Houston church deacon accused of sexually assaulting 2 and 7-year-old boys

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An ordained deacon is facing charges he sexually assaulted two young boys, and police believe there may be other victims.

Houston police said Barry Durrell, 55, assaulted a 2-year-old boy last May inside a closet at the Houston Seventh-day Adventist Church on West Sam Houston Parkway North.

Police said the child came forward about the alleged assault in February of this year, and Durrell was arrested in March after he confessed.

Family members allege the second boy, a 7-year-old boy, was victimized inside a restroom at the church while he was attending class.

Police said family members claimed Durrell repeatedly assaulted the 7-year-old at two other locations as well. Police said Durrell would be with the boy's family, who he befriended, and took the child to the restroom to perform oral sex on him.

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Investigators said Durrell's life revolved around children. He gained their trust, their family's trust and took advantage of them, according to officials.

Police said he was with children at the West Houston Church every day and even went on weekend camping trips with them.

Investigators believe he assaulted more young children and that some of his victims could have been some of his neighbors at several west Houston apartment complexes.

Investigators said Durrell admitted to sexually assaulting a young boy and young girl in Oregon and California in the 1980s. They found that he was not listed as a registered sex offender in those states.

The church released a statement about the alleged incidents:

"The West Houston Seventh-day Adventist Church has been made aware of the recent charges against and subsequent arrest of one of its members. The West Houston Church strongly condemns the alleged offenses and is cooperating fully with law enforcement and its investigation. The West Houston Church is a 700-member multicultural Seventh-day Adventist congregation and the well-being of its members and community is of utmost importance," the statement read.
Investigators said there may be other victims, and asked anyone with information to contact the HPD Special Victims Division at 713-830-3254 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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