$500,000 civil award in pastor sex abuse case

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) – A Columbus woman who accused a local pastor of sexual abuse and rape won a $500,000 civil jury verdict against the man.

On June 9, 2021, a Muscogee County Superior Court jury found Pastor Lewis Clemons liable for the molestation, sexual battery and rape of Lequita Jackson, awarding her $500,000.

Jackson was one of many women who have accused Clemons of sexual abuse. Jackson’s suit was filed June 19, 2017. The case was tried for three days in Muscogee County Superior Court before Judge Ron Mullins.

Attorney Jeb Butler said the verdict gives victims validation.

“I know that for her, you know I gave her a big hug, when the verdict came back it was a huge relief and a huge validation that people did see through his lies and did believe her and the many other witnesses who had stepped forward.” said Butler.

In a statement from attorney Jeb Butler, who represented Jackson in the case, Butler said Jackson offered to settle the case for no monetary settlement if Clemons. Butler provided emails documenting the request and Lewis declining the request.

“We offered to settle this case with the defendant, Lewis Clemons, for zero dollars if he would make a video in which he acknowledged what he did to his victims and apologize for it,” said Clemons. “And he refused. So we went to trial and now he owes Lequita Jackson 500,000 dollars.”

According to Butler, Jackson and “several other women and girls” testified at the trial. In the statement, Butler writes, “Clemons would find a girl from a troubled background, gave them positions in his church so he could spend more one-on-one time with them, made increasingly sexual requests of them, justified his actions with scripture, asked them to “stimulate his nipples,” gave them a “body anointing” in which he had them strip down so that he could rub oil all over their bodies, and if he could establish enough control over the victim, went further to rape and other sexual abuse.”

Butler presented this information to the jury and painted the picture of how Clemons would repeat this process time and time again.

At the time the lawsuit was filed, Clemons refused to comment on the case to WRBL. News 3 reached out to Clemons, who represented himself in court, for comment and to see if he will be filing a appeal. He has yet to comment.

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