A Dallas County grand jury declined to indict megachurch pastor Rickie Rush in two criminal cases, including an allegation he raped a teenager 15 years ago.
The decision, handed down in a closed-door court proceeding late last week, means jurors found prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to show probable cause that Rush, the 63-year-old founder of the Inspiring Body of Christ Church, committed crimes.
Rush declined to be interviewed. His attorney called the allegations baseless and on Tuesday praised the grand jury’s action in a statement to The Dallas Morning News.
The decision “finally lifts this cloud as he continues his unabated and relentless work of bringing God’s word and purpose to the community,’’ said Rush’s attorney, Michael Heiskell.
The pastor has overseen the southern Dallas megachurch, known as IBOC, since 1990. At its peak a decade ago, the church boasted more than 10,000 members. His popular sermons have drawn local celebrities and elected officials who sought his political support.
The News began reporting allegations of abuse from former church members in 2020. Rush’s attorney has said the accusations against him are part of a smear campaign.
The accuser in one case has not been publicly identified. In the second case, former church member Marcus Bell Jr. alleges that Rush raped him when he was 13. On Friday, a prosecutor told Bell’s aunt, Renee Phillips, that his case would not go to trial.
Continue reading at THE DALLAS NEWS