SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Trinity Broadcasting Network is responsible for the entire $2 million that a jury awarded to the granddaughter of the TV ministry founders over an alleged sexual abuse cover-up, a Southern California judge ruled.
Jurors who awarded the money to Carra Crouch last week held TBN liable for only $900,000. The panel found Crouch’s mother and a man who allegedly sexually assaulted Crouch responsible for the rest, although neither was named in the lawsuit.
In an order made public on Monday, Orange County Superior Court Judge Peter Wilson found that TBN’s corporate parent was on the hook for the entire amount, the Orange County Register (http://bit.ly/2rfgAOU) reported Tuesday.
Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana Inc. also was ordered to pay interest accruing at 10 percent per year until the amount was paid.
A message left Tuesday for TBN attorney Michael King was not immediately returned.
However, King said after the original June 5 jury award that TBN planned to appeal.
Crouch, now 24, said she was sexually assaulted and possibly raped when she was 13 by a 30-year-old Trinity employee in an Atlanta hotel room.
Crouch said that when she reported it to Jan Crouch, the man was fired, but the TBN co-founder blamed and berated her granddaughter and never reported the assault to authorities in order to avoid bad publicity.
The lawsuit said that as an ordained minister, Jan Crouch was required to report potential sexual abuse. However, King argued during trial that Carra Crouch did not approach her grandmother in her capacity as a minister.
The jury agreed but said her actions were still egregious.
Jan and her husband, Paul, both died in the years since the lawsuit was filed.
The Crouches founded TBN in 1973 and built it into an international Christian empire that beams prosperity gospel programming, which promises that if the faithful sacrifice for their belief, God will reward them with material wealth. The opulent sets and outfits on their broadcasts showed off the fruits of that wealth.
Their TV empire started showing cracks about five years ago, with allegations from members of their large extended family of financial shenanigans, including lavish spending on private jets and mansions.
Trinity has sold several multimillion-dollar homes, and its revenues dropped sharply between 2006 and 2014, the Register said, citing its most recent tax filings.