BRAINERD, Minn. — A local pastor is facing felony charges stemming from the alleged sex assault of at least two teenage girls when he was a youth pastor in Minnesota in the 1980s.
Todd Travis Hogue, 59, of the 11000-block of Curwensville Tyrone Highway, was charged Jan. 27 in District Court of the state of Minnesota and by Lt. Chad Kleffman of the Brainerd Police Department with felony criminal sexual conduct of the third degree — forced or coercion; and criminal sexual conduct of the third degree.
Hogue is the pastor at Community Baptist Church of Curwensville, 11555 Curwensville Tyrone Hwy. in the village of Bloomington, about two miles from Curwensville Borough. According to the church’s Website, Hogue has been pastor at the church since 2003.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the County of Crow Wing 9th Judicial District, a female victim came forward in December 2018, stating she grew up in the Brainerd area and now lives in Texas. The victim told police that in 1987-88, she attended her senior year of high school at Lake Regoin Christian School, an extension of First Baptist Church in Crow Wing County. At that time, she said Hogue was a youth pastor and she was 17 to 18 years old. Hogue would have been around 27 years old at the time.
According to the complaint, Hogue allegedly began touching the victim and sexually groping her. The victim told police that she reported the incidents to the church, “but the church didn’t believe her.” She told police that once Hogue realized that the church didn’t believe her, he continued the sexual assaults further which included sexual intercourse. The victim did not report the incidents to law enforcement or social services.
The victim told police she recalled a specific incident that occurred in the “sound room” that overlooked the school auditorium, where Hogue allegedly cornered her in a closet and raped her. This assault took place in the fall of her senior year prior to her 18th birthday.
The victim was one of the basketball team’s statisticians and Hogue was the coach. The victim said on several occasions while she was at a basketball event, Hogue sexually assaulted her, but the assaults occurred after she had turned 18.
During further investigation by Kleffman, numerous interviews were conducted with people associated with the church and school who remembered Hogue frequently engaging in flirtatious inappropriate behavior with some of the female students and was known to snap female students’ bra straps, etc. It was also reported by more than one witness that there was a meeting of the Board of Deacons regarding allegations by the victim that Hogue had sexually assaulted her.
Additionally, another former female student reported that Hogue had sexually abused her, specifically stating that Hogue touched her inappropriately over her clothing and got her blouse off, but did not rape her.
According to Kleffman, he spoke with Hogue over the telephone on a number of occasions and Hogue admitted that he worked at First Baptist Church during the time in question and that he remembered the victim. Hogue did not admit nor specifically deny the allegations, but stated he did remember having to appear before the Deacon Board regarding an allegation that he “hugged” the victim.
Kleffman said the time frame that has elapsed does not exceed the state of Minnesota’s statute of limitations regarding sexual assault.
Hogue has been summoned to appear in District Court in the County of Crow Wing on Feb. 26 at 8:30 a.m.
Kleffman said in a statement that any potential additional victims in the area should contact their local law enforcement agency, or call Kleffman at Breinard Police Department at (218) 829-2805.