Christian Family Values – Christian TV Network Plagued By Allegations Of Family Coverups Of Rape And Embezzlement
Two of the granddaughters of the cofounder of Trinity Broadcasting Network, the nation’s largest Christian TV network, are suing the network and their own family for allegations of wrongful termination over discovery of an embezzlement scheme and over a rape and coverup.
In March, Brittany Koper, granddaughter of Christian Trinity’s cofounder, Paul Crouch Sr. was fired from her high-ranking position with the network when she exposed “illegal financial schemes,” including lavish spending, highlighted by a $100,000 motorhome allegedly purchased for the family dogs. The total allegations total 10s of millions of dollars.
From the LA Times:
“She blew the whistle and got terminated,” said attorney Tymothy MacLeod, who filed the suit on behalf of Joseph McVeigh, the uncle of Koper’s husband, Michael Koper, who was himself a high-ranking TBN officer.
“Brittany has done the right thing. It’s admirable that someone on the inside of TBN has come forward and is revealing to the world exactly what is going on behind those closed doors,” MacLeod said. “No good deed goes unpunished at TBN.”
The suit claims that Koper was given the job of financial director because she was family. The assumption was that she would hide the spending, which included a $50 million personal jet for her grandfather.
On Friday, another granddaughter, Carra Crouch, filed a lawsuit in Orange County, CA. Her suit alleges that she was drugged and raped by an employee. She claims that the network tried to cover it up.
The complaint reads:
“During the telethon one evening, (employee Stephen) Smith approached plaintiff in the hotel and began talking to her about the telethon in general and how she thought everything was going. Smith coerced himself into plaintiff’s hotel room in order to further discuss the telethon and other relevant Trinity Broadcasting business activity. …
“Once in plaintiff’s room, Smith ordered a bottle of wine from room service on Trinity Broadcasting’s account. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that Trinity Broadcasting makes a regular practice of providing alcohol to its employees during business meetings. Smith proceeded to coerce the plaintiff to drink the wine in an attempt to get her intoxicated and plaintiff, in fact, drank the wine under duress and became intoxicated.
“Plaintiff began asking Smith to leave her room and he responded by giving her a glass of water to ‘help her feel better.’ Plaintiff drank the glass of water and passed out immediately. Plaintiff believes the water contained a date rape drug which caused her to pass out.
“Ms. Crouch awoke the next morning with Smith laying next to her, blood on her bed sheets, and severe pain and soreness in her body in places which indicated she had been molested and raped.
“Ms. Crouch locked herself in the bathroom and screamed at Smith to leave her room, which he eventually did. Ms. Crouch boarded a flight later that day back to her home in CA.”
The complaint continues:
“Ms. Crouch was distraught over what happened, and upon the advice of her mother, decided to talk with Jan and John about what happened.
“Plaintiff had a meeting with Jan in Jan’s TBN affiliate-owned mansion located in Newport Beach, CA where she told her everything that had happened. In response, Jan became furious and began screaming at Ms. Crouch, a thirteen-year-old girl, and began telling her ‘it is your fault.’ After being told by Jan Crouch that it was her fault she was raped, plaintiff approached John Casoria about the incident.
“John Casoria also became agitated at plaintiff and told her he did not believe what she was saying to be true. He elaborated by stating he further believed she was already sexually active ‘so it did not really matter’ and he ‘believed she may have propositioned him.’ Ms. Crouch, a thirteen-year-old girl, had not been sexually active and was absolutely devastated about what happened and about how John and Jan responded to her.”
“Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that Paul, Jan, and John actually did believe her accusations despite what they told her and fired Smith the next working day. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that Paul, Jan and John came up with a plan to lie to about their beliefs about what happened in order to intimidate Ms. Crouch so that they could ‘cover up’ the incident and make sure it was never reported to police authorities or to the media, which would have brought negative publicity to Trinity Broadcasting during their annual fund-raiser.
“Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that John fired Smith over the telephone in which he stated: (1) the termination is a decision passed down directly from the president’s office (meaning that the decision came directly from Paul Crouch, Sr.); (2) the termination will be without cause even though Trinity Broadcasting has gathered enough evidence to terminate Smith with cause; (3) the evidence is most probably sufficient to bring criminal charges against Smith; (4) Trinity Broadcasting would not disclose the evidence to the police if Smith would not file an EEOC claim, file for unemployment, or file for workers compensation. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that John may have used the threat of criminal prosecution to gain an advantage in a civil matter and may have violated Model Code of Professional Responsibility DR 7-105.
“Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that Paul, Jan and John were all ‘ordained ministers’ at the time of this incident and that they were mandated reporters under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act. Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges that neither Paul, Jan nor John made any report, as required, and in the alternative, deliberately covered up the incident to protect Trinity Broadcasting from negative publicity.
“Plaintiff was not permitted to talk to the police about the incident, and was not permitted to seek the counsel of any third parties or sex abuse counselors at the time.”
The family, including Crouch’s parents deny any knowledge of this version of the story, claiming that their daughter had relayed different versions to different people.
Crouch is seeking damages for battery, sexual battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence per se and negligence.