|[September 12, 2004]
TBN Response to the LA Times Article
TUSTIN, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- Sept. 12, 2004 -- The following is a statement from Trinity Broadcasting Network:
In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times reporting a story that Dr. Paul Crouch, the founder and president of Trinity Broadcasting Network, was allegedly involved in a wrongful termination and sexual harassment case in 1997 is deplorable and the scandalous claims leveled against him are false.
The accuser is a convicted felon and longtime drug abuser who has been imprisoned for years for serious crimes ranging from child sexual molestation to using illegal drugs such as crack cocaine. The accuser became involved with TBN through a drug rehabilitation program conducted on TBN's property. Upon his successful completion of the program, TBN gave him a chance by offering him employment.
Although the accuser fell back into drug abuse on more than one occasion during his employment, TBN extended grace to this man and kept him employed while he continued to seek rehabilitation and counseling. Finally, after being arrested for yet another drug related violation, he was found guilty of violating his probation and was returned to prison for a year. Upon his release from incarceration in 1997, he again sought employment with TBN and when TBN declined, he threatened to sue TBN by alleging wrongful termination and sexual harassment, directing his most salacious allegations towards Dr. Crouch personally.
In an effort to address this matter in 1997, Dr. Crouch sought the advice and counsel of some trusted advisers, attorneys and spiritual leaders. The consensus viewpoint was that it would be better for TBN and Dr. Crouch to reach a financial settlement rather than to fight the accuser in court. This course of action was deemed less expensive and would avoid the bad publicity, time and effort that it would take to fight the false claims. Dr. Crouch reluctantly agreed to this advice with the understanding that the accuser would go away and leave both he and TBN alone forever. The importance of the settlement does not rest on the money paid, but rather on Dr. Crouch's vehement denial of the allegations made against him as well as the agreement of the accuser to keep confidential and refrain from repeating his false claims and accusations. Most importantly, at no time were ministry funds used in any portion of this settlement.
In violation of his agreement, and in an attempt to extract yet more money from TBN and Dr. Crouch, in late 2003, the accuser threatened to shop an autobiographical manuscript to the media should TBN and Dr. Crouch not agree to buy the manuscript for an exorbitant sum of money. Rather than even contemplating a second round of what Dr. Crouch considered extortion, and with the support of his present advisers and attorneys, Dr. Crouch and TBN fought the accuser in court where the accuser and his false claims were soundly defeated.
It is this litigation that is covered in the Los Angeles Times story. Dr. Crouch and TBN's only regret is that they did not take swift legal action to defeat these false claims seven years ago. Having not done so then, they have done so now.
It is a reprehensible fact of modern life that public persons like Dr. Crouch are targets of such dishonest, false and scandalous claims. The lifelong ministry of Dr. Crouch has been to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world. The good works of TBN are what define Dr. Crouch and it is this work that will continue to define him. As such, Dr. Crouch will continue to respond to God's call on his life as president of TBN, bringing to bear his own personality, integrity, enthusiasm and talent.
We request that all of TBN's partners and supporters pray for Paul and Jan as they weather yet another attack on their ministry and personal lives. This storm will pass and as the scriptures most aptly proclaim, "Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
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