Arlington pastor indicted amid sex allegations

Houston Chronicle/March 12, 2005

Arlington -- The pastor of an Arlington nondenominational church was indicted on charges of sexually assaulting three women from his congregation.

The women say Terry L. Hornbuckle, 43, tried to entice them into sex by using his influence as minister of the Agape Christian Fellowship. Two of the women alleged Hornbuckle drugged them before sexually assaulting them.

The assaults were alleged to have occurred in 2003 and 2004.

Hornbuckle, of Colleyville, was arrested Friday on four counts of sexual assault.

Two of the cases involve the same woman, according to court officials.

Hornbuckle has denied the accusations and alleges the women are trying to extort money from him.

"I am completely innocent of the charges I have been wrongfully accused of, and this is extortion plain and simple, which I won't surrender to," Hornbuckle said in a statement released through a New York public relations firm.

Two of the women say Hornbuckle lured them to meet with him by offering cash gifts, according to court documents.

The three women, two who were college age and one who was 17 at the time the assaults were alleged to have happened, filed civil lawsuits in December.

"My clients are relieved that he's no longer ministering to the girls of his church, that he's no longer out there, that he can no longer threaten them," said G. Lee Finley, the attorney representing all three women in lawsuits.

One of Hornbuckle's associates, Lisa Michaels, was also indicted on two counts of aggravated perjury in connection with the case.

Hornbuckle and his wife, Renee, built a congregation that grew from 700 people in 1998 to 2,500 in 2004.

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