Jury Imposes $500K Fine Against Georgia Pastor Accused of Sexual Abuse
A jury has imposed a half-million dollar fine against a Georgia pastor who went to trial for sexual abuse of a young congregant after he refused an offer to publicly apologize for his actions to avoid a lawsuit.
A jury in the Superior Court of Muscogee County ruled in favor of accuser Lequita Jackson and imposed a $500,000 verdict against Pastor Lewis Clemons of Kingdom Awareness Ministries International in Columbus, Georgia.
“We offered to settle the case against Clemons for zero dollars if he would record a video in which he acknowledged his sexual abuse and apologized for it,” said attorney Jeb Butler of Butler Law Firm, which represented Jackson, in a statement. “He refused. So, we took the case to trial.”
Jackson, 33, said Clemons began abusing her at age 15, sometimes under the guise of “body anointing,” a practice that involved Clemons touching her body to seal in the Holy Spirit. Jackson said he told her the practice was biblical, but Clemons denied saying so in a 2019 deposition, per The Christian Post.
Jackson’s lawyers presented evidence at trial that alleged Clemons would find girls with a troubled background and hire them to work at his church so he could spend one-on-one time with them then make increasingly sexual requests after establishing control over the victim.
“Mrs. Jackson and several other victims told the truth about Lewis Clemons’s sexual abuse and rape of themselves and others,” Butler said. “Their testimony was detailed, impactful, true, and emotional.”
Butler said that when called for cross-examination, Clemons testified that the victims were “faking it.”
Access to MinistryWatch content is free. However, we hope you will support our work with your prayers and financial gifts. To make a donation, click here.