April 01, 2005

Amended suit filed against church leaders

The Register-Guard

By Jeff Wright
The Register-Guard

An amended lawsuit filed Thursday accuses two top Pentecostal Church of God officials of counseling a young rape victim against going to police, instead urging her to travel out of state to face her perpetrator and other church officials in a "church-conducted tribunal."

The two accused church leaders - Harold Gore of Drain and Jamie Joiner of Kennewick, Wash. - said the charges are inaccurate and that the revised lawsuit is an attempt to win a larger settlement. The out-of-state meeting never happened because the victim backed out at the last minute.

Gore is bishop of the denomination's Oregon-Southern Idaho district. Joiner is bishop of the denomination's adjoining Pacific Northwest district and an assistant general superintendent on the church's 12-member national executive board based in Joplin, Mo.

The revised suit, filed in Lane County Circuit Court, is the latest wrinkle involving Charles Fenwick Jr., who was sentenced last August to five years in prison, the maximum term, for sexually abusing the female parishioner, beginning when she was 14.

Posted by kshaw at April 1, 2005 06:38 PM