Woman Tells Jury That Pastor Betrayed Her Trust
By Traci Shurley
August 10, 2006
Fort Worth — Kate Jones does not trust men.
Her ex-husband was abusive. The man who fathered her daughter turned out to be married. And her stepfather made advances toward her.
So when "Terry Lee" — a man she had recently met who said he counseled the Dallas Cowboys — wanted to come over, Jones said she was reluctant, but eventually agreed.
"He told me that God brought me into his life to learn how to trust a man," Jones testified Thursday.
But trusting Terry Lee, Jones said, was a terrible mistake. On his second visit to her home, she said, he slipped something into her bottled water and raped her.
Jones, 34, was the third accuser to testify in the sexual-assault trial of the Rev. Terry Hornbuckle. The founder of Agape Christian Fellowship in Arlington is accused of raping Jones and two other women. If convicted, he could be sentenced to as long as 20 years in prison on each charge.
Kate Jones, a pseudonym used to conceal her identity in court, is the only accuser who was not a member of Hornbuckle's church.
Crying at times, Jones told jurors that she was working out on a treadmill at a 24-hour fitness club one morning in 2004 when she sensed someone looking at her. She said the attractive man later approached her and introduced himself.
"He told me he was a counselor for rookies in the NFL and worked for the Cowboys," Jones said.
As a sports fan, Jones testified, she was impressed when he told her that he knew Quincy Carter and Michael Irvin.
"He even said that he was a player back in the days of the Super Bowls," Jones said.
As they talked, Jones said, it also came up that they both liked to "party." They exchanged phone numbers and a couple of days later, the man she knew as "Terry Lee" came over carrying a black bag filled with drug paraphernalia.
They smoked methamphetamine together, Jones said, and she told him about her troubled life.
"He said that God had brought him into my life to be a friend to me," Jones said. "I prayed that it was true."
"Terry Lee" returned three or four days later. Again, they smoked methamphetamine, and again they talked.
At one point, Jones testified, Terry Lee went to the kitchen and came back with water that he insisted she drink.
"I was very high, very up," Jones testified. "All of a sudden, my body started coming down very fast. I was losing track of the conversation, what he was saying, what was going on.
"My body was getting very tired and very weak, very heavy."
Jones said the last thing she remembers was Terry Lee asking her if "I was still with him" before blacking out.
When she came to, Jones said, she was naked in bed with him. There was evidence that they had had sex.
"I asked him what was going on," Jones said, crying again. "He said I could trust him, that he was my friend."
Jones said that she told him to leave, and he did — but not before leaving $100 on her nightstand.
"He said that God wanted me to have it, that I needed to take care of my daughter," Jones testified.
Jones said she didn't go to the police or tell anyone about the assault. Instead, she said, she tried to put it out of her mind and move on with her life.
"I figured no one would believe me or care because I did drugs with him and that maybe I deserved it — and maybe I thought I did, too, because I invited him in my home," she said.
In spring 2005, Jones said, she was working on her computer with the TV on in the background when she heard a news story about an "Arlington pastor who had been arrested for a bunch of sexual assaults."
"I thought, 'This is why I don't' watch the news," Jones testified. "I went to turn off the TV, and it was Terry Lee."
She said she was shocked to learn that the man she knew as Terry Lee was really Terry Lee Hornbuckle — and that he wasn't a counselor for the Cowboys but a pastor.
"I fell on the ground," she said. "My little girl came in. She asked me what was wrong. I told her everything was OK. She looked at the TV, then looked at me and said, 'What did he do?' "
"I said that he was a bad man," Jones testified.
Not long after, Jones said, she contacted the Tarrant County district attorney's office and spoke with Betty Arvin, who is prosecuting Hornbuckle with Sean Colston.
When Arvin asked her Tuesday why she decided to come forward, Jones turned and spoke to the jury directly.
"Y'all need to know what he really is, and I needed to come up here and say that," she said.
In an aggressive cross-examination, defense attorney Leon Haley, who is working with Mike Heiskell, suggested that Jones invited Hornbuckle to her home those two times because she wanted drugs and a relationship — and that she later accused him of rape to pay him back for spurning her.
Haley asked Jones if she knew what the term "gold digger" meant and suggested that she was shopping around for a "daddy" for her daughter. Haley said Hornbuckle — who drove a Cadillac Escalade — fit the bill. He asked Jones why, if she wasn't after his money, she took the $100 he left her.
"If a book deal comes down, are you going to be standing in line to get money?" Haley asked.
"No, sir," Jones replied. "The Lord will provide for me."
Haley accused Jones of being angry at all men and said she was taking out her frustration on Hornbuckle, who had become a "symbol."
"This is not about Terry, this is about you and the bad choices you've made, isn't it?" Haley asked.
"No, sir," Jones replied.
Haley suggested that when she saw Hornbuckle on TV, she decided to jump on the bandwagon.
"Isn't it true that everybody wants something from Terry — and you do, too?" Haley asked.
The trial resumes this morning in state District Judge Scott Wisch's court.
Melody McDonald, 817-390-7386
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