Northeast Tarrant

Hurst pastor takes computer in for repair, faces child porn charge

James Rankin
James Rankin

A Hurst associate pastor faces a child pornography charge after he took his computer to a Best Buy store to be repaired, according to a Hurst Police Department news release.

Store employees called police about 8:40 p.m. Thursday after finding what appeared to be child pornography on a customer’s computer, according to the news release. After investigating, police arrested and charged the owner of the computer, 78-year-old James Rankin, with possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony. Bond was set at $5,000.

Rankin was released after posting bond Friday. Rankin’s computer has been submitted to technicians for forensic testing, but results may not be available for several weeks, according to police. Once the testing has been completed additional charges may be added, police said. Further information about the case was not immediately available from police.

The news release said Rankin is an associate pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church in Hurst, which lists him as a staff member on its website. The church was notified of the arrest.

Mark David Smith: 817-390-7808, @MarkSmith_FWST

Construction workers called police about 2 a.m., saying a man in an apartment nearby shot at them. The man told police he was annoyed by the noise coming from the site.

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