At long last, Pastor Ernest Angley, the 98-year-old head of Grace Cathedral church in Akron, Ohio who admitted to having gay sex with one of his staffers in an audio recording obtained by the Akron Beacon Journal, has settled a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse.
The settlement includes a non-disparagement clause, which means neither side will be able to trash-talk the other in the future. It may be good news for the man who brought the lawsuit assuming he got money in the settlement, but it’s yet another instance of Angley avoiding true accountability for his actions.
As we’ve posted in the past, his career has been marred by a series of unethical and illegal actions.
Just a few years ago, members of his church sued Angley for never paying them despite working at his for-profit Cathedral Buffet restaurant. They were considered volunteers, but that’s illegal for the same reason McDonald’s can’t hire “volunteers” to prepare your food: If customers can’t tell the different between paid and unpaid staffers, something’s wrong. Sadly, Angley eventually won the case when an Appeals Court said the minimum wage laws only applied if employees expected to get paid, and these volunteers didn’t.
In 2017, a county government sued Angley on behalf of a 76-year-old woman with dementia who they said was coerced into writing his church a check for $340,000.
That same week, he was sued over a defaulted $3.6 million loan for his broadcasting network.
The case that was settled last week involves a former staffer, Brock Miller, who sued for sexual abuse that occurred over the course of several years. When Miller resigned from the church, Angley’s staff told the congregation he was a liar, drug addict, alcoholic, and an adulterer.
But the allegations were mindblowing.
The first allegation of sexual misconduct Miller alleges in his lawsuit happened just prior to his wedding. Still a virgin at age 19, he had questions about sex that he wanted answered. He naturally went to Angley.
“And instead of giving me an answer like a pastor should, he said, well, I’m going to have to see your penis,” Miller recalled. “I trusted this man, I really did. I trusted him. I didn’t think he had any bad intentions.”
Angley advised Brock to masturbate. He complied.
Years later, when Brock’s wife became ill, Angley, he said, blamed the couple’s sex life. He ordered more special massages… just for Brock.
Brock’s moment of clarity came in Angley’s bedroom during another anointing. Laying in Angley’s circular bed, Miller naked, as usual.
“He said, ‘I’d really like to teach you how to give a good [passionate kiss] and I said, instantly, I said, No! No! And it was just like the veil was completely lifted from my eyes and I saw him in that moment for the monster that he is.”
After all that trauma, I hope Miller got the closure he needed. But terms of the settlement aside, this hardly seems like a fair punishment considering how much damage Angley has caused throughout his life.
(Screenshot via YouTube. Portions of this article were published earlier)