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Area Pastor Faces Felony Sexual Assault Charges in Minnesota
BRAINERD, Minn. (EYT) – A Clearfield County pastor is currently facing felony charges related to the alleged sexual assault of at least two teenage girls when he was a youth pastor in Minnesota over thirty years ago.
According to a published article in The Progress News, 59-year-old Todd Travis Hogue, of Curwensville, was charged in District Court of the state of Minnesota on January 27, 2020, with felony criminal sexual conduct of the third degree — forced or coercion; and criminal sexual conduct of the third degree.
Hogue is currently the pastor at Community Baptist Church, of Curwensville, located in the village of Bloomington, just outside of Curwensville Borough. The church’s website states Hogue has been pastor at the church since 2003.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the County of Crow Wing 9th Judicial District by Lieutenant Chad Kleffman, of the Brainerd Police Department, the first female victim came forward in December 2018 and told police that in 1987-88 – when she was 17 to 18 years old and Hogue would have been about 27 years old – Hogue began to touch and sexually grope her.
The victim told police she reported the incidents to the church, “but the church didn’t believe her.” She reported that once Hogue realized that the church didn’t believe her, he continued the sexual assaults further, which eventually included sexual intercourse, according to the complaint.
The victim did not report the incidents to law enforcement or social services.
One specific incident the victim reported to police occurred in the fall of her senior year, prior to her 18th birthday, in a “sound room” that overlooked her school auditorium. She told police Hogue cornered her there, in a closet, and raped her, the complaint indicates.
The victim also noted that Hogue coached for the school basketball team, and she was a team statistician and said that on several occasions, at basketball events, Hogue sexually assaulted her.
During further investigation, there were also numerous other interviews conducted with individuals associated with the church and school. During these interviews, individuals reported Hogue frequently engaged in flirtatious inappropriate behavior with some of the female students and was known to snap female students’ bra straps.
More than one witness also reported there was a meeting of the Board of Deacons regarding allegations by the victim that Hogue had sexually assaulted her.
The complaint against Hogue also states that another former female student also reported that Hogue had sexually abused her. The second victim stated Hogue touched her inappropriately over her clothing and got her blouse off, but did not rape her.
Lt. Kleffman also spoke with Hogue, via phone, on a number of occasions. Hogue allegedly admitted that he worked at First Baptist Church during the time in question and that he remembered the victim. However, he neither admitted nor denied any of the allegations. He did state he remembered having to appear before the Deacon Board regarding an allegation that he “hugged” the victim, the complaint states.
According to Lt. Kleffman, the time frame that has elapsed does not exceed the state of Minnesota’s statute of limitations regarding sexual assault.
Hogue is scheduled to appear in District Court in the County of Crow Wing at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, February 26.
Lt. Kleffman also noted that any potential additional victims in the area should contact their local law enforcement agency, or contact him directly at Breinard Police Department at 218-829-2805.
ExploreClarion.com reached out to Community Baptist Church, of Curwensville, and a representative of the church said they have no comment at this time.
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