Woman files multi-million dollar lawsuit, claims minister molested her for years
HOUSTON—A former United Methodist Minister is named in a multi-million dollar civil suit filed by a woman who claims that she was sexually abused for years while senior church members failed to take any action to prevent it.
“He had complete control over my mind and my body,” said the woman referred to as Jane Doe in court documents.
Doe read from a prepared statement at her Houston attorney’s office.
“We lived as husband and wife in private, but in public I had to call him daddy,” she said.
The suit alleges that Kendall Graham and his wife invited the victim to move in with them when she was 10 years old after her mother had died.
At the time, Graham was serving as a United Methodist Minister for a church in Port Arthur. The suit claims Graham began to sexually abuse the victim when she was 14, and that he even made a video tape of the two of them having sex while he was serving as the pastor of Boynton United Methodist Church in southeast Houston. All the while, he told church members that he was Jane Doe’s father, the suit alleged.
The victim’s attorney stated that church members complained to high-ranking church officials about what appeared to be inappropriate contact between Graham and the victim during a church-sponsored trip to Jamaica.
“This guy was a predator and he was praying a Jane Doe,” said Harrison Fisher. “And the church didn’t take any steps to protect her.”
The lawsuit seeks $25 million in damages and blames the United Methodist Church for what it calls gross negligence.
Church officials said the Bishop found out about the allegations last August when she met with the victim. Following that meeting the Bishop ordered Graham to surrender his credentials and fired him.
“We remain committed to the support and protection of children, and we pray for a compassionate resolution to this painful and difficult situation,” Bishop Janice Riggle Huie said in a released statement.
Eventually Graham’s wife divorced him.
In 2009, Jane Doe gave birth to a child and married the man who had raised her as a daughter.
Graham filed for divorce last year.
A woman who answered the door at Graham’s Missouri City home identified herself as his mother. She said her son wasn’t capable of molesting a child.
Graham’s attorney refused to do an interview, but said Jane Doe might be angry over the fact that Graham was divorcing her.