Pastor held on sex assault charges has bail reduced

A District Court judge on Thursday reduced the bail for a Las Vegas pastor accused of sexual assault and lewdness and ordered him not to work with anyone under 21, according to court records.

District Judge James Bixler reduced Billy Eckstine McCurdy’s bail from $250,000 to $115,000 and said if the pastor posted the bond, he could return to his church, the Revival Temple Church of God in Christ at the intersection of Tonopah and Vegas drives.

The pastor’s attorney, Garrett Ogata, said family and church members had the money to post bond. McCurdy was expected to be released either late Thursday or early today.

Ogata unsuccessfully sought to have McCurdy released on house arrest, according to court records.

McCurdy pleaded not guilty last week to six counts of felony sexual assault and five counts of open or gross lewdness, a gross misdemeanor.

Earlier this month, North Las Vegas police arrested the 58-year-old after an eight-month investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted teenage boys at his home between 2007 and 2009.

Ogata said one of the reported victims has retracted his story and said he misled investigators because he was angry with McCurdy over being publicly reprimanded over a church-related issue.

The lawyer questioned the credibility of the second victim, who Ogata said was in jail facing charges related to evading a police officer.

Members of Revival Temple Church of God in Christ also recently made public statements in support of McCurdy.

“Pastor McCurdy is a victim of false arrest, slander and harassment. In a rush to judgment, the North Las Vegas Police Department, the grand jury and the media took the word of two members of the Revival Temple Church to indict and arrest an innocent person without any substantial evidence,” according to a statement e-mailed by church spokeswoman Trish Williamson.

According to Williamson, the two who made the allegations are in their 20s and are not teenagers as police have said.

According to North Las Vegas police, the two male victims alleged McCurdy forced them into sexual relationships with him. They told police he used his position in the church and cited Bible passages to force them into sex acts.

Both victims testified before a grand jury that indicted McCurdy earlier this month.

The charges come five years after a similar case against McCurdy was dropped by prosecutors in Clark County.

In 2005, North Las Vegas police arrested McCurdy after a boy told investigators the pastor tried to fondle him while they slept in the same bed at a slumber party at the pastor’s house. The district attorney’s office later decided not to prosecute McCurdy, citing questions about evidence in the case.

Investigators have said they think there could be more victims.

Police said McCurdy spent a lot of time with young people, including youth trips to Arizona and California. He also held events for young men at his North Las Vegas home on the 700 block of Heritage Cliff Avenue, near Alexander Road and Revere Street.

He also often allowed teens to live with him for long periods, which was the situation with the two people alleged to be victims in the latest case, police said.

A trial is scheduled for Jan. 3, according to court records.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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