Arrested Pastor Takes Plea Deal in Child Abuse Case

Denver Channel
February 28, 2012

The former church leader and superintendent of Hilltop Baptist Church in Colorado Springs entered a guilty plea in exchange for several charges being dropped by prosecutors.

Pastor Frankin "Wayne" Knight took the deal on Feb. 17. Knight pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a crime and failure to report suspected child abuse, according to court records.

Friends of Knight told CALL7 Investigators that he planned to move to Texas.

Lee Richards, spokeswoman for the El Paso County District Attorney's Office, confirmed the plea bargain.

She said Knight will have to do 150 hours of community service and he will have two-years of unsupervised probation.

El Paso County deputies arrested Knight last November after allegations he covered up a relationship between his niece, Terah Rawlings, 32, and a former student who was 15 years old at the time.

According to the El Paso County Grand Jury indictment, the relationship between Rawlings and the boy began in the fall of 2007 and ended when he broke it off in the summer of 2008. The two had sex for the first time in her vehicle in an apartment parking lot, according to the indictment.

They also had sex at Rawlings' home and her father's home, the indictment stated. The boy told his friend about the encounters. He also showed his friend a photo of Rawlings where she was topless, covering her nipples with her hand.

Rawlings is still going through the court process. She faces eight counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust and obscenity-promotion.

Her next court date is in March in El Paso County.

In Colorado, teachers and administrators are among the professions bound by the state mandatory reporting law. If they suspect abuse or inappropriate activities against children, they are required to contact police or human services.








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