A Texas man, educator, and now-former youth pastor was arrested this week after being indicted on two child sex crimes, authorities say. His arrest is the latest in a spate of alleged child sex crimes involving Christian clergy members in the Lone Star State.
Gary Buckaloo is accused of one count each of sex abuse of a child continuous: victim under 14 and indecency with a child sexual contact, which are first-and second-degree felonies, respectively.
Buckaloo, from Normangee, Texas, surrendered himself to law enforcement after being indicted, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office said, according to Bryan, Texas-based CBS affiliate KBTX. Normangee is a town about 40 minutes northeast of College Station, the home of Texas A&M University.
The defendant’s bond is currently set at $50,000 apiece, for a total of $100,000 on the two charges, according to local NBC affiliate KAGS. He is being detained in the Leon County Jail.
Details of the allegations are scarce, saying investigations are ongoing.
According to KBTX, Buckaloo was recently listed as a “Life Skills” teacher with the Buffalo Independent School District. Superintendent Lacy Freeman addressed the defendant’s employment in a statement to the TV station.
“Buffalo ISD has been made aware of the indictment of a current District employee by a Leon County Grand Jury,” the statement reads. “The District is in close communication and cooperation with the Leon County Sheriff’s Department. At this time, it is our understanding that the charges are unrelated to the individual’s employment at Buffalo ISD and do not involve any BISD students. While the individual has not been on campus since December 2022, the District has placed the employee on administrative leave immediately upon notification of the indictment. Should any parents or staff have specific concerns regarding this educator, please contact your campus principal. As student and staff safety and well-being are our top priority, we will continue to closely monitor this situation as more information is made available.”
Buckaloo was also recently listed as the “Youth Pastor and Worship Leader for First Baptist Church Normangee,” according to KBTX – but that reference was reportedly scrubbed as of this Tuesday.
The defendant’s indictment is at least the second child sexual abuse-related incident involving clergy in Leon County this month.
On March 3, deputies arrested Dakota Shriver of Rockdale, Texas, on two second-degree felony counts of indecency of a child with sexual contact. According to KAGS, Shriver’s charges are related to late February charges brought against two brothers who served in leadership positions in local churches, according to KAGS.
Matthew Travis and Clark Travis were arrested one day apart for allegedly sexually assaulting at least five children following a nearly year-long investigation, according to KBTX. Citing “sources close to the investigation,” KBTX reported that the Travis brothers served “as spiritual leaders at Apostolic Life United Pentecostal Church in Buffalo and Centerville Apostolic Church in Centerville” and allegedly used their church leadership positions to sexually abuse teenagers.
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