Saturday, November 12, 2005

 

Pastor accused of bizarre rapes arrested


FORT WORTH, Texas - FORT WORTH -- A Fort Worth pastor and self-proclaimed prophet was arrested Friday, accused of raping a church member during a bizarre cleansing ceremony to cast out demons that he said she had in her body.

Leonard Ray Owens, 63, was arrested on a sexual assault warrant Friday afternoon after going to the police station to voluntarily provide a statement to investigators.

"Preachers are just like firemen and policemen -- they’re in a position of trust," said Sgt. Paul Ware, supervisor of the sex crimes unit. "People come forward to them a whole lot more than the average citizen. He’s violated that trust for not only that victim, but also his church."

Owens had denied any sexual contact with the woman, police said. He was in the process of being booked into jail Friday evening with bail set at $25,000. He could not be reached for comment.

Detective R.M.Welch began investigating Owens on Oct. 30 after the victim, a 22-year-old woman, reported that the man had raped her on two different occasions at his Fort Worth home.

The victim told police that she had begun attending the Prayer House of Faith at 1303 East Seminary Drive in March. In July, she went to the pastor’s home for counseling about some personal matters.

"He said she had a sex demon and a lesbian demon inside of her that needed to come out," Welch said.

According to the affidavit, the pastor asked the victim to lie on the floor so he could cast the spirits out. He then began speaking to the woman as if she were a demon, shouting "lose her in the name of Jesus."

The woman told police the suspect began pulling down her pants as he called for the demons to come out. When the woman tried to rise up, the suspect pushed her down, ignoring her pleas for him to stop, the affidavit stated.

The pastor, who is considerable larger than the woman, then began to fight with her as if she were a demon before climbing on top of her, pinning her down and raping her, Welch said.

The woman told police that the pastor wore a condom during the assault. After he was finished, he ordered her to go and wash her face in the name of Jesus and to read Psalms 105:15, a Bible passage that refers to doing prophets no harm, she told police.

Welch said the pastor also told the victim that 16 people were now in the graveyard for "messing" with him, a statement that she took as a threat.

The victim told police that the pastor raped her again about a month later after asking her to come to his house to pray for another woman.

When she arrived at his home to find no other woman there, the pastor told her that the other woman was on her way. He then told her that he would like to be a father figure to her since he knew she did not have a father and asked her for a hug, the affidavit stated.

She told police that when she complied, the man grabbed her around the rib area, threw her on the couch, began ripping off her clothes off and raped her again despite her screams for him to stop.

"Daddy isn’t going to bother you," he allegedly told her during the assault, according to the affidavit.

Welch said that after the sexual assault, the pastor gave the woman two wallet-size photographs of his daughters and told her that they were her sisters.

The victim told police that Owens appeared at her home on Oct. 24 and attempted to have sex with her again but stopped after she asked him why he was continuing to do that to her.

She said the pastor then told her that three people would die because she had told people what he had done to her. He also reiterated the passage in Psalms, referred to the victim as a witch and told her that the Bible states to kill witches, the affidavit stated.

"The victim states that since this occurred, the suspect wants to know her every move and has told her that no one will believe anything she says about him as he is a minister," the affidavit states.


See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.

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