TV Evangelist Steps Down Amid Sex Case

<i> from Associated Press</i>

Television evangelist Garner Ted Armstrong has stepped down as head of his ministry amid allegations from a Texas woman that he sexually assaulted her during two massage sessions in July.

Suerae Robertson, a licensed vocational nurse in Tyler, filed the lawsuit Wednesday in a state district court in Tyler, accusing Armstrong, 64, of making lewd demands and trying to force her to fulfill them.

Armstrong stepped aside Nov. 11 as head of the Pasadena, Calif.-based Church of God International and his weekly TV program, a church official said.

“He has voluntarily removed himself from the ministerial and ecclesiastical activities of this ministry,” the church official said, adding that Armstrong could return in the future. No successor was immediately appointed.


A statement faxed to the Associated Press and signed by Armstrong said: “The allegations of sexual assault are totally false. The proper forum for proving that these allegations are false is in the courts.”