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Crime

Former local minister convicted of child molestation 45 years later

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Dural Ragsdale, LeAnne Kay and an unidentified child
Dural Ragsdale, LeAnne Kay and an unidentified child (redacted).

Glenda LeAnne Kay has finally put a nearly 50-year journey to rest after her molester, Dural Reece “Uncle Raggy” Ragsdale, pled guilty to molesting her at the age of 10 and was sentenced.

Kay was was 10 years old in 1974 when he molested her. Ragsdale was a youth minister at the time.

“He used his position of trust as our youth/music minister at the Iuka United Methodist Church in Iuka, MS, to gain access to me,” Kay wrote in a Facebook post. “He has served over 40 years as a seminary-educated ordained Methodist minister throughout the state of Mississippi & adjoining states from the 1970s until he was forced to retire under suspicious circumstances on June 18, 2013, from the Porter’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Vicksburg, MS.”

About 27 years later, Kay gathered the courage and confronted Ragsdale by telephone and recorded the conversation. Mississippi is a one-party consent state so the phone call could legally be recorded. During the phone call, Ragsdale confessed what he did to her.

The Clarion Ledger reported that Ragsdale tried to shift the blame to Kay. According to the report, “… he denies the allegations but acknowledges something happened ‘one time,’ though he describes that one time as both an accident and the actions of a ‘curious’ child.”

Ragsdale turned himself in to the Tishomingo County Jail in October 2019 after being indicted a month prior.

On Apr. 11, Ragsdale pled guilty and was sentenced to 10 years with 10 years suspended. He will serve five years with an ankle monitor and register as a sex offender.

Kay later issued a statement on the case which read:

Raggy pled guilty in open court. He did an Alford plea so he did not have to admit to the details of the crime but he had to answer “guilty” to the question “How do you plea?”

His official sentence is 10 years with 10 years suspended. He will have 5 years with ankle monitoring.

He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

He cannot leave the state or stay overnight at any other address with giving a 7 day notice to his probation officer.

If he violates any part of the terms for probation, the judge said he would not hesitate to send him to prison to serve each day of his 10 year sentence.

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