Church Offers Support to Victims - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/2/04 - Rusk County

Church Offers Support to Victims

The former Christian school principal accused of molesting young girls at his home in Kilgore remains on suicide watch in the Rusk County Jail.

So far, eight female victims have told authorities 41-year-old Russell Thomas Hirner molested them over the last 10 years.  Investigators say he admitted to all four charges brought against him.

Hirner was principal at the Longview Baptist Academy of the Longview Baptist Temple. Church leaders say they are surprised by the accusations and want to be there for the victims.

"We feel like our responsibility as a church is simply to help anyone who comes forward and says I too am a victim here," said Dr. Bob Gray II, Youth Pastor at Longview Baptist Temple.

Authorities say they expect more charges to come in this case.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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