Texas church named in W.Va. lawsuit

October 17, 2011 2:46:46 AM PDT
A woman who says she was raped by a Texas clergyman in West Virginia is suing his church, claiming church elders should have known their pastor had a criminal background.

The Charleston Gazette said the lawsuit names Open Door Baptist Church in Mesquite, Texas, where Matthew Jarrell was its head pastor. He was accused in May of sexually assaulting the woman.

Jarrell was arrested and days later was found hanging in his jail cell.

The lawsuit states that Jarrell had been awaiting trial on rape charges in San Antonio. He also had had other brushes with the law, including an arrest in Baltimore for attempting to pick up a prostitute.

The woman is suing the church for damages. She is identified in court papers by her initials.

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