A year ago, Premsuda Jantarapet, a 42-year-old Thai woman living in Parma, accused Rev. Richard Manning of raping her several times, then threatening to have her deported if she squealed. Manning, Parma Baptist Church's pastor, denied raping her but admitted sleeping with her -- despite the very inconvenient fact that he'd been married for almost 20 years.
A jury believed the pastor: he was acquitted last summer ("What would Jesus Say
?" August 23, 2006). But Jantarapet hopes a civil jury will see things her way. She recently sued Manning, accusing him of using his position of authority to gain her trust and then forcing himself on her.
(Manning's lawyer, Sean Allen, says it was Jantarapet that befriended Manning, who "vehemently denies" forcing himself on the woman).
But Jantarapet's suit doesn't stop at the pastor: She also blames the church for hiring Manning in the first place. The 48-year-old pastor was fired from an international ministry job in 1998, the lawsuit claims. The offense: sleeping with a parishioner.
All of which makes C-Notes wonder: Does that collection plate have a return policy? -- Joe P. Tone