Man accused of sexually harassing girls through his work with Tarrant County churches

·7 min read

A 33-year-old man charged with soliciting sexual performances by a child used his position as an audio-visual contractor for churches to hire young women and girls under the guise of an internship before soliciting sexual acts, according to a news release from the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office.

Kenneth Tyler Hostin, who goes by Tyler, was arrested Aug. 19 and charged with one count of criminal solicitation of a minor, according to the release. Investigators said in an arrest warrant affidavit that Hostin, who was employed by Dallas-based audio-visual company Epic Resource Group to run musical sound systems, used an “internship” to get close to the young women between 2016 and this summer.

A detective interviewed three suspected victims who attended campuses of Compass Church, at least one of whom was a minor, according to the affidavit. The suspect currently faces one charge related to the underage girl, but his alleged behavior showed a pattern, the affidavit says.

According to the affidavit, Hostin groomed his interns and attempted to get them to perform sexual acts including sex, oral sex, masturbation, stripping and taking nude photographs. At one point, he texted with an 18-year-old woman asking if she would drink alcohol with him and play truth or dare, the affidavit says.

Officials at Compass Church were aware of a 2016 accusation of sexual misconduct from the woman who was over 18, according to the affidavit. Hostin was fired from working with the church but rehired after that victim left the area, according to the affidavit.

A church official told the sheriff’s office on July 14 that the suspect has been banned from all Compass Church campuses and that his employer has been notified, the affidavit says.

Officials with the church and the audio-visual company did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. Before his arrest, Hostin canceled an appointment to speak with the detective on the advice of his attorney, according to the affidavit. His attorney’s name was not yet listed in court records, and Hostin could not be reached.

The underage victim, who was the last of the three to be allegedly abused by Hostin, told a church camp counselor on July 1 that Hostin asked her to perform sexual acts for him and in front of him, according to the affidavit.

Hostin asked for nude photographs of the victim and, during a game of truth or dare, attempted to get the victim to strip, masturbate and let him put ice down her pants, the affidavit says.

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office was notified and a detective interviewed the girl and her father separately. The girl told the detective she began working as an “intern” for Hostin in early June after he said he needed an intern and the victim’s church arranged for her to work with him, according to the affidavit.

She worked with him from the first week of June until the last week, according to the affidavit. Hostin began “making inappropriate comments and having inappropriate conversations” with the victim almost right away, the affidavit says.

The game of truth or dare happened on the first Friday she was working for Hostin, according to the affidavit. The victim told the detective Hostin originally dared her to strip naked for him and she refused, telling him to pick another dare. He then dared her to perform sexual acts on herself in front of him and she again refused, according to the affidavit.

That’s when Hostin dared her to let him put ice down her pants, according to the affidavit. She told the detective she refused but said she would do it herself. Hostin stood less than a foot from the victim and looked down her pants while she put the ice in her pants, according to the affidavit.

He then asked her to take nude photographs on her phone and bring them to work the following Monday for him to view, according to the affidavit. The girl said she did not do that.

The victim worked for Hostin for a couple of weeks before going to church camp, where she reported the abuse, according to the affidavit.

The victim told the detective there was another girl who worked for Hostin who she believed was also abused by him, according to the affidavit.

The detective spoke with the pastor of Compass’ North Fort Worth church, who identified the second girl as a possible victim, according to the affidavit. The second girl’s mother told the detective she was abused and that there was also a third victim, according to the affidavit.

In a recorded phone interview, the second girl told the detective she was working for Hostin in November 2019. She wanted to be a worship leader at a church and worked with Hostin doing light and sound for churches throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, according to the affidavit.

About two months into the internship, Hostin began making inappropriate sexual comments to the second girl, including asking her if she and her boyfriend were having sex, according to the affidavit.

At one point, a little more than two months into her employment, Hostin took her phone without her permission and found “a text about a very personal matter” he used to attempt to pressure her into sexual acts, according to the affidavit.

Hostin then began trying to get the second girl to play truth or dare with him, “daring” her to perform sexual acts with him, she said, according to the affidavit. Hostin did this “every day” from March 2020 to August 2020, when her employment ended, according to the affidavit.

In one instance, the second girl told the detective, Hostin put money on his desk and told her she could have the money if she would have sex with him. When she refused, he added money to the pile and asked her if it changed her mind, according to the affidavit.

One another occasion, the detective wrote in the affidavit, the second girl was wearing a skirt at work and Hostin asked her to show him her underwear, which she did, telling the detective in the phone interview she simply wanted to get out of the office and go home.

During out-of-town business trips taken with Hostin, the second girl said she would book the hotel rooms and would make sure her room was as far as possible from Hostin’s because he continually asked her to perform sexual acts, according to the affidavit.

He regularly brought up the text involving a personal matter when pressuring her to perform sexual acts, which she took as a threat that Hostin would tell others about the matter if she went to church leaders to report the “constant harassment and solicitation of prostitution committed by” Hostin, according to the affidavit.

The second girl’s family found out about the abuse after she told her cousin about it over the phone and her cousin’s father overheard the conversation and told her parents, according to the affidavit. The girl talked her parents out of reporting the abuse after they made her quit, according to the affidavit, worried that Hostin would tell others about the texts.

The third woman, who told the detective she was abused in 2016, said she was manipulated by Hostin after he found out she was the victim of previous abuse and cut herself during that time period. She was over 18 at the time she was working with Hostin, and said she reported his requests for her to send him nude photographs and he was fired, according to the affidavit.

But Hostin was hired back to work with the church after the woman left the area, according to the affidavit.

The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately reply to a request for more information.

Anybody with information on the case or who has been a victim of Hostin is asked to contact Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office Detective M. Weber at 817-884-1305.

Victims of sexual abuse can find resources through the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network by calling 800-656-4673. If you or someone you know is a victim of sexual abuse, call 911.

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