FAIRBANKS, Alaska – Testimony in the sex abuse trial of a former pastor at an Alaska church opened with a teenage girl who said the abuse began with cell phone text messages.

The girl said she was 14 when she began exchanging text messages with Shawn Anthony Justice in 2008, just a year after he took over as pastor of the Corinthian Baptist Church in Fairbanks, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

“I thought it was cool to be able to talk to him,” she said. “He was the youth pastor. I didn’t really have feelings for him.”

Justice, 32, has pleaded not guilty to all 12 counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

The teenager had to return her cell phone to her parents at night, but she would often delete the texts. In November 2008, after the girl took the phone to a sleepover without her parents’ permission, they confiscated it and discovered the first texts between her and Justice.

Justice, who had been removed as the church’s pastor three months earlier, had asked the teenager to come over to his apartment to shower with him.

The mother “looked at this text and she probably got one of the shocks of her life,” prosecutor Gayle Garrigues said in her opening statements Thursday.

The mother went to the police, who agreed the texts were inappropriate but said they were not illegal. The family stopped going to Corinthian Baptist Church and monitored the teenager’s phone use even more closely.

But she continued to e-mail Justice, and they arranged their first sexual encounter in the summer of 2009.

Justice’s attorney, Nelson Traverso, questioned her about sometimes contradictory statements she made about Justice.

Last year she told investigators she first had sex with Justice in the winter, and her account of their activities has changed. She said at the time she was more hesitant to talk about what had occurred.

Superior Court Judge Michael McConahy has ruled the jury will also hear about Justice’s 2003 misdemeanor conviction in Virginia for contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In that case, Justice, then 24 and a choir director, had sex with a 15-year-old member of the choir.