Madison church settles sexual harassment suit

By Ann Maher | Mar 26, 2014


Canaan Galilee Missionary Baptist Church in Madison has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a parishioner.

Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder noted the settlement in an order Feb. 26. A stipulation will be filed with the court at a later time.

Crowder noted that Rev. Donald Sanford remains a defendant in the case filed last year by plaintiff Jane Doe.

Doe alleges Sanford made sexual advances while she sought counseling for “various types of secular issues.” She alleges that the pastor’s position of authority compelled her to consent to several encounters, which Sanford denied.

The church had previously argued that any contact that may have occurred between Doe and Sanford was consensual.

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

Crowder scheduled a case management conference for Sanford on April 30.

The church is set for status conference on Aug. 20.

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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