Judge declares mistrial in ex-pastor’s sex crimes trial

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CALIFORNIA, Mo. (AP) – A judge has declared a mistrial in the statutory rape and statutory sodomy trial of a former Missouri pastor.

KRCG-TV reports that jury selection was underway Monday in Moniteau County when one of the potential jurors commented about a witness in the case against Travis Smith. Prosecutors say the former pastor at First Baptist Church in Stover had sex with a 16-year-old girl in 2005.

Special prosecutor Michael Gilley said the comment may have “tainted” the rest of the jury pool, which means it may have been hard for them to remain fair and unbiased throughout the trial.

The trial will be rescheduled for a later date.
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Information from: KRCG-TV, http://www.krcg.com