Pastor charged with rape

May 1, 2009 2:56:59 PM PDT
Johnston County deputies have arrested Joseph Kennedy Ragland, the pastor at Church of God in Christ Jesus on Southcross Street in Angier.He's accused of raping a 16-year-old member of his church.

According to warrants, the victim spent the night at Ragland’s house on April 11 after Ragland told her parents she needed some counseling.

Investigators say Ragland gave the victim a cup of beer with a straw and told her to drink it. Ragland then told the victim he had something on his computer to show her, it was a video clip of people having sex.

Ragland began touching the victim and told her he wanted to do her a favor, but she said no. Ragland then began to fondle her. The victim told him no, but he proceeded to take her clothes off and began having vaginal intercourse with her. Ragland went to the bathroom, then returned and said he was going to order pizza and drinks.

A short time later Ragland returned to the room and told the victim to again take off her clothes. She said no. He then had anal sex with her. Ragland went to the bathroom again and when he came back he took the sheets off the bed, sprayed air freshener and put the sheets in the washing machine.

Ragland then ordered pizza and it was delivered at 9:42 p.m. After eating pizza, Ragland had sex with the victim again, even after she said 'no' once again.

According to the warrants, the victim says Ragland told her that he would "hit her so hard that she would need to wear a wig if she told anybody." Ragland also told her that if she told, it would hurt many people in the church.

The incident allegedly happened at Ragland's home on Melanie Lane in the Willow Springs community in western Johnston County on April 11. The victim reported the incident on April 12 after undergoing treated at WakeMed.

Ragland was charged with second-degree rape, second-degree sex offense, and sex offense - parental role. Ragland was jailed under a $35,000 bond and released.


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