Her father, heir apparent to the Trinity Broadcasting Network empire, was addicted to pornography; she caught her mother performing sex acts on another man, and was encouraged to be promiscuous; and she had several unplanned pregnancies that ended in abortion, attorneys for Trinity said on Monday.
Carra Crouch, granddaughter of the late Jan and Paul Crouch, stared straight ahead, fidgeting her foot as Trinity attorney Michael King told the newly-impaneled jury that she did drugs, cut herself and was a deeply troubled youth before that day in April 2006 that she claims changed her life. Carra Crouch, King said, simply seeks Trinity’s money.
After five years of dizzying legal maneuvers and thousands of court filings that cleaved the first family of Christian broadcasting to pieces, a trial that promises to brutally air the family’s dirty laundry got under way in Orange County Superior Court.
Carra Crouch said she was sexually assaulted by a TBN employee at a Praise-A-Thon fundraiser when she was 13 years old. Her late grandmother, TBN co-founder Jan Crouch, had accompanied her on the trip. Carra Crouch said she smoked a cigarette, drank alcohol and watched a movie on her bed with a 30-year-old man, and that the man fondled her, tried to kiss her, and gave her a glass of water that she suspects was laced with a drug that made her pass out, according to her lawsuit against Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, the nonprofit that runs the Christian broadcasting empire TBN. When she awoke, she suspected she had been raped.
As an ordained minister, Jan Crouch was required to report the suspected assault to authorities as per California’s mandatory reporting laws, Crouch claims. Instead, Jan Crouch screamed that it was all Carra’s fault, and no reports were made, her attorneys said.
“We will show how Jan Crouch – Carra’s own flesh and blood grandmother, matriarch and leader of the world’s largest televangelist television program, pastor and spiritual leader of that family – how when she heard what had occurred, didn’t offer comfort or spiritual healing. She yelled at her. Berated her. Castigated her. She blamed her. She shamed her,” said Crouch’s attorney, David Keesling.