Several COGIC clergy sexual abuse trials have reached the courts. Two have been concluded, two are yet to be tried. Here are the updates:
1. Maryland – A woman who filed a 100 million dollar civil lawsuit against COGIC as a result of the case of former Elder Tony Malbrough. Marlbrough was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. A judge dismissed the case because the woman did not show up in court. No reason has been given for the woman’s no show.
2. North Carolina – The families of five victims of former COGIC music minister Leonard Smith sued COGIC, Inc, its member jurisdiction and a local church for civil damages. Smith was convicted of the crimes and sentenced to 16 years in prison. But the civil trial jury returned a verdict exonerating all defendants. Statue of limitation issues, not culpability, may have played a factor in the verdict.
3. Texas – The trial of former COGIC evangelism department vice president Sherman Allen has been delayed once again. Lawyers for COGIC had sought to exclude testimony from the Rev. Al Sharpton. Its not known whether they were successful. Sharpton’s testimony could draw media attention to the trial COGIC officials hope to avoid. After another motion was filed the case was pushed back to December 18th.
4. Washington – A lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court is moving forward despite years of delay tactics by COGIC lawyers. A Jane Doe alleges that Pastor Charles Smith sexually abused her as a child. A significant development in the case: A paternity test on the defendant came back positive. Read a review of the available legal outline.