Dallas County prosecutors say Lester Cody III assaulted the girl when she was 15 and 16. Cody was given deferred adjudication probation, which means he will not have a criminal record if he follows the terms of his probation. He must also pay a $10,000 fine.
Cody was a minister at Faith Crossing Church in Forney when he was arrested, but prosecutors say the abuse occurred when the church was in Mesquite. Cody was the girl’s minister and a family friend.
The victim remained silent about the molestation until she heard a sermon about forgiveness in her new church, said Dallas County prosecutor Meredith Behgooy. She approached the pastor in October 2006 at age 20 to ask how she could forgive someone who molested her. He told her she needed to call the police.