A Look at Some Fallen Religious Leaders

Friday, November 3, 2006


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(11-03) 13:47 PST (AP) --

A look at a few of the major U.S. religious figures who lost their positions following allegations of sexual misconduct.

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James Bakker — Bakker left his PTL Ministries empire in 1987 after admitting an extramarital affair with Jessica Hahn, a former church secretary. He served five years in federal prison on fraud and conspiracy charges for illegally soliciting millions of dollars from followers.

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Jimmy Swaggart — Resigned from the Assemblies of God in 1988 after a fellow preacher released photos of Swaggart with a prostitute. In 1991, he was stopped for a traffic violation while driving in a red-light district in California with a woman who said she was a prostitute.

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The Rev. Henry J. Lyons — Lyons was forced out as leader of the National Baptist Convention USA after his then-wife set fire to a waterfront mansion he secretly owned with his mistress. He was convicted in 1999 of swindling millions of dollars from companies that wanted to do business with members of the denomination and was sentenced to five years in prison.

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Archbishop Eugene Marino — The Roman Catholic prelate from Atlanta resigned in 1990 after a two-year affair with a woman half his age. The woman claimed Marino performed a marriage ceremony for them in which the two exchanged rings.

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The Rev. Terry Hornbuckle — The founder of the Agape Christian Fellowship in Arlington, Texas, was sentenced in August to 15 years in prison for sexually assaulting two women churchgoers and a third woman. Two of the victims said the minister had drugged them.

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The Rev. Ted Haggard — The founder of New Life Church in Colorado resigned as pastor and as president of the National Association of Evangelicals after a gay prostitute claimed the two had drug-fueled sex regularly over three years. Haggard admitted he bought methamphetamine from the man and received a massage from him but denied that he used the drug and that the two had sex.

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