‘No one is above the law’: Former Missouri City pastor sentenced to 10 years for sexual assault of child: DA

William Benjamin Woodward, 62, (Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office)

RICHMOND, Texas – A former Missouri City pastor has been sentenced to prison after he pled guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child on June 14, according to the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office.

William Benjamin Woodward, 62, previously served as pastor for a Baptist church in Missouri City from 2009 until his arrest in April 2021, according to the DA. Woodward elected to have his punishment assessed by Judge J. Christian Becerra of the 434th District Court.

Aggravated sexual assault of a child is a first-degree felony, punishable by 5 to 99 years, or life in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Woodward’s hearing was held on June 20 where his attorney argued that he 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 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, the judge sentenced Woodward to 10 years confinement in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Jessica Ramos stated, “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. 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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