JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL: A civil law suit was filed in Houston against popular gospel singer James Fortune and his wife Cheryl Fortune for child abuse. According to MyFoxHouston, in 2001, James Fortune abused his stepson, aged four at the time, by beating the child while he was naked with a switch and holding him down in a tub of scalding water for coloring on the table at school. The boy was life-flighted to Shriner’s Burn Hospital, where he remained for 63 days with second and third degree burns over 74 percent of this body, MyFoxHouston reports.
Fortune reportedly pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child in 2003 and received six years of deferred adjudication. Now the teen’s (now 15) biological father has filed a $5 million lawsuit to cover the costs of additional plastic surgery to correct the disfigurement stemming from the abuse.
How can one evolve from a hardened criminal into a person of such high standing in the religious community? James Fortune is also the former choir director at Houston’s Higher Dimension Church, MyFoxHouston reports. You see, this is why many people are turned off by organized religion. They are too quick to forget the terror James Fortune unleashed on this child. Cheryl Fortune is a disgrace for allowing her son to be abused and not taking steps to protect him, including filing for a divorce from her child’s abuser. If James Fortune could do that to a child, what would he do to his wife? Shameful. James Fortune should be behind bars for horrors he inflicted on this child and Cheryl Fortune should be right there with him too.
UPDATE#1 (06/26/12): James Fortune issued the following statement:
James Fortune has released a statement on child abuse allegations:
“I recently became aware of a civil suit pending against my wife, Cheryl Fortune and I, for an incident that occurred in 2001 involving my stepson. There was a criminal investigation and all matters were resolved in 2003. Since that time, my family and I, including my stepson, have continued with family traditions and always have a loving family environment.We are shocked by this lawsuit but understand people are free to use the court system to pursue claims, whether they contain merit or baseless matters. We are confident through this process, if it proceeds to a judge or jury, the ultimate decision maker will render a decision that is favorable to the circumstances and timing surrounding this situation. We believe in our American justice system and know it will work for us as it has for millions of other Americans. I love all my children, including my stepson, and I ask for your prayers as we deal with this matter privately. Thank you for your continued support for me, my family, and ministry.” Source: Eurweb