Prosecutor: Preacher accused of child sex crimes is a “charismatic cult leader”

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A prosecutor called a longtime pastor of a Wichita Falls church a “charismatic cult leader” who engaged in mental manipulation to commit indecency with three young girls in his congregation.

But a defense attorney said his client was targeted by a “family that blames the church for all the misery in their lives.”

Ronny Allen Killingsworth, 78, is charged with six counts of indecency with a child involving three underaged girls between 2000 and 2011. Killingsworth is founder and “teacher-pastor” of Rephidim Church on Allendale Road.

Killingsworth was free Thursday from jail on $150,000 in bail, according to online jail records.

Testimony was expected to continue Thursday.

The prosecution is led by attorneys from the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office to avoid any possible conflicts of interest because Killingsworth’s son is a detective with the Wichita Falls Police Department — a fact that played in to Wednesday’s testimony.

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