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Fort Worth pastor pleads guilty to sexual assault

FORT WORTH -- The former pastor of the Southwood Baptist Church was sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication probation this afternoon after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting a church member.

James "Jay" Virtue Robinson IV's guilty plea means the 31-year man must register as a sex offender for life.

Robinson was arrested June 18 on accusations that he had had a relationship with a teen church member that included sexual contact when the girl was 16. Some of the liaisons, police have said, occurred inside the church at 2633 Altamesa Blvd.

Robinson, who has been free on bond since his arrest, had vehemently denied the allegations, garnering the support of the church council and many church members who believed that he was innocent.

But other members, including one council member, were kicked out of the church or voluntarily left because of their belief that Robinson should have been removed as pastor.

Robinson resigned from Southwood last month on the advice of attorneys.

Deferred adjudication means that if Robinson completes his probation, the case will be dismissed and there will be no conviction on his record, although the arrest will remain.