Case details

Minister emotionally berated rape victim, suit alleged





Result type

Not present

emotional distress, mental, psychological
In April 2006, plaintiff Carra Crouch, 13, attended a Praise-A-Thon fundraiser in Atlanta with her grandmother, the late televangelist Jan Crouch. Carra claimed that one night, she smoked a cigarette, drank alcohol, and watched a movie in her hotel room bed with a 30-year-old employee of the Trinity Christian Center. She claimed the employee fondled her and tried to kiss her. She also claimed that he gave her water and that when she awoke, she suspected that she had been raped. Two days later, Carra told her grandmother about the alleged incident. However, Jan Crouch never reported the alleged incident to the police. Carra sued the employers of the alleged assailant, Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana Inc. and Trinity Broadcasting Network; Trinity’s attorney who was also at the Praise-A-Thon, John Casoria; and her grandmother, Jan Crouch. Carra claimed that after she woke up after drinking the water that the 30-year-old Trinity employee gave her, she believed that the employee tainted the water with a drug that made her pass out. She also claimed that she suspected she had been raped. Carra alleged that two days after the incident, she went to her grandmother for comfort and protection, but that, instead, Jan Crouch yelled at her and berated her. She contended that Jan Crouch, as an ordained minister, was legally required to report the incident under California’s mandatory reporting laws, but that her grandmother never called police because she was more concerned about the “bad press.” The alleged employee was never arrested, and he was not named as a defendant in this case or in the rape case that Carra filed against Trinity Christian Center in 2012. Jan Crouch was ultimately dismissed from the subject case, and Casoria was let out on summary judgment. In addition, Carra’s claims of negligent retention and negligent supervision against the Trinity entities were dismissed from the case on summary judgment. Thus, the matter continued against the Trinity entities only on the claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence per se for failing to report the alleged incident. Trinity’s counsel argued that there was no evidence that Jan Crouch, who died in May 2016, yelled at Carra or berated her. In addition, counsel argued that Carra went to Jan Crouch as a grandmother, and not as a minister, and that Trinity had no obligation to do anything in this case., Carra had a number of issues growing up, but she claimed the subject incidents impacted her and caused her to have issues such that she had have two abortions and was raped several other times. She also claimed the subject incident impacted subsequent sexual encounters, caused her to abuse drugs and alcohol, and made her unable to have relationships with men. Carra is now 24 years old and has one child. However, she claimed that she continues to suffer from severe emotional distress as a result of the incidents. She alleged she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Thus, Carra sought recovery of $6 million in damages for her past and future emotional pain and suffering. Trinity’s counsel noted although the plaintiff’s expert psychiatrist suggested that Carra would require future therapy, the court excluded claims of any future medical costs. The defense’s psychiatric expert opined that Carra’s alleged emotional distress was not a result of the subject incident, i.e., her grandmother yelling at her.
Superior Court of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA

Recommended Experts


Get a FREE consultation for your case