Minister accused of raping teen 20 years ago

April 09, 1994|By Norris P. West | Norris P. West,Sun Staff Writer

A 35-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit claiming she was raped by a minister more than two decades ago and had repressed memories of the incident until they rushed back on Easter last year.

The suit, filed in Baltimore Circuit Court, seeks $140 million in compensatory and punitive damages against the minister and the Church of God of Cleveland, Tenn., which has more than 500,000 members.

Gary I. Strausberg, the woman's lawyer, said the woman was about 14 years old when she was allegedly molested and raped by Daniel Robinson Sr., who was a youth minister at the Brooklyn Church of God, in the 3800 block of 9th St. in Baltimore.

The suit says that the girl agreed to baby-sit for Mr. Robinson's children in exchange for piano lessons. He began molesting her and later raped her in his church-owned residence, the suit says.

He apologized later, but when she baby-sat for his children again, he exposed himself, the suit says. He threatened to hurt her if she talked about either incident, it says.

Mr. Robinson, who now lives in Chicago, could not be reached for comment.

Phyllis Sustar, a spokeswoman for the church's headquarters in Tennessee, said the church had no knowledge of the incident and would not comment.

The suit accuses Mr. Robinson of assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment.

Claims against the church include negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

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