Mansfield News

Mansfield pastor sentenced to 50 years in prison for child sexual abuse

Jose Luis Pizarro has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for sexually abusing an 8-year-old member of his congregation in Mansfield.
Jose Luis Pizarro has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for sexually abusing an 8-year-old member of his congregation in Mansfield. Tarrant County Jail

The former pastor of a church in Mansfield was convicted of child sexual assault on Thursday and sentenced to 50 years in prison, according to the Tarrant County district attorney.

Jose Luis Pizarro, 42, was also sentenced to eight years for indecency in a jury trial in state district court. The sentences will run concurrently, the district attorney's office said.

Pizarro was originally accused by Mansfield police in July 2016 of inappropriately touching an 8-year-old female congregation member at his Iglesia de Dios Nuevo Amanecer church in May of that year.

"He committed multiple sexual assaults of an 8-year-old girl who attended his church over a period of time," Tarrant County district attorney's office spokeswoman Samantha Jordan said via e-mail.

"Some assaults occurred in the church," she said.

Jordan said that during an interview with a Fort Worth police interpreter, brought in because Pizarro preferred to speak Spanish, Pizarro "admitted to improper bodily contact with the child."

The victim, now 10 years old, testified during the trial, Jordan said. Also testifying on her behalf were a nurse from Cook Children's Medical Center, a forensic interviewer from Alliance for Children and the victim's mother.

The site of Pizzaro's former church is now Living Hope Bible Church.

Pizarro was also indicted on a charge of aggravated sexual assault of a child stemming from an incident in 2013 in Johnson County, court records show. His trial in that case has been postponed multiple times and is now scheduled for Dec. 29.

His trial in Tarrant County began Monday and ended Thursday, Jordan said.

Stephen English: 817-390-7330, @sbenglish74
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