Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Sep. 9, 2013, 4:50pm

The plaintiff in a sexual harassment case against a pastor denied the affirmative defenses filed by the Canaan Galilee Missionary Baptist Church on Aug. 28.

Madison County Chief Judge David Hylla has scheduled a case management conference for Oct. 30 at 9:30 a.m.

According to plaintiff Jane Doe’s complaint, Rev. Donald Sanford allegedly made sexual advances toward her after she sought counseling for “various types of secular issues.”

She alleges in her complaint that the pastor’s position of authority compelled her to consent to several encounters.

Sanford denied all allegations made by Doe in his answer to the suit. He also seeks to have the complaint dismissed and his costs paid.

The Canaan Galilee Missionary Baptist Church was also named a co-defendant. In its answer seeking dismissal, it claims that any contact that may have occurred between Doe and Sanford was consensual. It argues that Doe failed to state a cause of action, “because no legally recognized fiduciary or otherwise ‘special’ relationship existed” between the plaintiff or defendants.

Doe seeks a judgment of more than $50,000.

Robert Elovitz of Edwardsville represents Sanford.

Steven J. Hughes and Natalie J. Higgins of Pitzer Snodgrass in St. Louis represent the church.

Eugene K. Hollander, Paul W. Ryan and Gina M. Smith of Chicago represent Doe.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 13-L-160

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