Fourth arrest made in Palestine sexual assault case

ANDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - A fourth person has been arrested in connection to a child sexual assault case involving an East Texas preacher.

Karen Sapp, 25, is charged with injury to a child.

Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor says Sapp knew the girl was being assaulted and did not report the abuse.

Authorities say they will not stop making arrests until they've exhausted every lead in this heartbreaking case.

A case that began with a young girl's preacher, 68-year-old, Larry Gene Martin, who's accused of molesting her at the family's home.

At the time, Martin, who pastored at Faith Bible Church in Palestine, was living at the child's home with her parents and two brothers.

As the investigation continued, Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor says her parents became suspects.

The victim's father worked as a jailer at the Anderson County Sheriff's Office for three years. Last week, he and his wife were arrested in connection to their daughter's case.

Sheriff Taylor believes they encouraged the relationship.

"That's what makes this case so tragic. This little girl was stuck in this lifestyle of being sexually abused and the adults in her life were not protecting her," says Taylor.

Authorities say the child was yet again failed by a close, family friend.

According to court documents, authorities collected photographs and computer chats that implies Sapp knew of the abuse, but did not report it.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of this case, says Taylor, are allegations of incest.

"There is some allegations that some sexual assault occurred between--or sexual contact between her and her next to the oldest brother, which is a little younger than her. Very sad situation and the parents knew about that as well and didn't report it, explained Taylor.

Officials say the children have been removed from their home.

Sheriff Taylor says there is no evidence to indicate there are any other victims in this case.

However, they are still investigating that possibility.

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