HAYS COUNTY, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - A former Hays County deacon has been accused of sexually abusing six girls, who are now young women, for years.
Charles Sweet, 85, has been charged with two counts of indecency with a child by the Austin Police Department. He has not been arrested at this time.
The investigation began in January when the Hays County Sheriff's Office received a report from an now adult woman who reported being sexually abused when she was younger in both Hays County and in Austin.
According to APD, the detective in charge of the case determined that the description of the suspect given by the woman matched a suspect in a 2012 investigation by the APD Child Abuse Unit. The 2012 investigation was then reopened.
During the course of the investigation, it was determined that there were additional now adult female victims. APD says some of the abuse happened at Sweet's Austin residence and some in Hays County in the Buda area.
Sweet's former church, Hays Hills Baptist Church, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon about Sweet, saying that they learned almost seven years ago that he had sexually abused a member of his family and at that time chose to revoke Sweet's membership and ban him from the church.
"When we became aware of the abuse, we reported the abuse to the police and they began an investigation," the statement read. "We cooperated completely with their investigation and followed their counsel concerning how to notify the congregation."
The congregation was notified in September 2012 of the decision, according to the statement.
The statement also said that the church is not aware of any instances of sexual abuse occurring on the church's campus.
The Austin Police Department held a press conference Wednesday afternoon and asked any additional survivors to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to call the APD Child Abuse Unit at 512-974-6880 or the Hays County Sheriff's Office at 512-393-7896.