Granddaughter Accuses TBN of Rape Coverup

{Re-Post from WND}

Granddaughter Accuses TBN of Rape Coverup
Paul and Jan Crouch
A granddaughter of Trinity Broadcasting Network founders Jan and Paul Crouch filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that she was plied with alcohol and raped by a TBN employee when she was just 13 — and that her family covered up the incident, rather than report it to authorities, to protect TBN’s reputation.

According to the complaint, Carra Crouch claims says she was 13 when Stephen Smith drugged and raped her in a hotel room while she was attending a Trinity fundraiser and telethon in Atlanta, in April 2006.

The complain continues stating:

“During the telethon one evening, Smith approached plaintiff in the hotel and began talking to her about the telethon in general and how she thought everything was going. Smith coerced himself into plaintiff’s hotel room in order to further discuss the telethon and other relevant Trinity Broadcasting business activity. …
     “Once in plaintiff’s room, Smith ordered a bottle of wine from room service on Trinity Broadcasting’s account. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that Trinity Broadcasting makes a regular practice of providing alcohol to its employees during business meetings. Smith proceeded to coerce the plaintiff to drink the wine in an attempt to get her intoxicated and plaintiff, in fact, drank the wine under duress and became intoxicated.
     “Plaintiff began asking Smith to leave her room and he responded by giving her a glass of water to ‘help her feel better.’ Plaintiff drank the glass of water and passed out immediately. Plaintiff believes the water contained a date rape drug which caused her to pass out.
     “Ms. Crouch awoke the next morning with Smith laying next to her, blood on her bed sheets, and severe pain and soreness in her body in places which indicated she had been molested and raped.
     “Ms. Crouch locked herself in the bathroom and screamed at Smith to leave her room, which he eventually did. Ms. Crouch boarded a flight later that day back to her home in CA.”

The complaint continues:
     “The Report of the Battery and Sexual Battery by Plaintiff
     “Ms. Crouch was distraught over what happened, and upon the advice of her mother, decided to talk with Jan and John about what happened.
     “Plaintiff had a meeting with Jan in Jan’s TBN affiliate-owned mansion located in Newport Beach, CA where she told her everything that had happened. In response, Jan became furious and began screaming at Ms. Crouch, a thirteen-year-old girl, and began telling her ‘it is your fault.’ After being told by Jan Crouch that it was her fault she was raped, plaintiff approached John Casoria about the incident.
     “John Casoria also became agitated at plaintiff and told her he did not believe what she was saying to be true. He elaborated by stating he further believed she was already sexually active ‘so it did not really matter’ and he ‘believed she may have propositioned him.’ Ms. Crouch, a thirteen-year-old girl, had not been sexually active and was absolutely devastated about what happened and about how John and Jan responded to her.”
     The complaint continues with a section subtitled: “The Subsequent Cover Up of the Battery and Sexual Battery by Defendant.
     “Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that Paul, Jan, and John actually did believe her accusations despite what they told her and fired Smith the next working day. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that Paul, Jan and John came up with a plan to lie to about their beliefs about what happened in order to intimidate Ms. Crouch so that they could ‘cover up’ the incident and make sure it was never reported to police authorities or to the media, which would have brought negative publicity to Trinity Broadcasting during their annual fund-raiser.
     “Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that John fired Smith over the telephone in which he stated: (1) the termination is a decision passed down directly from the president’s office (meaning that the decision came directly from Paul Crouch, Sr.); (2) the termination will be without cause even though Trinity Broadcasting has gathered enough evidence to terminate Smith with cause; (3) the evidence is most probably sufficient to bring criminal charges against Smith; (4) Trinity Broadcasting would not disclose the evidence to the police if Smith would not file an EEOC claim, file for unemployment, or file for workers compensation. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that John may have used the threat of criminal prosecution to gain an advantage in a civil matter and may have violated Model Code of Professional Responsibility DR 7-105.
     “Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that Paul, Jan and John were all ‘ordained ministers’ at the time of this incident and that they were mandated reporters under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that neither Paul, Jan nor John made any report, as required, and in the alternative, deliberately covered up the incident to protect Trinity Broadcasting from negative publicity.
     “Plaintiff was not permitted to talk to the police about the incident, and was not permitted to seek the counsel of any third parties or sex abuse counselors at the time.”
     Carra Crouch Crouch seeks damages for battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence per se and negligence.
     She is represented by Michael Koper of Elmont, N.Y., who told Courthouse News that his client looked forward to presenting proof of the allegations at trial.

In comments made to the Orange County Register, Colby May, Attorney Colby May,said, “Trinity is stunned to learn of the latest allegations being made by Carra, coming more than six years after her initial report,” May said by email. “And we have confirmed that Carra’s parents are similarly just now learning of her latest accusations. If your email accurately depicts Carra’ cupertino of events, be advised this is completely at odds with what she reported to her mother in 2006. Had Trinity been apprised of this then, it would have immediately reported it to authorities. Trinity categorically denies any wrong doing and will, of course, fully cooperate with law enforcement in investigating Carra’s latest allegations.”  

May went on to say, “Details of the incident provided by Crouch, and details in the suit, are “materially different,” May said, and “(m)oreover, Ms. Crouch’s allegations are completely at odds with what she told her mother. These multiple versions undermine her credibility and support our position that Trinity has certainly done nothing wrong. Unfortunately, such meritless lawsuits have become commonplace in our society, and accordingly, Trinity will fully and vigorously defend itself.”


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