Prison for church leader who seduced child from pulpit

Jonathan Ryan Ensey, 37, was sentenced to four years for Indecency with a Child and eight years for Online Solicitation of a Minor after a two-day bench trial that ended on March 23, in the 221st District Court of Judge John Delaney.

In the summer of 2019, Ensey, the worship leader of Living Way Church in Conroe, began sending explicit sexual messages to an underage teenage church member. The two used Instagram to communicate. Prior to these messages, Ensey had taken a particular interest in the girl, frequently engaging her in conversation, touching her, and complimenting her appearance. He also befriended her parents. Meanwhile, the messages became more and more sexual over time, unknown to the parents. Ensey began to ask the child repeatedly for sex in very explicit terms. He also made requests for explicit videos of the child, which she did not send.

Ensey, however, sent naked pictures of himself to the child and, on one occasion, sent a picture of himself at the pulpit of Living Way Church and referred to oral sex.

A text message from Ensey that was sent to his victim.

Eventually, Ensey persuaded the victim to meet him in the parking lot of a local coffee shop with the intent of engaging in sexual contact with her. The victim got into Ensey’s car. He put his hands down the back of her pants and grabbed her buttocks. He then put his hand up her shirt and contacted her breast.

Two days later, the girl’s mother found some of the messages Ensey sent to the child. The girl’s parents first went to their pastor, the Defendant’s father, Pastor Randy Ensey. When Pastor Randy Ensey took no substantive action, they reported the messages to the Texas Rangers. Ranger Eric Lopez investigated the case. During his investigation, Ranger Lopez obtained search warrants for content held by Instagram and received thousands of messages between Ensey and the child, spanning five weeks. The messages painted a vivid picture of the weeks-long barrage of sexual messages and images that Ensey directed at the victim. The messages also documented the crimes committed by Ensey.

At trial, Dr. Danielle Madera, an expert in the dynamics of child sexual abuse, testified that the messages and Ensey’s other conduct showed a “textbook case” of grooming for the purpose of sexually abusing the child. She specifically cited the Defendant’s use of his position of power and the influence of religion to accomplish the sexual abuse.

Judge Delaney quickly found Ensey guilty in both cases.

Throughout the trial, members of the Living Way congregation packed the courtroom in an apparent show of support for the Defendant. Ensey’s father, Pastor Randy Ensey, testified at sentencing and asked for leniency. He refused to agree that the victim was in no way at fault for her own abuse. Prosecutors showed that Pastor Ensey had approached one of his congregants, the victim’s relative, seeking to pressure the victim to “have mercy” on her abuser. Pastor Ensey also met with the child’s current pastor and asked him to intervene in a similar manner.

When pronouncing sentence, Judge Delaney complimented the victim on her poise when testifying and said he could tell that she was a good person. He described the Defendant’s conduct as “heartbreaking.” Prosecutors asked for a sentence of 15 years on each count and moved for the sentences to be served consecutively. Judge Delaney imposed sentences of four years on the Indecency with a Child and eight years for the Online Solicitation of a Minor, the sentences to be served concurrently with one another.

The Texas Rangers investigated this case with the assistance of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office and the Greater Houston Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory. Assistant District Attorneys Chris Seufert and Katherine Wiethorn prosecuted the case.

“This Defendant used the child’s faith to victimize her. He took advantage of this child’s religious upbringing and twisted the profane with the divine to bend her to his lustful purpose. A church is supposed to be a safe place. It’s not supposed to be a place where predators target your children,” said Assistant District Attorney Chris Seufert.

Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon added, “It breaks my heart to hear the victim of these despicable crimes blamed for her abuse. The Defendant’s father, a man who is supposed to be a leader in this community, would not say it, but I will: none of this is the victim’s fault in any way, shape, or form. The only person responsible for these evil acts is Jonathan Ensey, and shame on anyone who says differently.”

32 COMMENTS

  1. Pastor Randy Ensey is an excellent example of preachers who don’t care about their flock but do care about fleecing them. He should have also been charged.
    “The girl’s parents first went to their pastor, the Defendant’s father, Pastor Randy Ensey. When Pastor Randy Ensey took no substantive action, they reported the messages to the Texas Rangers.”

    • I agree Randy, many ways pastors and ministry leaders fleece the flock. Churches engage in business via ‘ministries’ where a spouse or family member is lead beneficiary. Some have the business on church property, others run it through business LLCs. Like, say, a pastor that ‘owns’ a lucrative multi-campus church and spouse owns a funeral home – and all the dead in the church are buried by spouse’s funeral home. Or, say a pastor of a large or mega church has a spouse or close family member that owns a building or construction company and the church funnels all church building projects to them. Just add what you want to that list. It is at the least a conflict of interest but there are pastors and families that are ‘thriving’, ‘succeeding’ in magnificent ways 😉 . Its a disgusting thing. Insider trading at the worst!

  2. What they didnt mention in that article, but was mentioned in 2019
    “that Jonathan Ensey had known the victim since age nine and was well aware of her current age. It was also discovered that for close to 2-years Ensey had become flirtatious with the teen. Investigators learned that around June of 2019 Ensey started to text the teen. It was after that the teen began to meet in parking lots with Ensley on at least two occassions at which time Ensey did inappropriately touch teen and kissed her. It was also discovered by investigators after a search warrant was obtained for the Social Media account of Jonathan Ensley that nude photos of Ensey were found to have been sent to the teen. With this information investigators were able to obtain an arrest warrant for indecency with a child sexual contact and online solicitation of minor sexual conduct.”

    https://montgomerycountypolicereporter.com/conroe-church-music-director-arrested-for-online-solicitation-of-a-minor-and-indecency-with-a-child/

      • Yeah but kids are really sneaky. Bashing the parents of the victim is pointing the finger in the wrong direction, don’t you think?

      • Really? You are going to bash the parents who went to the pastor as soon as they found out. What about the pastor. He should be in jail too. He is a mandatory reporter in TX.

      • Gloria must be a church member if that church as she okays this pedophile and his dad. If it wasn’t her it would have been someone else. With that attitude the devil is in control of your mind.

  3. I take exception to your referring to this as seduction. What this man did was in no way romantic. It’s reprehensible behavior, and that it was sanctioned by his dad—ANOTHER PASTOR!!!—makes it astronomically worse. Throw the book at him. Dad thinks his son’s behavior warrants grace? Let the son sit in a jail cell and contemplate his right standing with the Lord. God bless the victim. May God have mercy and grace and favor for her as she picks up the pieces of her life.

    • Probably not. He’ll never admit he was wrong, he’s a pedophile and a criminal. One man, a husband who molested his kids and went to jail, then started a prison ministry approved by his pastor who threw the mans wife out of the church. And these types, many hundreds of them are who wants to rule the country with a “Christian” government over all of us, running for elected office too. They are evil.

      • I understand casting stones, what has happened is heinous. This man going to jail is the mercy of God trying to shake him out of his delusion. Please believe me when I say there are Christian people in the world who love Jesus Christ with all their heart and love people as well. I am not sure how many times you have fasted and prayed for a lost soul, but I can tell you there are Christian people who care about others and do. I work with 6 men in an IT department. I have called out their names in fervent prayer because I sincerely love them. That genuine love comes for a loving God who had mercy on me. Our office is diverse with several cultures. My team mates do not believe like I believe, but I love them and want them to know the mercy and kindness of Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh, like I do. When I was hopeless, Jesus Christ had mercy on me. The delusional actions of men does not change the character of Jesus Christ, He is still God, He still loves lost humanity. While some have met Him and flake out, others still hold to the faith and love people. I encourage anyone who is hopeless, wearied with the sins of men, to include their own need of a Savior, Believe that Jesus Christ is and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. Men and women need a savior. This world is full of corruption not because of a Good God but because of the evil nature of men and women who willingly choose to break the moral excellence God would like to give us through being born again. The antidote to a hopeless life: Repent, be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remissions of sin, and receive His precious Holy Ghost. It works, it worked for me 37 years ago, and I am still humbly grateful.

  4. I pray for the victim- I have been the victim as well. It is an isolated and scary place.

    I pray for the abuser- I pray that someone who doesn’t deserve mercy, receives it!!
    The crazy thing is God still promises it to us anyway

    I pray for you guys that NONE of you face something where mercy has been lost.

    I was never called to convict, condemn or execute.. I am called to love… I have done some horrible, shameful deeds and thankfully it wasn’t Church people that I had to beg to give me mercy.. or prove to them that I deserve mercy.
    None of us deserve it, yet it is promised to us all!!

    God didn’t give me mercy because I deserved it, or because I begged for it, or because a church committee got together and voted that I should or shouldn’t get it..

    I need to be accountable for it… I need to ask for forgiveness for it… But the only one that can give or take that forgiveness is Jesus Christ.

    Before the comments come… Let it be known, that the only opinion of my thoughts that matter
    is God’s opinion. Because he is the only one that truly knows the depth of someone’s remorse or repentance… And he is the only one that truly knows their heart.

    Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Matthew 7:1-2.

    • Now read v3-5 for context.
      We are called to judge fellow christians, to correct their behavior.
      This passage tells us to examine ourselves *before* judging another to try to restore them

      Same in Galatians 6:1-5

      • We are NOT called to judge with hate! I’m sorry that your not in the place I am. I trust you have a close relationship with God. I trust you love him with all of your heart. I am head over heels in love with him!!! My choice is still to forgive! Not excuse, not justify the action, not say it was any less evil than it was!! I know every feeling of fear, depression, insecurity, humiliation that this young girl is facing!! It happened to me from the age 11-14 by a man in a leadership position in my church.

        As bad as that abuse was physically and mentally… it was the continued comments, speculation, ideas of justice, and verbal abuse on my attacker that affected me so bad spiritually. The damage done by them making me feel shame and guilt for years after it happened almost took me out!! I wanted to forgive and pray for his life to change, for his heart to be better… not because I thought he was any less of a monster than the church people trying to defend me though, but because forgiveness is for the victim to move on and to heal! There is a peace and a closure knowing that God is going to take a tragic and painful situation.. and turn it for HIS good!! I was ready to commit suicide 17 years after this happened, I had fallen in to a depression, I couldn’t talk to people about it because their rage against letting it go fueled my depression even more!!! The day I wrote letters to my kids and my best friend apologizing for the pills that I was about to take, is the VERY SAME day that I met a Pastor and his wife while crying on a corner of my street. I shared my story of all of those years ago, and he spoke of forgiveness!!

        WOW!!! I am crying over it now and that was over
        a decade ago!!! But don’t you see??? That is how faithful and true to us that God is!! It is POWERFUL!

        What I found out years later was that my molester was abused himself!!! Not in the same way… But it’s all about anger and control in the end. God still tell us to forgive 7×70 and he promises that HE will get vindication on anyone that hurts one of his children! He can do it better than us any way!!

        Jay, we could send scripture back and forth all day liking . I don’t want to do that because I can tell you have a good heart and the best of intentions!! I am not on here to argue evil because it was evil… I am not hear to scream for justice because justice will come. I feel Jesus is all about relationship, and it was finding that relationship that CHANGED my life! It actually SAVED my life.
        Religious people is who will fester this hate, and relationship is what will heal this for her!!

        For anyone who cares to hear about the chapters in my book following this-
        I forgave, I healed, I got restored and baptized in the precious name of Jesus… I have spent the past blessed years ministering to victims of molestation, trafficking and abuse. My life is amazing in God, my children are thriving and have hearts of forgiveness and love… I am stronger than I ever thought I could be, and have more compassion than most people will ever know.

        My abuser- Without going in to his personal detail… he suffered, he lost, he felt pain… but he ask for forgiveness, he came back to God and he is helping men that have had the same addictions and anger issues by being an example of God’s grace and mercy!! To GOD be the glory!!

        I stopped going to that church the year this happened and never looked back until that horrible day that I wanted to die… but God needed me to go 360 and look at all of the things that happened, and the people that spewed hate… and instead of seeing them thru MY eyes,
        I could finally see them through HIS!! That is a beautiful and victorious thing!!!

        Jay- you might still throw religion back, you might even send a comment to push me down or prove your point… but Sir, I LIVED IT, I survived it, I am better after it. So just know that no matter what your response to this is… I will still pray for you and still pray grace and mercy over you ALL of the days of your life!!

        Never judge a book by the chapter that you walk in on! Always ask about the chapters that happened before…. walk with them in love in the chapters after… and know that the ONLY person writing the ending of that book is Jesus Christ himself!!! I trust that he will make mine a
        best seller! 🙏♥️🙏

    • Sherry, I enjoyed your testimony and know it comes from a genuine experience with Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can heal those kind of experiences. I also was molested as a child along with my sisters. Gratefully Jesus called and I answered at 19 years old. I was so desperately searching for purpose, vindication, and life. When I repented and was baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ, I felt the past experiences fall off in the waters of baptism. I received the Holy Ghost shortly after that. I instantly was free to forgive and it came easy because Jesus forgave me. The Lord has been most gracious to my wife and I. We have been married 34 years and raised 4 boys. The Lord broke the curse for me when I was born again. We raised our children in the faith, all 4 of them have the Holy Ghost and have been baptized in the name of Jesus. They are not perfect but they for sure are not living the curse. I love your story and am glad you and the Lord worked through the details. We both know all the evil things that happen in life are not God’s fault. If we expected him to intervene and kill child molesters, He would have to kill the idolator, fornicators, adulterer, liars, cheaters, etc… as well. But gratefully, He lets men and women make decisions even if they are terrible decisions. I wish every man and woman would genuinely seek the Lord with all their heart and find life and that more abundantly. As you said, nobody is getting away with anything, the Lord will judge and vindication belongs to His perfect judgment. Thank you again for sharing your testimony. I am grateful you allowed God to take the evil and allow you to use it to help others.

  5. As someone who suffered child molestation in the church by a relative (cousin who was a pastor’s son) I can only hope and pray that the victim begins healing soon. It’s not right what Jonathan Ensey did. But we are called to forgive and love. I pray for the victim that she will use this as a testimony to help others.

    • Stephanie- It really is a teaching moment when the only 2 people that can actually say that they are called to love and forgive… are former victims of the same crime and sin. (you and I)

      I am grateful to have not been attacked on here when I see the comments and hate that are spewing back and forth! I hope that someday people realize if they step back and let God handle judgement, that he is a Redeemer and a Life Changer- He can handle this better than anyone else can! I am praying for you in your continued testimony of what God can do after a tragedy such as this!! We are so blessed to be able to be on the other side of the pain, and to be able to look at every one through God’s eyes and love with God’s heart! He NEVER fails us ♥️

      • I am so sorry for how some of my grammar came across in my above response… verbal text was obviously not made for things like this! I hope you all have a blessed day!! 🙏

  6. JE isn’t the only one to blame here. She knew exactly what she was doing in those 5 weeks talking to him, accepting inappropriate pictures of him? Come on. She would have never met in in a parking lot if she didn’t want to. She is to blame as well. He got what he deserved she, the “victim” isn’t all “victim”. Where is her punishment for this nonsense that lasted 5 weeks? There should be some sort of repercussion on her part.

    • You are sick, she is a 14 year old child and he was supposed to be the responsible adult leading her to Christ. You need to never have children!!!!

    • I don’t know any 14 year old that has the wherewithal to understand the complexities of a sexual relationship. In fact – I do believe that they have done studies in this to prove that the average age of emotional maturity is 18-21.
      This MAN groomed this CHILD (14 years of age is still a child) – groomed meaning – this has been happening for more than the 5 weeks that are shown. This MAN engaged this CHILD. He reached out to her first. He used his power and authority of his church status to engage in HIS behavior. He shouldn’t be sending pictures of any kind to a CHILD. A man who KNEW BETTER! The judge got this right! The victim is NOT to blame at all!
      Victim blaming is NOT the answer. Would you also blame this victim saying they knew what they were doing at the age of 12, or maybe 10 – or should we say 5? A child is a child! This MAN knows better, but instead used his standing in the church to engage in HIS behavior.
      Furthermore – even if this had been a MAN USING his power of the church over a full grown and emotionally mature woman – it is still ABUSE! There are still laws against abuse of power.
      Please remember THIS WAS A CHILD!!!! I can’t say that enough! Please educate yourself and do better!

    • What the hell? You lady should absolutely be ashamed of yourself. You must be related to the abuser or are one yourself to even think let alone type something like this. How dare you?? The victim is an innocent child, a CHILD, the only one to blame is the abuser

    • Margaret, is your name really Dovey Ensey? Sure seems like the same “takes two to tango” attitude.

  7. Blaming a 14 yr old for this horrid act is something a moron would do. Bravo to the victims parents for contacting Texas Rangers. Of all ppl on the earth those who call themselves ministers or in the ministry should know from the get go HELL IS STILL HOT & YOU ARE NOT EXEMPT. Prayers for victim , her family & others affected by this sad nightmare who have a true heart for God & His word. Additionally, the adult male in this case was most likely engaging in porn of all types for many many years & probably never believed he would be so addicted that it would turn him into what he became.

  8. Margaret – Let’s set the record straight. This man lived 37 years, had a family with 4 children. After grooming this young lady, he became obsessed and sent her 17,000 text in 5 weeks. He is DELUSIONAL. He has allowed himself to do things that IS NOT acceptable. This young lady was completely innocent and even the judge said he could tell she is a good person. I could go on and on, but it is delusional to negate his perversion by casting blame on the victim. She comes from a good family, and that family felt safe at that church and would have never gone there if they had known the pastors son was going to approach her in this manner. What Johnathan Ensey did is EVIL!

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