Religion

Cops: Texas Couple Allowed Preacher to Rape Daughter, 12

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Just an awful story out of Texas, where a couple is accused of allowing a preacher who lived in their house to have sex with their 12-year-old daughter. And they may have allowed one of their sons to have sex with the girl, too.

The Daily Mail reports that the family's religious beliefs may have played a role in the apparent terrible decision-making by the parents.

Jerry and Christina Ham are charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child and engaging in organized activity. They allegedly stood by and allowed 68-year-old Larry Gene Martin to have sex with their young daughter. He is charged with rape.

Martin reportedly told police that he loved the little girl and wanted to marry her.

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Investigators think the couple also allowed their oldest son, who is now 12, to have an incestuous relationship with the girl as well.

"It is a very sick, twisted thing," said Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor. "There was certainly a permittance of this type of activity that's not normal."

Taylor said the couple has admitted to some of the accusations and that they are being "semi-cooperative."

Taylor said the family's religious beliefs might be part of the story.

"We believe there are some religious connotations. We really don't know for sure," he said. "There's some strange beliefs in the family, to put it mildly."