CA COGIC lawsuit alleges unusual sex demands by Barrett

**an exclusive report**

Report COGIC Abuse has obtained a copy of the civil lawsuits filed by two California women against a  former Administrative Assistant to Bishop George McKinney, Southern California 2nd Jurisdiction.

The twin 28 page lawsuits names COGIC, Inc., Donald K. Barrett, his wife Ruth Barrett,  So California 2nd Jurisdiction, Greater Gospel Center COGIC, New Directions COGIC and DOES 1-50 as defendants.

Among the charges cited in the 1st suit are Assault and Battery, Intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud and constructive fraud. The 2nd suit alleges assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, physical abuse of a dependent adult and financial abuse of a dependent adult.

The Barrett case represents yet another unseemly blight on the reputation of the nation’s largest black pentecostal denomination. In 2009, COGIC presiding Bishop Charles Blake admitted to the church’s General Assembly that on average COGIC annually pays out almost 1 million dollars to settle sex abuse cases [source].

At the crux of the problem are male leaders who use their authority, influence, talents and at times brute force to rape, molest, and sexually devastate men, women and children of both genders. The problem is fairly expansive involving every level of leadership the church has in place.  Additionally, COGIC clergy sexual abuse cases have been cited in 29 different states. See more here and here.

Denominational leaders have not been aggressive in dealing with sexual crimes committed by clergy and in many cases have turned a blind eye. Recent developments still show an unwillingness to tender justice to victims via a more comprehensive victims advocacy policy.  Instead, the church has an ineffective institutional policy advising churches on how to protect themselves.

What the suit alleges

The women who filed the lawsuits against Barrett allege that he coerced them into sexual relationships after one woman went to him in late 2009 for counseling and revealed to him that she had been sexually molested as a child.

Ingar Jones’ complaint says that Barrett ensured her that COGIC, Inc was “in the business of protecting victims of sexual abuse, (2) that they intended to protect her from abuse and (3) that they could be trusted with the details of her most intimate and private matters relating to past instances of abuse.”

She alleges that Barrett further ensured her that he had extensive experience in helping victims of childhood sexual abuse.

After she confided in him, she alleges Barrett informed her that she would have to “have sexual relations with another female parishioner, while he watched, in order to overcome the emotional issues caused by past incidences of sexual abuse.”

Some time later, another female member of the church was brought into the situation and at locations both on and off church property, Barrett engaged in sexual activity with the two women.

The two women allege that Barrett forced them to perform lesbian sex acts while he watched. Over the course of a year, the woman alleges that Barrett became increasingly controlling and abusive. According to the suit, this culminated in September 2010 when Barrett punched and choked her while calling her “dyke” and b[expletive]. This resulted in “not less than $25,000 in injuries to the woman’s neck and torso”.

The lawsuit further alleges that after the fact, Ruth Barrett attempted to get them to sign a statement of release from liability signifying that she was aware of the crimes her husband had committed and was complicit in her attempt to cover it up.

According to additional court documents, the second woman, Barbara Harris (identified by California law as a “dependent adult”) was also a sexual abuse victim as a child, a victim of rape and at some point attempted suicide. Harris first met Barrett at his church in Harvey, IL where he served as the pastor.

Harris’ suit further alleges that through blackmail and intimidation, Barrett forced her to make him her representative payee for her Social Security Disability Income. According to her complaint, Barrett refused to give her money until she gave in to his sexual demands which included going to “sex clubs” with him, and arranging “sex parties” for him. When she refused to participate one time, Harris alleges Barrett struck her in the face with his fist causing a bloody nose.  He further threatened to call child protective services and have her children removed and have her Section 8 housing revoked. Barrett told her that if she ever came forward  “nobody would believe her and he would take all necessary steps to publicly discredit her.”

Washing hands of negligence?

COGIC has in several cases allowed sexual abusers to “walk away” from the denomination and continue on with “ministry” under another name.   Barrett, if proven guilty, will be another example of this. Barrett was allowed to continue pastoring and using COGIC’s name and image without the denomination ever disclosing what they knew about him. This is the “negligence” that both lawsuits allege against COGIC, Inc and Southern California 2nd.

Barrett represented himself as an authority and an expert on sexual abuse recovery but like most abusers used that as an avenue of legitimacy to ensnare his victims.

The Barrett case contains all the classic signs of clergy sexual abuse:  intimidation, threats, force, deception and charisma.

If you or someone you know has been victimized by a member of COGIC’s clergy, dont remain silent. Silence allows abusers to continue their pattern of deception with more victims. Often, they will not stop until exposed.

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