“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but we can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ― Robert F. Kennedy
There are a few necessary graphic details in the following post.
This is one of those times to rejoice. When Leanne called me three years ago, she asked me a life-changing question. Would I be willing to post the audio of a call she made to a Methodist minister who molested her 45 years ago? In this remarkable recording, we heard Raggy confessing to what he did to her so many years ago. (It was a legally recorded call.)
Look up to the picture at the top of this post. Look at that beautiful little girl. Now, look at the man who molested her with his big cross. He was a fake—a man who used his position to harm Leanne.
He forgot about one thing. Leanne would grow up to be quite a woman. She is a nurse-midwife working in Appalachia. He may have forgotten about what he did, but she didn’t. LeAnne learned that Mississippi does not have a statute of limitations regarding the molestation of young children. She decided to go for it over four decades later. She hoped that the publication of this phone call might jumpstart the wheels of justice. I was happy to help her in this way.
The back story and the phone call.
In 2019, I wrote: Decades Later, Leanne Kay Confronted Her Abuser and Recorded the Remarkable Conversation. The following is an excerpt that includes the phone call. It would help if you listened to it. Wade Burleson told me that he had never heard anything quite like it. I agreed.
When LeAnne was 10 years old, in 1974-1975, Dural R. “Raggy” Ragsdale became the youth minister at Iuka United Methodist Church in Iuka, Mississippi. For a period of time, he lived in LeAnne’s home and proceeded to molest her between 15-and 20 times allegedly.
After that time, he continued to serve as a Methodist minister in Mississippi for 30 years. He also was the Director of the Wesley Foundation at Mississippi State University. Then, a few years ago, he was forced to leave his position at Porter’s Chapel UMC when he was unwilling to give up his YouTube channel, where he is known as *Uncle Raggy.*
Apparently, the Statute of Limitations in Mississippi does not apply in this instance, and more will be forthcoming in another post.
The Telephone Call: Must Hear
On 12/6/2002, LeAnne got up the courage to confront her alleged molester by telephone. (This is about 27 years later.) She could legally record the conversation since Mississippi is a one-party consent state.
This is a remarkable phone call. LeAnne got up the courage to confront Raggy, and he confessed what he did to her. LeAnne stays strong in the call, often telling Raggy to stop talking and listen to her.
In my 10 years of blogging, I’ve never encountered such a clear recording between an alleged abuser and his courageous victim.
Please take the time to listen. I promise you will not regret it. I’ve also attached a transcript of the call at the end of the post.
Raggy got arrested and blamed 10-year-old Leanne for the molestations!
The wheels of justice began moving because Leanne, with the help of Mark Belenchia, continued to press for an arrest. Approximately 10 months later, Raggy was arrested. I wrote about this 45 years later, Leanne Kay Gets Mississippi Law Enforcement to Arrest “Uncle Raggy,” a Methodist Minister Who Abused Her When She Was 10 Years Old!
We call him “Uncle Raggy” because that is the name he used to refer to himself on YouTube with his rather concerning (!) ukelele lessons, which have since been removed.
This post covered a great deal. For example, Raggy decided to blame 10-year-old Leanne for the molestation! He told the Clarion-Ledger :
“I can’t prove I didn’t, but I didn’t,” he said. “There’s no Bill Clinton dress that I did but, god, what a horrible thing to have to say or reference.”
Then, he threw a grenade, claiming that Leanne actually did it to him because she was a *curious* child.
(He said), “it only happened once,” before offering an initial description of the events.
“I woke up with the feeling of warm breath in my very private area because that will wake you up and, when I woke up, I realized that she had her head down there and there did not appear to be anything happening but I could feel the breath,” he said.
“So I reached down and got both of her shoulders and I lifted her to eye level and I said, ‘LeAnne, you know, that can’t be done. You can’t do that, we can’t do that but when you get a little older, like 17, 18, whatever, you’re going to start dating and you’ll find a guy —you guys might do that and you’ll have a lot of fun with it and enjoy it but that’s not something we can do.”
He first said it may have happened on “accident.” Then, he said, it may have happened because the child was “curious.”
While he initially denied intimate physical contact, as he talked, he said it was possible his penis was in the child’s mouth that night.
Then he appeared to attempt suicide and landed in the hospital for a few days but recovered amazingly fast. I quote my own words since I was the one who investigated the report of the attempt.
Raggy had allegedly attempted suicide via a car in a garage and carbon monoxide. He landed in an ICU. Needless to say, this action was a bit disconcerting to me. However, a short time later, Raggy was released. He was well enough to begin deleting all of the YouTube videos. Leanne was way too smart for this Methodist pastor/ukulele player and made sure she had downloaded evidence of all of them.
Finally, on 04/11/22, Raggy pled guilty and was sentenced.
The following is a report from Leanne.
Raggy pled guilty in open court. He did an Alford plea so he did not have to admit to the details of the crime but he had to answer “guilty” to the question “How do you plea?”
His official senetnace is 10 years with 10 years suspended. He will have 5 years with ankle monitoring.
He will have to register as a sex offender for the t=rest of his life.
He cannot leave the state or stay overnight at any other address with goiving a 7 day notice to his probation officer.
If he violates any part of the terrms for probation, the judge said he would not hesitate to send him to prison to serve each day of his 10 year sentence.
LeAnne gives a powerful victim’s statement to the court. She reveals some further disturbing observations of Ragsdale’s life.
STATE OF MISSISSIPPI vs. Dural Reece Ragsdale
Cause No. CR19-165/Tishomingo County
VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT
Submitted by Glenda LeAnne Kay, Victim
The impact of Dural Reece’s “Raggy” Ragsdale’s year-long sexual abuse of me when I was 10 years-old has been life-long and profound. He was our youth minister at Iuka United Methodist Church and was also entrusted to live in our home, even while he attended seminary, which makes the abuse especially egregious. I have spent a life time fighting for my well-being after what he did to me. I have pursued healthy ways to process the trauma and pain which has allowed me to thrive and be successful in spite of what he did to me.
I could write pages about the impact of the crimes he committed against me, about the night terrors and panic attacks, but instead, I would rather tell you why I am standing here today. I not only want to tell you what he did to me, so you can understand what he is capable of, I want to tell you about what has motivated me, after all these years, to pursue criminal charges against him. The public deserves to know the capabilities of this predator, taking advantage of his position of trust, the same type position of trust he has held as an ordained Methodist minister from community-to-community across Mississippi, until his retirement in 2013. My purpose is to stop him from hurting anyone else.
To begin with, he was bold enough to molest me under the quilt on the couch just a few feet away from my parents. While laying on the couch in our den watching TV, he would pull one leg up and use it as a barrier to hide what he was doing to me under the quilt at the other end of the couch. He would run his big toe in and out of my mouth and use his foot to fondle my breasts while he simultaneously carried on conversations with my parents. This abuse was an extension of the abuse that he carried out routinely in other locations, including his vehicle, but especially after my parents went to sleep at night. He would come to the back hallway couch where I slept, lay my head in his lap while he watched the TV that was a part of the sitting area. There he fondled my breasts, my genitalia, and then gradually progressed to routinely pushing his penis in and out of my mouth. This was his routine. A 26/27-year-old grown man, our youth minister, doing this to a 10-year-old, innocent little girl, me.
One late night, while he was doing these horrible things to me, he was almost caught by my father. He hurriedly packed up & left the next day. Within a week, he began making a series of harassing phone calls to me, knowing I was home alone while my parents were at work, as this was our family’s routine. He breathed heavily into the phone and made the same moaning sounds he made when he was molesting me. He whispered that if I told anyone, my family would be harmed. The fright that I felt as a 10-year-old little girl was unbearable. I felt like everyone in my family was going to die and it would be my fault. He guaranteed my silence as he frightened me into not telling my parents what he had done to me. More than wanting you to understand the impact these crimes had on me, I want you to understand the sadistic capabilities of this predator to prey on his victims. He was already a bold, insatiable, & skilled predator over 40 years ago preying on an innocent 10-year-old girl.
It was in November, 2015, that the full burden of the abuse resurfaced when I discovered disturbing videos Mr. Ragsdale was producing on YouTube. In these videos, he began each one with “Hello Kiddies,” and announced his “password” while referring to himself as “Uncle Raggy.” As I watched his network of followers grow from 10 to 25k, my nightmares from my childhood began all over again. I discovered his channel’s disturbingly sexualized kiddie themes and banter among him and his followers under the guise of being a ukulele tutorial channel. Since I made this discovery nearly 7 years ago, I have relentlessly pursued trying to stop this prolific predator from hurting any more children. Within a week after my discovery of his videos, I reported him to the MS Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children division. Based on the thousands of YouTube video images and the highly suspicious commentary with his 25k followers, I believe his YouTube channel, that has since shut down, was serving as a store front for live streaming child sexual abuse on the dark web and it is my sincerest belief that he is an evolving, aggressive child predator and if not held accountable there is no limit to the harm he is capable of causing.
One particular video, uploaded just a few years ago, was of him grooming an innocent 11-year-old girl from Las Vegas. This video was created in his dark, soundproof recording studio, behind his home in Vicksburg, with a candlelit skull in the background. This is an image I will never get out of my head. This little girl was not only the same age as I was, she had the same physical characteristics, looking almost identical to me, at that age. The games he used in that video to manipulate her innocence, to encourage her to talk and sing to his audience, is the same type games he used to groom me. Further disturbing discoveries included him bragging online to his fellow “old geezer” club members about multiple code words embedded in the commentary, passwords for the day, whether or not “Louie the Frog” was in the studio, and times he would be live streaming. Keep in mind, he only uploaded recorded videos on YouTube. He did not livestream on YouTube. The Attorney General’s office confirmed to me that his activity was highly suspicious as a means for linking others to the dark web where pedophiles livestream abusive content. They advised me to pursue charges against him as a starting place to investigate his suspicious activity.
The topic of one of his disturbing videos was a young boy, who appeared to be no more than 6-7 years old, for which he described as already being a “professional” video maker, in his words “at a ripe young age.” He further bragged to his audience that this young boy took requests and he encouraged his followers to support the young boy’s YouTube channel. These are just a few examples of Mr. Ragsdale’s videos and online activity.
I suspect these videos are a part of the reason that, in 2013, a group of parishioners at Porter’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Vicksburg, along with the District Superintendent from Jackson, gave Reverend Ragsdale an ultimatum to give up his YouTube channel or retire and give up his church. The Reverend Ragsdale posted a YouTube video of himself preaching his last sermon in a YouTube T-shirt, as he arrogantly commented and grinned to his YouTube followers. He accepted the full benefits of retirement. It was then, unfettered from the pretense of being a full-time minister, that a historical review of his videos revealed him producing darker and darker images and speaking more freely in the comment section about code word meanings, arranging meetings, and updating followers on passwords to upcoming sessions. He even revealed his coding that indicated which followers were “one of them,” and “could be trusted.” Their coded sexual talk about “young talent” filled the comment sections with alarming descriptions of his wife’s piano students coming by, recent or upcoming live streaming events on what they referred to as “Old Geezer Tours” as he and one of his closest YouTubers travelled with “Louie the Frog” from Texas to Mississippi to Florida. He talked of arranging meetings with young musicians, and mailing mementos and polaroid pictures to each other from other countries. He had followers from around the world including the UK and Australia. One particular exchange was focused around Mr. Ragsdale meeting a self-described minor with a follower who was using an alias for a convicted pedophile from a nearby town in Louisiana.
The most alarming part of his commentary, for me, was when he described to his followers, scenarios that were very similar to what he did to me. He bragged that his wife was right beside him watching TV and that he had her approval as he performed these acts, for over 2 hours, with a female friend of the family, who was on the couch with him. This same young adult female appeared medically vulnerable with a flat affect in his videos. As a health-care provider, I was alerted to her potential status as a vulnerable adult. His comments to his buddies included, “eat your heart out,” and “don’t you wish you were me,” and “giggles and grins,” as he described having her head in his lap, the exact same way he used to put my head in his lap. I was able to reach out to this girl’s family and had my suspicions that she is a vulnerable adult confirmed. They had no idea he was making videos of her and uploading them online where she was being sexualized. Her family member had been routinely running criminal background checks on Mr. Ragsdale because of her bad feeling about him. Like his abuse of me, he first gained the trust of her parents. These video images and suspicious commentary, along with knowing what he is capable of, is what has fueled my motivation to do my part to stop him. My pursuit of his indictment for the crimes he committed against me has already helped protect a young innocent vulnerable girl from further exploitation by this predator.
Your Honor, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to tell what this predator did to me as a child, so that I can demonstrate, to this court and to the public, what Raggy Ragsdale is capable of doing. Also, my hope is that by me telling my story it will give other victims the courage to come forward if they so choose. I want to thank DA Weddle and his staff, and especially ADA Robbins, for your honorable service to our community in this matter.
Glenda LeAnne Kay
LeAnne persisted. Raggy had done what he did, but he couldn’t have imagined that LeAnne would pursue him through the decades to find justice. This little girl grew up and would not give up. She has thanked me for being willing to post the audio of her phone call to Raggy. I am grateful that she asked me to do so. It’s easy to get discouraged when I write about abuse. For many, justice isn’t obtained. Even in this instance, I wish Raggy had been sent to prison for the rest of his life. But his life has been ruined long after he thought he got away with it. His name is now in humanity’s gutter, along with the other people who molest children.
I plan to call the Methodist Church to inquire about his undeserved pension. I have not had success with my interactions with the denomination. I hope this time they might consider my thoughts.
My mother moved back to her Assisted Living facility today. In February, I had hoped to plan a trip to see LeAnne’s work as a midwife. So I hope to plan that trip again. She has no idea how much she has touched my life in the last few years. She has become a hero to me. I’m not sure I would have had the stamina to keep this up through so many long years. She has given me hope that some who pursue justice may find it. Sometimes, there is just enough light to carry on.
Thank you, LeAnne. My heart feels a bit lighter today. Maybe it’s finally time to reconsider the black rose bouquet. (This is my insider joke with LeAnne that makes me smile.)