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.
“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.”
Both Jan Crouch and John Casoria are ordained ministers, and as such, are legally required to report suspected child abuse to authorities under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, the suit says. No report was made, and TBN “deliberately covered up the incident to protect Trinity Broadcasting from negative publicity,” it alleges.
Carra Crouch 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, and has suffered severe emotional distress as a result, according to the suit.
We at The Watchdog corresponded with Trinity’s attorney, Colby May, about Crouch’s allegations before the suit was filed.
“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 said Wednesday that the complaint has not yet been served on Trinity, but that Trinity vehemently denies the allegations and believes them to be frivolous. 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.”
This suit — alleging sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence – is the latest, explosive salvo in a legal battle raging among TBN family members. Carra Crouch is the younger sister of Brittany Koper, who has accused the mighty Christian broadcaster of playing fast and loose with the ministry’s millions, and provided internal documents to back up her claims. Read More