Documents: More victims of abuse in former youth pastor's murder case

Shelby Danielsen reports. 7/25

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A former youth pastor accused of the dismemberment and murder of a Nassau County teen in the 1990s has been accused of sexually abusing more victims according to newly obtained court documents.

The documents, which were filed on July 18, state that Ronnie Hyde, 60, was sexually abusing two boys around the same time he was sexually abusing Fred Laster.

Laster, 16, went missing in 1994. A passerby came across a decapitated torso that was missing its hands and lower body at a BP Gas Station in Lake City. Authorities didn't know who the torso belonged to until 2015 when a DNA test was conducted with Laster's twin sister, confirming the torso was his and solving a 23-year-old cold case.

On March 7, the FBI executed a search warrant at Hyde's Jacksonville Beach home. Agents arrested him that same day on second-degree murder charges over Laster's death.

According to the search warrant, police spoke to one victim who said Hyde recorded the sexual abuse with a video camcorder. Another victim, who police have not been able to identify, was only described as a boy named 'Joey.'

According to court documents, Hyde had met Laster and "Joey" while he served as a youth pastor for Strength for Living Baptist Church. Documents state he would spend time with the boys, which included extended periods of time at his house, and perform sexual acts.

The warrant also describes Hyde's purchases of child porn, including videos bought on eight separate occasions between 2008 to 2010 for $745.

In late March, Hyde was charged with 12 counts of child porn in addition to his second-degree murder charge. Each pornography charge is for ten or more images.

The search warrant says after Hyde's arrest he admitted to purchasing pornography from a now defunct company, but the licensed mental health counselor denied responsibility in the murder of Laster. 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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