Bishop Hornbuckle arrested again

FORT WORTH — Bond for Bishop Terry Hornbuckle, who is accused of sexually assaulting three female parishioners, was revoked Wednesday after he tested positive for drugs.

Hornbuckle, senior pastor of Agape Christian Fellowship in Arlington, was indicted in March on four charges of sexual assault and was released on $405,000 bail. In two of the cases, he is accused of using date-rape drugs to overpower the women.

After his initial arrest in March, authorities found a small amount of methamphetamine inside his Cadillac Escalade. He also faces a felony drug charge.

Hornbuckle, 43, was arrested Wednesday while reporting to a probation officer in downtown Fort Worth, said Jim Sinclair, assistant director of Tarrant County probation.

“The urinalysis was submitted on the fourth of this month and the court was notified yesterday,” Sinclair said. “A warrant was issued and he came in to make his regular report and was taken into custody in our office.”

Defendants who are released on bond are monitored by the probation department.

Hornbuckle and his attorneys have said he is innocent of all the allegations. His criminal attorney, Mike Heiskell, is out of town until Friday, an employee of his firm said Wednesday.

Hornbuckle is also named in personal injury lawsuits by the three women. The Star-Telegram does not identify sexual assault victims.

According to the lawsuits, the women claim he used his position in the church to lure them into private meetings and sexually assault them.

“It will be harder for him to argue that someone planted the drugs in his car,” said the womens’ civil attorney, G. Lee Finley. “What is he going to claim now, that they planted the drugs in his bloodstream?”

A woman who answered the phone at Agape said the church had no official comment.

As a condition of bond, Hornbuckle was placed on electronic monitoring and was ordered to submit to periodic drug and alcohol testing. He also had to relinquish his passport and must get permission from the court to travel.

At an April 10 hearing, Heiskell asked for a reduction in the $405,000 bond and to ease some of the restrictions, saying the amount was “excessive” and the requirements were “oppressive.”

Senior state district judge C.C. “Kit” Cooke, who presided over the April 10 hearing for Wilson, refused to ease the bond restrictions.

During the hearing, Hornbuckle’s wife, Renee, who is also a pastor at Agape, said each earns $50,000 a year in salary and they get an $80,000 a year housing stipend.

Three weeks ago, the couple purchased a 4,340-square-foot home in Colleyville, according to title records filed with Tarrant County. The house was financed for $634,400, the records show.

The couple live in a 2,570-square-foot home in Grapevine. They are building a $1.3 million home in Colleyville and also own a ranch home on 14.3 acres in Lancaster for Hornbuckle’s mother.

Hornbuckle’s case could remain in jail until the trial or his attorney could request another bond hearing.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Star-Telegram, USA
May 11, 2005
Anthony Spangler

Religion News Blog posted this on Wednesday May 11, 2005.
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