Woman claims pastor compelled her to consent to sexual encounters

By Andrea Dearden | Feb 12, 2013

A Madison woman says a pastor took advantage of his role as a spiritual counselor in order to have sex with her.
Jane Doe filed a lawsuit Jan. 31 in Madison County Circuit Court against Rev. Donald Sanford and Canaan Galilee Missionary Baptist Church.

Rev. Sanford was the pastor at Canaan Baptist Church in Madison when Doe became a parishioner in January 2012, according to the complaint. Shortly thereafter, she says Rev. Sanford counseled her on various personal issues. The plaintiff claims in April 2012 Rev. Sanford made sexual advances toward her. She alleges the pastor's position of authority compelled her to consent to several encounters.

Rev. Sanford is accused of sexual assault and battery, infliction of emotional distress and negligence. The church is accused of negligence in hiring Rev. Sanford.

Doe asks for $2.25 million in damages for medical expenses, loss of income and court costs. She is represented by attorneys Eugene K. Hollander, Paul W. Ryan and Gina M. Smith of Chicago.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-160 

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