Former Pastor of Church of The Highlands Sues For Defamation Against Sexual Assault Accuser

AL. COM reported that the former pastor Micahn Carter of the Church of the Highlands is fighting back against a sexual assault made against him in 2021. The case sees him accused by a former employee of the church of sexual assault, an incident that cost him his employment with the church and reputation.

In the article, it says that the Carter is maintaining his denial of the allegations and that he is asking for over $500,000 in damages. The counsel for Carter said that “Accusing somebody of rape is devastating” and that the damages done by such action would be hard to calculate.

As for the damages prayed for by Carter’s side, it says that the alleged accusation cost the pastor his contracts and speaking engagements. In addition, the side is claiming for mental anguish, humiliation, and embarrassment. Further, Carter alleges that the accusation “follows him around like a cloud.”

Sexual Assault Allegations Against Former Pastor Micahn Carter

According to the same article, the person alleging the sexual assault and the defendant in the defamation case is Mary E. Jones of Washington. Allegedly, she was sexually assaulted by Carter in April of 2019 at the Together Church in Yakima, Washington. During this time, carter was the lead pastor of the church and Jones was a church employee.

Jones published a blog, alleging the events of sexual harassment and rape that happened at the church. Shortly after, the church removes Carter from its organization.

When the event came to light, Carter did not outright deny the allegations, calling it an “inappropriate incident.” He added that what transpired was consensual between the parties. However, the case filed by Jones maintains that it was sexual assault.

The legal counsel of Jones, Marc Ayers filed a motion to dismiss with the Jefferson County Circuit Court on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction. The defense argues that the court has no jurisdiction over Jones who does not reside in Alabama and that neither the incident nor correspondence between the two parties happened in the state.

Ayers added that the side of Carter is attacking the plaintiff with personal attacks in their response instead of answering the motion to dismiss. The court is set to hear the motion on November 14 of this year.

Read Also: Debates on Theology, Sexuality Fuel Division Within United Methodist Church – Report

Church of the Highlands

According to the church page, it is a place for everyone, whether they’re new to the church or have been a Christian for a long time. It says that the church aims to provide fresh and enjoyable experience on top of an “enjoyable connection to God.”

Senior pastor and Founder Chris Hodges continue to serve the church. From its beginnings in 2001, the church has seen growth all over the state of Alabama as a part of the Association of Related Churches or ARC wherein the pastor is also a co-founder.

He is also the founder of “Grow,” an organization dedicated to training and equipping pastors to have the tools that they need to establish churches. Further, he is the founder and Chancellor of the Highlands College.

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