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Friday, September 01, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Pastor casts out demons with a rod of power

LEONARD RAY OWENS FORTWORTH -- A 63-year-old pastor accused of raping a church member last year during a ceremony to cast out demons has been indicted by a Tarrant County grand jury.

Leonard Ray Owens, who is free on $25,000 bail, is now awaiting trial on a charge of sexual assault -- a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison.

Police have said that they began investigating Owens last year after a 22-year-old woman reported that Owens raped her on two occasions at his Fort Worth home. The woman told police that, several months after she began attending the Prayer House of Faith at 1303 E. Seminary Drive, she went to Owens' home for counseling after having a miscarriage.

There, the woman told police, Owens said she had a sex spirit and lesbian demon inside her that he needed to cast out. The pastor then asked her to lie on the floor and began yelling at her as if she were a demon, saying "Loose her in the name of Jesus," according to an arrest warrant affidavit.

The woman told police that Owens pulled down her pants as he called for the demons to come out. When she tried to get up, he pushed her down, the affidavit said. The pastor then began to fight with her as if she were a demon before climbing on top of her, pinning her down and raping her, police have said.

The woman told police that the pastor wore a condom. Afterward, Owens, a self-proclaimed prophet, ordered her to wash her face in the name of Jesus and to read Psalm 105:15, which says to do no harm to prophets, the woman told police.

The woman told police that Owens raped her again a month later, after he asked her come to his house to pray for another woman.

Owens has denied having sexual contact with the woman, police have said.