July 03, 2005

Arlington pastor facing new charges

The Dallas Morning News

10:33 PM CDT on Wednesday, June 29, 2005

By DEBRA DENNIS / The Dallas Morning News

FORT WORTH Arlington pastor Terry Hornbuckle faces new charges of sexual assault, tampering with evidence and retaliation in indictments issued Wednesday by a Tarrant County grand jury.

Mr. Hornbuckle, founder of Agape Christian Fellowship Church in Arlington, turned himself in Wednesday afternoon and was released after posting bail. He was indicted in March on similar charges that he sexually assaulted three members of his church.

Mr. Hornbuckle declined to comment as he left the Tarrant County courthouse. He and his attorneys have denied the previous charges, and on Wednesday, attorney Mike Heiskell said in court filings that the latest charges are the result of work by an overzealous prosecutor.

"The prosecutor has, in a concerted effort, since publicizing a phone number for other alleged victims to call, managed over the last 3 months to come up with two additional alleged victims," Mr. Heiskell wrote.

The indictment said Mr. Hornbuckle sexually assaulted two other women after giving them a substance that left them impaired.

Those assaults are alleged to have taken place in 2003 and 2004, Mr. Heiskell said.

He had asked state District Judge James Wilson to set bail at $5,000, saying that the court is already aware of Mr. Hornbuckle's whereabouts because he has been ordered to wear an electronic monitor.

The judge declined Mr. Heiskell's request and ordered Mr. Hornbuckle held in lieu of $250,000 bail on the new charges.

Posted by kshaw at July 3, 2005 08:07 AM