By Kristine Favreau

Killeen Daily Herald

A preliminary trial date of May 11 has been set for a Lampasas rector charged with sexually assaulting a child.

According to Lampasas District Clerk Terri Cox, the Rev. Jim Carlton Wooldridge, 61, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault and a charge of indecency with a child who was 15 years old at the time of the alleged event. Wooldridge was indicted on March 14.

Cox said arraignment for Wooldridge has been waived. The rector was released on an $8,500 bond after his arrest on Jan. 11.

Also arrested in connection with the allegations was John Christian "J.C." Wood, 20, who was charged with sexual assault, indecency with a child and unlawful possession of a firearm. Wood's total bond was set at $13,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 20.

The male victim, now 16 years old, and his lawyer, filed the charges with the Lampasas Police Department on Dec. 1, 2006, according to the arrest affidavit that detailed how Wooldridge and Wood allegedly sexually exploited the boy.

Wooldridge, of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Lampasas, was placed on administrative leave from the church after turning himself into the Lampasas County Sheriff's Department. He had pastored the 131-year-old Lampasas church since 1994.

"The Diocese of Texas learned that charges of sexual misconduct have been made against Jim Wooldridge, rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Lampasas," said spokeswoman Carol E. Barnwell. "Wooldridge remains on administrative leave and both the leadership of St. Mary's and the Diocese of Texas are cooperating fully with authorities."

The Lampasas Police Department was assisted in the investigation by the Texas Rangers.

Contact Kristine Favreau or call 547-3535

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