Las Vegas Review-Journal - October 8, 2010
Pastor arrested on 11 sexual abuse charges
By BRIAN HAYNES
A pastor of a Las Vegas church was arrested Friday on 11 sexual abuse charges, five years after a similar case against him was dropped.
North Las Vegas police arrested Billy Eckstine McCurdy, 57, following an eight-month investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted teen boys at his home.
McCurdy is the pastor at Revival Temple Church of God in Christ at the intersection of Tonopah and Vegas drives. At the church Friday night, men in all black suits said no church officials were prepared to comment on the arrest.
Billy Eckstine McCurdy
Minister at Revival Temple Church of God in Christ
The new charges involve two teen boys who said McCurdy forced them into sexual relationships with him. They told police he used his position in the church and Bible scriptures to force them into sex acts, authorities said.
Both boys testified at a grand jury, which indicted McCurdy Thursday on six counts of sexual assault and five counts of open or gross lewdness. He was being held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail.
Detectives said they believe other victims have not come forward.
McCurdy spent a lot of time with young people, including youth trips to Arizona and California, police said. He also held events with young men at his home on 700 block of Heritage Cliff Ave., near Alexander Road and Revere Street in North Las Vegas, including sleepovers.
And he often allowed teens to live with him for long periods, which was the situation with the two victims in the latest case, police said.
The church's Facebook page touts McCurdy's work.
"Never one to sit and talk about a problem or ignore a need Pastor McCurdy developed many ministries including a maximum security prison ministry, convalescent ministry, minimum security and a youth ministry at the Spring Mountain Youth Camp on Mount Charleston," the website said.
In the 2005 case, North Las Vegas police arrested McCurdy after a boy told investigators the pastor tried to fondle him while they slept in the same bed.
The teen told police he and other high schoolers were at McCurdy's house for a swim and slumber party. After swimming the children split up and went to bed.
The teen was planning to sleep on the floor in McCurdy's bedroom, but the pastor invited him into his bed. The boy woke up a couple of hours later when he felt McCurdy put the boy's hand on McCurdy's genitals, according to police.
McCurdy then moved his hand toward the boy's pants, but the boy left and walked to a relative's house.
Many of McCurdy's flock publicly stood behind him, though he was suspended by the church after the arrest.
The district attorney's office later declined to prosecute McCurdy, citing questions about evidence in the case.
"We didn't feel we could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt," District Attorney David Roger said at the time. "There was conflicting evidence concerning the accuser."
Detectives asked anyone with information to call North Las Vegas police at 633-1773 or leave anonymous tips with Crime Stoppers at 385-5555 or www.crimestoppersnv.com. Tips directly leading to an arrest or an indictment processed through Crime Stoppers may result in a cash reward.
Contact reporter Brian Haynes at email@example.com or 702-383-0281.
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