Girls testify in pastor’s sexual abuse trial
ST. PAUL -- The 14-year-old girl had not intended for anyone to know her secret. But when an older teenage cousin was looking for some notebook paper, the cousin came across a folded-up letter that the young girl had written.
A male relative “would ask for sex and stuff,” she wrote. She felt worthless.
“At times, I wish I was dead or never born.”
The girl’s allegations involved Jacoby Kindred Sr., 61, a Maplewood pastor who faces two charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Prosecutors say he sexually assaulted the girl and her older sister for years, forcing anal sex on one and oral sex on both of them. Testimony in his trial began Monday in Ramsey County District Court.
Kindred told police he was a pastor with One Accord Ministries, which he said does not have a building, according to the criminal complaint against him. He referred to himself on his now-defunct Facebook page as “Jacoby Preacherman.”
Kindred’s attorney, Gary Wolf, told the jury Monday that Kindred will testify in his own defense. He never assaulted the girls, Wolf said. He added that there would be inconsistencies in the girls’ stories and family dynamics that led to the accusations.
“What you’re going to see is no corroboration of these allegations, no evidence — no DNA, blood, semen, pictures, pornography,” Wolf said.
Both girls took the witness stand in the case Monday.
The younger girl, now 14, said her abuse started after Kindred and his wife moved from an apartment to their current home.
When she was younger, he would touch just her back and her legs. But at the house, “he would touch my parts … I didn’t know what to do,” she said.
Prosecutor Shereen Askalani asked what the girl meant by her “parts.”
“My butt and my vagina,” she said.
Slowly, she revealed details of the allegations: he would touch her with his hands, digitally penetrating her. He rubbed his penis on her vagina and eventually forced anal and oral sex on her, she said.
Kindred told her she needed to cooperate because he was ill.
“He would tell me that his legs were messed up,” the younger girl testified. “He told me that the doctor said in order to get his legs better he needed to do that (sexual) stuff.”
Kindred bought her gifts — things she never asked for, like a scooter and a phone, she said. In exchange, he wanted sexual favors, she said.
She wrote the letter because “there was a lot of stuff going on in my life that I couldn’t handle … I put it in my dresser so nobody would find it.”
Asked why she never revealed the abuse before, she said, “Because I didn’t think they would believe me.”
In his questioning of the girl, Wolf pointed out several points on which her testimony in court differed from what she told a nurse during a sexual assault exam.
The older girl, 16, testified — often fighting back tears — that Kindred began abusing her at age 6 or 7 and continued until she was 15, when the family found out about her sister’s letter. By that point, Kindred was demanding sex, sometimes picking her up to drive her to school but stopping at his house first, where he would rape her, she said.
Kindred told her that he went to religious meetings. At one meeting, “a sex demon went inside him through some girl he was praying for,” the older sibling said. He told her the “sex acts (with her) would get the demon out.”
He also said his doctor told him he had too much sperm built up inside him, and he needed to get it out, she testified. He would die if he couldn’t release it, she said.
Testimony in the case continues today.
The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.