Lawsuit Claims Abuse At The Hands Of Church Officials
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- A popular local church is being sued, accused of sexual abuse and manipulation. The allegations have been made against Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
The claims were made on behalf of four former female parishioners. According to the suit, the women were sexually exploited and abused during counseling sessions sponsored by the church. The lawsuit goes on to claim that this abuse was not an isolated incident. The plaintiffs accuse the church of recruiting woman for exploration, sexual battery and psychological and spiritual manipulation for nearly ten years.
The charges were filed against the church and specifically against Bishop Joseph Walker III who one woman claims participated and aided the abuse.
The church released this statement about the allegations:
"The only thing this action demonstrates is that anyone can sue, sometimes anonymously, no matter how ridiculous the claims nor how sensational the charges. It is truly sad that a church and its leaders can be attacked with such shocking and ugly charges when the apparent motive is to extract huge sums of money from the congregation and its leaders.
Mt. Zion is a welcoming, caring community. Its policy is that relationships between church staff and all others be appropriate and professional, and any failure to follow this policy can lead to a variety of disciplinary actions, just like any other responsible organization.
It appears this action is not a quest for truth or justice, but instead solely for money."
The suit was filed in Davidson County Courts on Friday.