Former minister charged with sexually abusing child

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, October 16, 2019

A  former United Methodist minister and Vicksburg resident has been accused of sexually abusing a 10-year-old girl nearly 45 years ago.

Dural Reece Ragsdale, 71, of Vicksburg surrendered Monday to authorities in Tishomingo County. He was indicted last month on a felony charge of fondling a child under 14.

District Attorney John Weddle said in the indictment that the abuse happened sometime between 1974 and 1975, when Ragsdale was a youth minister at Iuka United Methodist Church.

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In reports by the Associated Press, Ragsdale previously denied to The Clarion-Ledger he abused the girl while describing sexual contact he said happened “one time” because of a “curious” child.

Ragsdale named the girl in his comments to the newspaper, and the newspaper said key details of their stories align.

The woman, now in her 50s and living in West Virginia, said she tried to press charges for years.

Ragsdale, who was once pastor of Porter’s Chapel United Methodist Church, retired in 2013.

According to officials with the Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Office, Ragsdale turned himself in on Monday and posted bond. His bond had been set at $20,000.

About Tim Reeves

Tim Reeves, and his wife Stephanie, are the parents of three children, Sarah Cameron, Clayton and Fin, who all attend school in the Vicksburg Warren School District. The family are members of First Baptist Church Vicksburg. Tim is involved in a number of civic and volunteer organizations including the United Way of West Central Mississippi and serves on the City of Vicksburg's Riverfront Redevelopment Committee.

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