In 2017, Lequita Jackson and Lakisha Smith, both in their 30s, made some damning accusations against apostle Lewis Clemons of Kingdom Awareness Ministries International in Columbus, Georgia. They said he used his authority to sexually abuse them and that he had been doing this since one of them (Jackson) was 15.
Jackson, who is now married with two children of her own, said she was so traumatized by her experience, it took her five years before she was able to open up to her husband about what she endured.
“He was a sexual predator who needed to be stopped. I just kind of accepted it at that age,” said Jackson, who is trying to ban Clemons from the pulpit with the lawsuit along with other demands.
Some of that abuse involved rubbing oil over their bodies in order to “anoint” them. There was also more physical interaction. He even supposedly paid for Jackson’s abortions.
Jackson was the one who filed a lawsuit against him, and it’s been working its way through the court system ever since. There was a point when Clemons could have settled the case without any money exchanging hands. All he had to do was publicly apologize for “sexually abusing and raping his former congregant.”
He said no.
So there was a trial. And Clemons lost. And now he owes Jackson’s side $500,000.
On Wednesday, a jury in the Superior Court of Muscogee County ruled in favor of Jackson and imposed a $500,000 verdict against him.
“Lequita Jackson is a wonderful client and it was an honor to provide her with her day in court,” Jackson’s attorney, Jeb Butler of Butler Law Firm, said in a statement to The Christian Post on Thursday. “Lewis Clemons is a liar and a fraud, and I hope neither my client nor I have to see him again for as long as he lives.”
Fellow attorney Morgan Lyndall praised Jackson for her strength in standing up to Clemons and noted that she hopes “the verdict sent a message that sexual assault and rape are never OK.”
Butler and Lyndall argued at the trial that Clemons would “find a girl from a troubled background, gave them positions in his church so he could spend more one-on-one time with them, made increasingly sexual requests of them, justified his actions with scripture, asked them to ‘stimulate his nipples,’ gave them a ‘body anointing’ in which he had them strip down so that he could rub oil all over their bodies.”
It took the jury just 90 minutes of deliberation to come to that conclusion. The witnesses at the trial were that convincing. And yet it’s possible Jackson’s side will get nothing because Clemons may not have the money.
Butler said he does not know what Clemons is doing now. “He’s just sort of bouncing around,” he said. “I don’t know if he’s still preaching or not.”
If we’ve learned anything from people like him, it’s that they can always bounce from one ministry to the next. If he claims it’s where God wants him to be, some people won’t dare to stand up against him.
(via Joe. My. God.)