Lampasas Rector Charged with Sexually Assaulting a Child
Police Said the Assaults Happened Within the Past Year

By Miguel Liscano
American-Statesman [Lampasas TX]
January 13, 2007

Police have arrested a Lampasas rector and another man who they say sexually assaulted a teen on multiple occasions last year.

Jim Carlton Wooldridge, 61, rector at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Lampasas, turned himself in to authorities on Thursday, they said. He was charged with two counts of sexual assault and a charge of indecency with a child, both second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

John Christian Wood Sought help from rector as troubled teen; also charged with assault.

John Carlton Wooldridge 61-year-old turned himself in to Lampasas police Thursday.

Police also charged John Christian Wood, 20, with sexual assault and indecency with a child, along with unlawful possession of a firearm and a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.

Wooldridge was released from the Lampasas County Jail on Thursday night after posting $8,500 in bail.

Wood was being held in the jail on Friday with total bail set at $14,500.

John Christian Wood Sought help from rector as troubled teen; also charged with assault.

Lampasas police Lt. Jody Cummings said the victim, a teen younger than 16, came forward Dec. 1, and an investigation began immediately.

"At this time, I just have one victim," he said. "We're always concerned there may be more."

Cummings would not disclose the gender or age of the child or how the victim knew the men. He said the assaults all occurred within the past year.

Cummings said Wooldridge met Wood years ago when the latter was a troubled teen and the rector offered a helping hand.

Attempts to reach Wooldridge were unsuccessful Friday.

Carol E. Barnwell, a spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, said Wooldridge was relieved of his duties as a rector several weeks before he was charged.

"As soon as we heard about the allegations, we placed him on administrative leave," Barnwell said.

"Both the leadership of St. Mary's and the Diocese of Texas are cooperating fully with authorities," she said in a statement. "The diocese has offered counseling (through the Police Department) to the person who brought the allegations and to Wooldridge."

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