2nd Lawsuit Alleges Pastor Touched Teen

By Andrew Nelson
Jackson Clarion Ledger [Mississippi]
December 2, 2006

Another lawsuit alleging sexual assault has been filed against a Grenada church and its longtime pastor.

The Rev. Perry L. Montgomery of First New Hope Missionary Baptist Church is accused of rubbing against and fondling a then-17-year-old man in June 2003, according to a complaint filed Friday in Grenada County Circuit Court.

Montgomery's attorney, Robert Malouf of Jackson, denied the charges against his client.

"We deny the allegation and are suspicious about the origins," Malouf said.

Malouf would not elaborate on their suspicions. He said he had not read the complaint in detail.

Grenada attorney Carlos E. Moore, who is representing the accuser, said the "plaintiff is seeking an unspecified amount of money to compensate him ... as well as seeking a court ordered injunction to forbid Pastor Montgomery and First New Hope Missionary Baptist Church from committing such actions in the future."

The Clarion-Ledger does not identify victims of alleged sexual abuse.

Moore also said the plaintiff, who is no longer a member of the church, had filed a criminal affidavit in Grenada County Justice Court on Thursday against Montgomery. Attempts to confirm that with county officials Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Malouf said he was not aware of such an affidavit.

Montgomery also was accused of molesting a then 14-year-old boy in April. Both Montgomery and the church are named in that suit filed in July.

According to the complaint for the latest suit, the alleged victim, a member of the church at the time, was at Perry's home, the church parsonage, to wash church vans when Montgomery invited him inside to be paid. Montgomery, clad in an undershirt and boxer shorts, allegedly grabbed the teen and physically rubbed his body, fondled him and attempted to kiss him.

In the earlier suit, the other boy was also said to be at the parsonage, washing church vans, when the alleged abuse occurred, Moore has said.

Malouf said his client denies that allegation as well.

The church and Montgomery are accused of having "authorized, ratified, and promoted said continual repeated unlawful acts ... The Defendants used and abused their fiduciary relationship founded, at least in part, upon familiar relations to defraud these Plaintiffs of their valid claims ... in order to obstruct the administration of justice," according to the complaint.

Charlie Ross, a Jackson lawyer defending the church in the initial lawsuit, said Friday afternoon he could not comment because he had not seen the complaint.

A woman who said she was running the day care at the church Friday afternoon also would not comment.

Malouf said Montgomery had been pastor of the church since the 1960s. Until a few years ago, he was a full-time administrator for a local public school system. The church asked him to continue as pastor after the allegations in the initial case were made.

"It is his expectation that he will remain pastor," Malouf said.