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Pastor’s refusal to apologise to abuse victim costs him $500,000

Pastor’s refusal to apologise to abuse victim costs him $500,000 June 12, 2021

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AFTER pastor Lewis Clemons, of Kingdom Awareness Ministries International in Columbus, Georgia, refused to acknowledge and record a public apology for allegedly sexual assault his finances took a massive hit.

In 2017,  according to The Christian Post, Lequita Jackson and another of Clemons’ former congregants, Lakisha Smith, accused the pastor in a civil lawsuit of using his position as a spiritual leader to sexually abuse them.

In a letter to Clemons, Jackson’s lawyers said:

To seriously discuss settling this case, you would have to be willing to make a video statement that: 1. acknowledged all of your sexual misconduct …; and 2. genuinely apologized for that sexual misconduct; and 3. acknowledged that you have seriously harmed many, many women who trusted you as their spiritual leader.

Ms. Jackson would then watch the video. She would then decide, in her sole discretion, whether the video sufficiently met the requirements above. She would have sole control over the distribution of the video. She would be authorized to share the video publicly and with anyone that she chose.

Clemons would have none of it, and on Wednesday this week, a jury in the Superior Court of Muscogee County ruled in favour of Jackson and ordered him to pay her $500,000.

Jackson’s attorney, Jeb Butler said in a statement to the CP on Thursday:

Lequita Jackson is a wonderful client and it was an honor to provide her with her day in court. Lewis Clemons is a liar and a fraud, and I hope neither my client nor I have to see him again for as long as he lives.

Fellow attorney Morgan Lyndall praised Jackson for her strength in standing up to Clemons and noted that she hopes:

The verdict sent a message that sexual assault and rape are never OK.

Jackson, who alleged that Clemons began abusing her at 15, said in 2017:

He was a child molester.

Now 33, Jackson, who is married with two children of her own, said she was so traumatised by her experience, it took her five years before she was able to open up to her husband about what she endured.

He was a sexual predator who needed to be stopped. I just kind of accepted it at that age.

In their statement to CP on Thursday, Jackson’s lawyers explained how she wasn’t really interested in money. She simply wanted Clemons to own and properly apologise for the trauma he caused her.

Our client, Mrs. Jackson, offered in writing to settle the case against Clemons for zero dollars … He refused. So we took the case to trial. Our client and several other victims told the truth about Lewis Clemons’ sexual abuse and rape of themselves and others. Their testimony was detailed, impactful, true, and emotional.

Butler and Lyndall argued at the trial that Clemons:

Would find a girl from a troubled background, gave them positions in his church so he could spend more one-on-one time with them, made increasingly sexual requests of them, justified his actions with scripture, asked them to ‘stimulate his nipples,’ gave them a ‘body anointing’ in which he had them strip down so that he could rub oil all over their bodies.

He allegedly raped and sexually abused some of his victims who were younger than 16 at the time.

He told Jackson she would need to accept a “body anointing” during which he paid special attention to her breasts and her buttocks before lying on top of her unclothed body “to keep the power of the Holy Spirit properly sealed in.”

Clemons claimed he learned about “body anointing” from an older pastor when he was younger and said he once tried it with a woman who was suffering from cancer and she was healed.

Jackson explained in a previous report that Clemons’ activities with her over time resulted in two pregnancies which Clemons paid for her to abort while posing as her guardian.

• Please report any typos/errors to barry@freethinker.co.uk

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