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Accused pastor resigns, church says

FORT WORTH — A Southwood Baptist Church pastor arrested in June on allegations that he had sexual contact with an underage church member has resigned from his position, according to a video podcast posted on the church’s Web site.

In the video, labeled as taken July 20 during morning services, interim pastor Lee Ingram can be seen reading a statement to church members announcing the forthcoming resignation of James Virtue Robinson IV, pastor of the church since October 2006.

Ingram told the congregation that the resignation came as an agreement between Robinson’s criminal defense attorney and the church’s attorney. He said he and the church council had already begun contacting candidates for the pastor position.

Robinson was indicted last month on a charge of indecency-fondling. Police allege Robinson began a relationship with a church member when she was 16 that included sexual contact. Police had begun investigating the case in March after the father of the girl, now 18, overheard his daughter talking inappropriately on the phone to a person he later learned was Robinson.

Robinson remains free on bond, court records show. A gag order has been issued in the case, preventing attorneys and police from any further comment.