Alleged teen victim testifies in sex abuse case

WCNC-TV, North Carolina

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February 13, 2008

GASTONIA, N.C. – The teenage girl who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a former church deacon testified against him Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the victim’ parents considered Paul Shives family. They’ve known each other for years. Shives was a deacon at New Hope Baptist Church in Gastonia.

The girl, who is now 14, testified that she trusted Shives. She said the two often text messaged. She said sometimes he sent her gifts and sometimes they slept in the same bed. She testified Shives touched her inappropriately on numerous occasions beginning at age 9.

“I woke up in the middle of the night to him massaging my back and my stomach. I woke up and I didn’t say anything and I didn’t move. I didn’t want him to know I was awake,” the girl said of an alleged incident in 2006. “He started kissing on my calves and my thighs and I kicked him. I expected him to stop and he didn’t.”

Prosecutors played a tape of a recorded conversation between the girl and Shives.

The girl also testified she and a friend played truth or dare with Shives, and the girl took off her clothes after Shives dared her. The girl eventually confided in her chorus teacher who also took the stand.

In cross examination, Shives’ attorney tried to point out inconsistencies in the girl’s statements. The defense is expected to begin its case later this week.

A number of Shives’ friends were in the courtroom wearing stickers in support. The judge asked the people to remove the stickers so they would not sway the jury.


Deacon on trial for sexually assaulting teen

By WCNC Staff

WCNC-TV, North Carolina
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February 12, 2008

GASTONIA, N.C. -- A former church leader accused of sexually assaulting a teen is now on trial. His attorneys are calling him a good family man, but the prosecution says that’s not the case.

Prosecutors say the victim’s parents considered Paul Shives family. They’ve known each other for years.

Then, when the victim turned 12, prosecutors say Shives’ relationship with the child changed into something sexual.

Shives, 42, was a deacon at New Hope Baptist Church in Gastonia.

During opening arguments Monday, prosecutors described in detail some of the alleged abuse including oral sex when the girl was 12.

Back in May, the now 14-year-old told a teacher Shives had been sexually abusing her.

Police had the girl record a phone conversation in which prosecutors say Shives basically admitted to sexually abusing her on a recent camping trip.

Defense attorneys decided to wait and will make their opening statement after the state rests its case.

The state will call its first witness in the morning and although we don’t know when, prosecutors say the teenager will take the stand.

SNAP Note:  New Hope Baptist Church in Gastonia, NC is shown as an SBC-affiliated church.