February 1, 2019
Photo via screengrab from KHOU 11 video
Ronald Wayne Mitchell was charged with 75 years in prison after reportedly raping a teenage girl, who lived in his home. He was recently found guilty on five charges of sexual assault of a child and a second-degree felony, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office in Texas.
Mitchell is the former pastor of Body of Christ Ministry in the city of Magnolia, which was a church he led out of his own house. Between 2015-2016, for a period of four months, the 59-year-old sexually abused a then-15-year-old member of his congregation, reports the Houston Chronicle. Certain members of the minister’s flock moved in with him and homeschooled their children, and after further investigation, there were said to be up to seven families who lived there, said Chief Prosecutor Nancy Hebert.
Press Release: Defendant Ronald Wayne Mitchell was found guilty of child sexual abuse he committed while serving as the Pastor of the Body of Christ Ministry in Magnolia, Texas. Sentenced to 75 Years in Prison! pic.twitter.com/xJu19wETM6
— MCTX District Attorney (@MontgomeryTXDAO) January 31, 2019
Because the teenager was homeschooled, the preacher allegedly took her and other girls on trips to Galveston, San Antonio, and Las Vegas, according to a Chronicle report. And apparently, his wife was in on what he was doing. She allegedly took the teenager to a health clinic and posed as her mother to get her birth-control injections.
“Today, jurors let it be known that when a child finds the courage to come forward – our community will carefully weigh the facts and convict even without DNA or scientific evidence,” Herbert said of his punishment, according to ABC 13.
Ronald told the young girl that if she told the truth about the alleged mistreatment, “she would be killed by God and it would be her fault that ‘the movement’ was destroyed,” according to the district attorney’s office. And from her shame and fear, she kept it a secret until October 2016, when the victim told her mother, who in turn reported the rape and fondling to the sheriff’s office.
According to several church members, Mitchell conducted his fellowship similar to that of a cult and targeted families who weren’t in the best financial state. It’s unfortunate when a man or woman of God takes advantage of the people they’re leading. Remember that Brooklyn pastor who was arrested for raping his own daughter, or when Jesse Jackson was accused of sexual abuse?
TELL US: Do you think more people from his congregation will come forward?