Magnolia Pastor Faces Additional Child Sexual Assault Charges

By Jay R. Jordan
Houston Chronicle
November 15, 2016

Ronald Mitchell, pastor of the Body of Christ Church in Magnolia, is now facing four second-degree felony counts of sexual assault of a child one for every time Mitchell allegedly had sex with the underage ... more

Prosecutors filed additional child sexual assault charges against a Magnolia pastor accused of coercing a 16-year-old congregation member into sex on multiple occasions.

Body of Christ Church pastor Ronald Mitchell, 56, is now facing four second-degree felony counts of sexual assault of a child one for every time prosecutors say Mitchell had sex with the underage girl over a four-month period from 2015 into 2016. He is facing up to 80 years in prison for those charges, but Montgomery County Sheriff's Office detectives believe there could be more victims.

"As the investigation goes on in any type of case and you learn additional facts and get information from victims and witnesses, we're able to potentially add additional charges as things progress," Assistant District Attorney Tyler Dunman said. "We've had people come forward, and we're still requesting people come forward with more information whether they're victims or witnesses."

Court documents show Mitchell had the girl staying with him at his church in the 40200 block of Garwood Court near Magnolia, telling the girl's mother that she needed to be "watched" and have "more supervision."

The first instance of the alleged sexual assault happened the weekend before Thanksgiving in 2015, the girl told investigators. About two weeks after that, Mitchell allegedly asked the girl if she was ready for more sexual encounters.

She initially said no but felt threatened by Mitchell, court records show, and eventually succumbed. The sexual assaults continued for months, court records show, including during trips to Las Vegas, San Antonio and Galveston. Mitchell's wife would bring the girl to the Lone Star Clinic in Conroe to receive birth control shots. It is unclear if she could be charged with a crime for doing so. No charges have been filed with either the Montgomery County District Clerk or Montgomery County Clerk's office as of press time.

The girl told a fellow church member about the abuse, court records show. The church member eventually contacted Magnolia police to help retrieve the girl from the church in September, but she did not learn of the abuse until the following month.

The MCSO SWAT raided the compound Nov. 1 and found evidence of the assault, MCSO stated in a press release. They also found a large cache of weapons and ammunition, which Mitchell kept in preparation for the "dark times" and rapture, according to court records.

Dunman said the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office is handling this case like every other child sexual assault case.

"There's some complexity to that because of the nature of the church environment and his role as the pastor," Dunman said. "But at the end of the day, we're concerned for the children."

Anyone with information on this case is encouraged to contact the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office at 936-760-5876 or Montgomery County Crime Stoppers at 800-392-STOP (7867).









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