Brittany Koper

New TBN Lawsuit Alleges Rape Cover-Up

Back in April we reported on a suit filed against TBN – the right-wing televangelism powerhouse based in Orange County, California – by Brittany Koper, a granddaughter of TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch and a former senior executive at the organization. The suit alleged “multiple cover-ups of sexual and criminal scandals,” including a cover-up of a “bloody sexual assault.” A new suit, filed last week by Koper’s 19-year-old sister Carra Crouch, sheds signficant light on the allegation. 

Teri Sforza, who has closely covered TBN’s legal woes for the Orange County Register, broke the news about the suit:
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.
 
Carra Crouch, now 19, was distraught after the 2006 assault by a 30-year-old man, and told her grandmother what had happened. “Jan (Crouch) became furious and began screaming at Ms. Crouch, a thirteen year old girl, and began telling her ‘it is your fault,’” according to the suit.
 
Carra Crouch then told John Casoria, TBN’s in-house counsel and her second cousin; he became agitated and told her that he didn’t believe her, it says. “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,’ ” the suit alleges.
According to the suit, both Jan Crouch and Casoria are ordained ministers and therefore legally required to report such an incident. They allegedly failed to report the rape and prevented Carra Crouch from speaking with the police, a counselor, or any other third party.
 
In 2006, Carra Crouch traveled with her grandmother Jan to TBN’s spring telethon in Atlanta, where she was given her own hotel room. As Sforza reported:
The 30-year-old TBN employee, who Crouch had known for years, wound up in her room and ordered a bottle of wine from room service on Trinity’s account (“Trinity Broadcasting makes a regular practice of providing alcohol to its employees during business meetings”), the suit alleges. He coerced her to drink it “in an attempt to get her intoxicated,” and she did, it says. She asked him to leave her room, and he responded by giving her a glass of water to “help her feel better.”
 
Carra Crouch drank the glass of water and passed out immediately, according to the suit. When she awoke the next morning, the man was lying next to her, there was blood on the bed sheets, and she had “severe pain and soreness in her body in places which indicated she had been molested and raped,” it alleges. She locked herself in the bathroom and screamed at the man to leave her room, and returned to California that day.
 
That glass of water, Crouch now believes, contained a date rape drug which caused her to pass out.
TBN’s attorney Colby May vehemently denied any wrongdoing by TBN when contacted by Sforza. However, TBN did fire the 30-year-old man shortly after Carra Crouch reported him to her grandmother and Casoria:
Casoria, TBN’s in-house attorney,  fired him over the telephone, saying Trinity had gathered enough evidence to terminate him with cause, that the evidence was “most probably sufficient to bring criminal charges” against him, and that Trinity would not disclose the evidence to the police if he would not file for unemployment, worker’s compensation or an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claim, the suit alleges.
Carra Crouch, until recently, worked at the TBN gift shop. She was fired, however, as part of what she calls a sweep by Paul and Jan Crouch against family members who are close to her sister, Koper.
 
We’ll check in periodically on this suit and others against TBN. Stay tuned.

 

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