Bishop James L’Keith Jones, head of one of the largest African-American Christian churches in the United States, has been accused of sexually assaulting a female member of the congregation for more than 20 years.
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Kimberly Pollard, who is now 37, filed a $12.2-million lawsuit against the Church of God in Christ and Bishop Jones, accusing the church of allowing her to be sexually assaulted by the high-ranking bishop for over two decades. According to court docs, Pollard, from Lubbock, Texas, claims that Jones not only groomed her into their sexual relationship and extra-marital affair, which began in 1995, but also tried to groom her 6-year-old daughter, telling her she looked ‘sexy’ and that he would wait until she was 18 to date her, the Daily Mail reports.
Pollard also says she attempted to end the relationship several times, and even suggested that she confess her sins to the church, but Jones told her that no one would believe her allegations because of his high rank in the organization. The bishop was reportedly furious with Pollard six years ago when she became pregnant with a child that wasn’t his. But his disappointment didn’t last long. Pollard says that in February of this year, Jones sent her 6-year-old child a video message in which he said, “You look very sexy in your night-gown.”
The Grievance Committee of the Board of Bishops launched an investigation into Pollard’s claims, but decided not to move forward with the trial. In her lawsuit, Pollard has demanded $6 million in non-economic damages and $100,000 in economic damages for the alleged abuse she faced, and another $6.1 million for the damage done to her daughter, according to the report.
The current head of the church, Bishop Charles E Blake Sr., was appointed by President Obama to serve on his 25-person White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
SOURCE: Daily Mail | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter