency with a child/fondling, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Several of his parishioners have expressed their support for the pastor on the church’s Facebook page, on which Haby continues to post inspirational messages daily.
The alleged victim made an outcry about the abuse last month to Alvarado police, The case was forwarded to Fort Worth police because the alleged sexual abused occurred in their city.
In interviews with investigators, the allegedly victim expressed concerns that Haby currently has contact with numerous other children and often has them staying in his residence, the affidavit states.
As a bond condition, Haby is prohibited from having any contact with any child under age 17.
The alleged victim told police that the touching began in the fall of 2000, escalating to fondling under the clothing by the summer of 2001.
He recalled for investigators how one time, when alone in the house with Haby, he told the pastor that he was beginning to have questions about his sexuality. He said the pastor then grabbed the victim’s penis over his clothing, telling him “that he would learn more about the victim by seeing how he responded emotionally and physically to this contact,” the affidavit states.
“Dan continued to tell the victim that this was his only source of stress-relief and he was the only person he could express these things with,” the affidavit states. “He soon began buying the victim gifts.”
Police later located and interviewed the alleged victim’s two friends who had also been staying at Haby’s house during the time of the alleged abuse. Both confirmed that the victim slept in Haby’s room with the door closed during their overnight stays.
One of the friends told police he thought Haby had just been showing favoritism to the alleged victim and “didn’t think anything else of it at the time” but noted that it “seemed strange.”
The other friend told police even questioned the alleged victim about it.
“He thought this was unusual and he later asked the victim if anything was happening in the room,” the affidavit states. “The victim denied anything unusual occurring and their friendship soon became distant.”
The alleged victim told police that he did not tell anyone about the sexual abuse because he was afraid his parents would have thought he was a homosexual and that an older sibling would be disappointed. He said when his friend asked him about it back then, he responded with what Haby had told him to say, that Haby was “mentoring him to become a strong minister.”
When recently questioned by police, Haby’s former roommates also confirmed to investigators that the alleged victim stayed in Haby’s room during his frequent visits to the home.
One of the former roommates said “he always assumed Dan was counseling the victim or they were praying.”
The other former roommate told investigators that Haby had recently contacted him, telling him about the alleged victim’s accusation and asking if he would be a “character reference” for him later if needed.
“During the course of this investigation, the victim’s credibility has been unwavering and his outcry has remained consistent,” Daniels wrote in the affidavit.