Russell Back in Court Wednesday

Neosho Daily News
December 22, 2008

Neosho, Mo. - A rural Neosho self-proclaimed pastor will be back in court on Christmas Eve.

Randall "Danny" Russell is expected to appear at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Newton County Division II Associate Circuit Court for pre-trial conferences on six Class D felony charges of possession of child pornography and one misdemeanor count of second-degree child molestation.

Russell, 49, the pastor of Acts II Church in rural Neosho, could face up to four years in prison on each of the Class D felony charges, and a year and jail and / or a $1,000 fine on the misdemeanor charge.

A jury trial has been set in other charges in the case. Russell will go to trial on March 10 on two Class C felony charges of first-degree child molestation, two Class A felony counts of first-degree statutory sodomy, two Class B felony charges of sexual exploitation of a minor, five Class C felony charges of second-degree statutory sodomy, and one Class C felony forgery count.

Russell could face up to 30 years or life in prison on the Class A felony charges, five to 15 years in prison on the Class B felony counts, and up to five years in prison on each of the Class C felony charges if a conviction is reached.

Allegations of child sexual abuse first came to light after an April 29, raid by the Newton County Sheriff's Department at the church, which is also the site of Russell's business, Garages & More, and his home. Deputies seized a computer from the business and several photographs of a nude juvenile girl from the church office. According to a probable cause affidavit, the photos were dated Dec. 21, 2003.

Russell was bound over for trial after three women testified during a preliminary hearing that he molested, sodomized, or raped them when they were under age.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.