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mahatmakanejeeves

(58,711 posts)
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 04:04 PM Jul 9

Lawyer for megachurch pastor blamed 12-year-old for initiating 'inappropriate' sexual conduct

Source: NBC News

EXCLUSIVE
U.S. NEWS
Lawyer for megachurch pastor blamed 12-year-old for initiating ‘inappropriate’ sexual conduct
Letters sent in 2007 by a lawyer for Robert Morris shed light on how the pastor explained his past sexual behavior with a child — and who else might have known about it.

July 9, 2024, 9:00 AM EDT / Updated July 9, 2024, 2:40 PM EDT
By Mike Hixenbaugh and Antonia Hylton

In 1982, pastor Robert Morris was a 21-year-old husband and father who traveled the country telling young people about Jesus. … Cindy Clemishire was a 12-year-old girl who dressed in flowery pink pajamas and still liked to play with Barbie dolls.

On Christmas that year, Morris — who would go on to found Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, and become a leading figure in the American evangelical movement — began what he would later describe as “inappropriate sexual behavior” with Clemishire while he was staying at her parents’ home in Oklahoma. Clemishire said Morris told her to come see him in his room before bed, and she was the type of girl who listened to instructions from trusted adults.

But 25 years later, when Clemishire hired an attorney and threatened to sue Morris, accusing him of repeatedly molesting her as a child, a lawyer representing Morris responded by blaming Clemishire for what happened to her, according to 2007 correspondence obtained by NBC News.

“It was your client,” wrote lawyer J. Shelby Sharpe, referring to Clemishire at age 12, “who initiated inappropriate behavior by coming into my client’s bedroom and getting in bed with him, which my client should not have allowed to happen.”

For more on this story, watch NBC’s “Nightly News with Lester Holt” tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/rcna160661

61 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Lawyer for megachurch pastor blamed 12-year-old for initiating 'inappropriate' sexual conduct (Original Post) mahatmakanejeeves Jul 9 OP
Trump might want to try that defense peppertree Jul 9 #1
My client is an excellent Christian BOSSHOG Jul 9 #2
Yep. Aristus Jul 9 #7
"This is why all conservatives should have universal immunity to protect them..." ShazzieB Jul 9 #12
lawyer J. Shelby Sharpe Traurigkeit Jul 9 #3
I hope he goes to prison because pedos don't fare well there. OMGWTF Jul 9 #4
I hope he is Donald Rumps cell mate !!! They can molest each other Trueblue1968 Jul 9 #47
Prison rape jokes are never funny. eggplant Wednesday #48
He's gonna walk on this one. But there's another cpamomfromtexas Wednesday #50
These people are sick Johnny2X2X Jul 9 #5
I am curious, where were her parents, other relatives? Dan Jul 9 #8
Parents were in on it Johnny2X2X Jul 9 #21
I really hope that your ex had the good sense Dan Jul 9 #25
She was a little girl Johnny2X2X Jul 9 #28
Thanks for sharing... Dan Jul 9 #30
"My father told him he's lucky he didn't kill him." BlueWaveNeverEnd Jul 9 #37
And they enjoy a tax exempt status BOSSHOG Jul 9 #18
My Dog. That is assault. Those emotional/physical scars will never go away. Call it out at every level. Enough. nt Evolve Dammit Jul 9 #35
Classic fundie defense. Men deserve a pass for sexual abuse. It's always women's fault for tempting them. 50 Shades Of Blue Jul 9 #6
Logic then dictates, if "men" are that weak Javaman Jul 9 #19
Bottom line, men must be deferred to no matter what! cuz fundies don't do logic! 50 Shades Of Blue Jul 9 #24
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If you eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Probatim Jul 9 #42
Who gives a fuck if the 12-year-old "initiated something" orange jar Jul 9 #9
This is sick for so many reasons none of which are at all reasonable. twodogsbarking Jul 9 #10
Scumbags like this are why we can't have nice things in this country. Initech Jul 9 #11
Demon Tweens! Scalded Nun Jul 9 #13
Chemical castration is the remedy for pedophile sex predators like this criminal preacher. Tarzanrock Jul 9 #14
Followed lonely bird Jul 9 #16
You know, a child would say only someone who doesn't really believe in God would act that way. Girard442 Jul 9 #15
12 year old girls might be in a hurry to grow up Warpy Jul 9 #17
I remember being 11 and 12 Diamond_Dog Jul 9 #20
Yet that is one of their favorite occupations Warpy Jul 9 #22
If I were not against violence I would recommend he gets the shit beat out of him every day, for say, twelve years. twodogsbarking Jul 9 #23
And twice on Sundays. Remembering the sabbath and all that! justhanginon Jul 9 #29
Aye men. twodogsbarking Wednesday #59
This is typical of child molesters. They often blame their victims. yardwork Jul 9 #26
It's very common for pedophiles to claim the children they abused were seducing *them* Prairie Gates Jul 9 #27
A long and growing list of Republican sexual predators, enablers, abusers ... Hermit-The-Prog Jul 9 #31
Why are right wingers and the religious right so dead set against gays, trans, and others? --- Misdirection. keithbvadu2 Jul 9 #32
A couple weeks of deep prayer, soul searching, repentance, and the obligatory 'God has forgiven me'. Then it's back to keithbvadu2 Jul 9 #33
21 year old, husband, father, traveling and spreading the word of Jesus, vs, republianmushroom Jul 9 #34
What a load of bullshit Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jul 9 #36
Two of the Gucci House Rules apply Wolf Frankula Jul 9 #38
I was going to say that I remembered being leftyladyfrommo Wednesday #56
Another fucking pig in Trump's periphery purr-rat beauty Jul 9 #39
Wow. Evil Republican Evangelical HandmaidsTaleUntold Jul 9 #40
What a piece of shit. LudwigPastorius Jul 9 #41
What a filthy creepy pervert. StarryNite Jul 9 #43
I was thinking the same. intheflow Wednesday #53
SMDH. n/t iluvtennis Jul 9 #44
This topic can easily apply to a young boy also. Arne Jul 9 #45
self deleted Jacson6 Jul 9 #46
Even if this is true (and I doubt it is), AllyCat Wednesday #49
Me Too Young czarjak Wednesday #51
Beyond disgusting. Old Crank Wednesday #52
What is it about religion that makes people behave like this? mwb970 Wednesday #54
This makes me sick to my stomach. HeartsCanHope Wednesday #55
No matter what sexual crimes these "pastors" commit, they just stand before their congregations, sop Wednesday #57
This sounds like it could be a plot HarryM Wednesday #58
Lawyer needs spanked with the big paddle. twodogsbarking Wednesday #60
Yeah like 12 year old girl knows how to seduce an older man? kimbutgar Wednesday #61

peppertree

(22,224 posts)
1. Trump might want to try that defense
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 04:12 PM
Jul 9

If our lamestream media ever sees fit to cover the latest Epstein files, that is.

BOSSHOG

(37,744 posts)
2. My client is an excellent Christian
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 04:15 PM
Jul 9

And votes for God loving republicans. This 12 year old liberal harlot tried to destroy his career before it began. This is why all conservatives should have universal immunity to protect them against the never ending onslaught of lies and hate from the left.

Aristus

(67,049 posts)
7. Yep.
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 04:37 PM
Jul 9

They could cut and paste your entire post into their defense plan, utter without irony, and no one would be the wiser.

ShazzieB

(17,225 posts)
12. "This is why all conservatives should have universal immunity to protect them..."
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 05:13 PM
Jul 9

"...against the never ending onslaught of lies and hate from the left."

And against the lustful advances of 12 year old seductresses, too!

*BARF* It made me sick to type that, but I felt it needed to be said, in view of the claims made by that attorney. Who, by the way, is the kind of defense attorney who makes people hate defense attorneys, because trying to blame an underage victim for the crimes committed against her is one of the sleaziest tactics in the defense attorney playbook.

eggplant

(3,943 posts)
48. Prison rape jokes are never funny.
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 12:10 AM
Wednesday

I hope he goes to prison, too. But because he's a criminal and that's what we do with criminals.

cpamomfromtexas

(1,261 posts)
50. He's gonna walk on this one. But there's another
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 01:01 AM
Wednesday

A lawyer in Southlake TX is representing another minor. That’s all I know.

Johnny2X2X

(19,937 posts)
5. These people are sick
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 04:28 PM
Jul 9

I have told this story before, but an ex girlfriend grew up in one of these evangelical churches, when she was 13 she was raped by a 26 year old counselor in the church. She went to the pastor for help. What ensued was disgusting. She was sat in a chair at the front of the church in front of the whole congregation and accused of seducing this godly man. It lasted for hours, but every member of the congregation stood in line for their chance to curse at her, they called her "Whore", "Temptress", and things even worse. Some of the older women spit on her, At the end of it all she was a quivering mess and the pastor and her rapist announced they and god were forgiving her, and all the people group hugged her and it was some big god love fest of people rejoicing that she is forgiven and welcomed back to the good graces of god.

The trauma of this followed her and nearly killed her. This is what some of these churches are all about. This needs to be exposed and stopped.

Dan

(3,735 posts)
8. I am curious, where were her parents, other relatives?
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 04:56 PM
Jul 9

If she had been my relative (and if able) - I would still be beating his ass.

Johnny2X2X

(19,937 posts)
28. She was a little girl
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 07:15 PM
Jul 9

She didn’t know any better. In fact, when she told me about it in her 20s she still blamed herself. I had to explain to her that there were no circumstances where it made it OK for a 26 year old man to have sex with her when she was 13. That it was rape no matter what. Don’t matter if she was flirty. Didn’t matter that she looked older than her age. Didn’t matter that she trusted him. He took advantage of her and it was in fact statutory rape.

It messed her up something awful. She ended up stripping and dating a guy twice her age who got her into hard drugs. Jail saved her life because it sobered her up.

She’s now married to a pastor of a different church that’s not crazy. They have two beautiful daughters. Seems to be doing well. Still has relationships with her parents.

Dan

(3,735 posts)
30. Thanks for sharing...
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 07:26 PM
Jul 9

At least she ended up in a better place and has peace. I wish her the best and want to say, that at least she had a good friend in you.

BlueWaveNeverEnd

(8,726 posts)
37. "My father told him he's lucky he didn't kill him."
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 09:35 PM
Jul 9

Clemishire also claimed last week that although Morris said that her father gave his blessing for Morris to return to ministry, her “father never ever gave his blessing on Robert returning to ministry! My father told him he’s lucky he didn’t kill him.”

https://churchleaders.com/news/488625-leaked-email-robert-morris-cindy-clemishire.html/2

Evolve Dammit

(17,496 posts)
35. My Dog. That is assault. Those emotional/physical scars will never go away. Call it out at every level. Enough. nt
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 09:05 PM
Jul 9

50 Shades Of Blue

(10,398 posts)
6. Classic fundie defense. Men deserve a pass for sexual abuse. It's always women's fault for tempting them.
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 04:32 PM
Jul 9

Always. Even if the "woman" is 12 years old. Or 6 months old, for that matter.

Javaman

(62,704 posts)
19. Logic then dictates, if "men" are that weak
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 05:43 PM
Jul 9

Why are they pastors leading a church?

Cults gotta cult.

The poor kid😕

Probatim

(2,701 posts)
42. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If you eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 10:21 PM
Jul 9

I think someone they just love love love said that in their holy book.

orange jar

(492 posts)
9. Who gives a fuck if the 12-year-old "initiated something"
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 05:04 PM
Jul 9

when it is the adult's responsibility to immediately stop the contact once it happens and NOT go on to molest the girl?? (she can't "initiate", btw, because she's a fucking child and "initiating" includes a form of consent when children CAN'T consent, but we know the pedophilic fundies don't agree)

Tarzanrock

(172 posts)
14. Chemical castration is the remedy for pedophile sex predators like this criminal preacher.
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 05:21 PM
Jul 9

This is statutory rape. Chemical castration is the remedy for pedophile sex predators like this criminal preacher.

Girard442

(6,195 posts)
15. You know, a child would say only someone who doesn't really believe in God would act that way.
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 05:25 PM
Jul 9

And they'd be right.

Warpy

(112,155 posts)
17. 12 year old girls might be in a hurry to grow up
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 05:38 PM
Jul 9

because they hate being caught between childhood and adulthood. Boys get sports and clubs and lots of well funded outreach programs. Girls pretty much get left behind on all of it. Too old for dolls, they start to experiment with things like makeup. Some of them get good at it and paint on 18 year old faces atop 12 year old bodies.

I remember being surrounded by these girls. I couldn't join them, lipstick ended up on my teeth and makeup broke me out in hives. But I remember how grown men started to look at my friends.

My friends weren't tarts or trash or Jezebels, they were 12 year old children with few resources and no guidance beyond "nice girls don't do.....anything." That was unappealing, to say the least, and having men flirt with them was a gas. A few ran into freaks who wanted to do more than flirt.

None of my friends had any idea what consent was or that they had the power to give it to or withhold it from a grown man. They had no idea of the mechanics of sex. They had no idea about contraception. They were completely unprotected by sensile adults. Girl children were and largely are completely on their own.

So yeah, right, this little girl was some kind of Jezebel sent by Satan to trap godly men.

We'll see how that resonates with a jury.

Diamond_Dog

(32,822 posts)
20. I remember being 11 and 12
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 05:49 PM
Jul 9

and seeing how grown men would leer at me and I felt dirty and ashamed. Those creeps sexualize children.
They are sickos who have no business leading a church.

Warpy

(112,155 posts)
22. Yet that is one of their favorite occupations
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 06:09 PM
Jul 9

since they can hide behind the cross and get wrapped in the flag while people give them unlimited access to children, "he's a good Christian man."

I had braces and couldn't wear makeup and when grown men would leer at me I'd just look at them like they were nuts. I was a kid who looked like a kid and I knew there was something wrong with them, not me, and I wanted no part of it. Like you, I did not find creepers any sort of a turn on. My wild child friends were different. Some ended up a lot sadder.

twodogsbarking

(10,575 posts)
23. If I were not against violence I would recommend he gets the shit beat out of him every day, for say, twelve years.
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 06:42 PM
Jul 9

Prairie Gates

(1,489 posts)
27. It's very common for pedophiles to claim the children they abused were seducing *them*
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 07:13 PM
Jul 9

It's completely unconscionable that the lawyer would echo and affirm such horrendous claims.

keithbvadu2

(37,988 posts)
32. Why are right wingers and the religious right so dead set against gays, trans, and others? --- Misdirection.
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 08:12 PM
Jul 9

Republicans called 22 y/o Monica a child.

Matt Gaetz called his 17 y/o state border crossing girl a young woman.

A republican Christian molests a 12 y/o child and she magically becomes a young lady.
.

keithbvadu2

(37,988 posts)
33. A couple weeks of deep prayer, soul searching, repentance, and the obligatory 'God has forgiven me'. Then it's back to
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 08:15 PM
Jul 9

A couple weeks of deep prayer, soul searching, repentance, and the obligatory 'God has forgiven me'.
Then it's back to business as usual.

republianmushroom

(15,326 posts)
34. 21 year old, husband, father, traveling and spreading the word of Jesus, vs,
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 08:34 PM
Jul 9

12 year old that liked to play with barbie dolls.
Blaming a 12 year old, no more needs to be said. chuckle, chuckle
I can plainly see that the 12 year old was to blame. Sick dude

leftyladyfrommo

(18,975 posts)
56. I was going to say that I remembered being
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 07:17 AM
Wednesday

12 and having pastors up on such a high pedestals. And that's when hormones go crazy.

It is absolutely the adult's responsibility to keep strict control. Kids that age are so vulnerable.

purr-rat beauty

(550 posts)
39. Another fucking pig in Trump's periphery
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 09:49 PM
Jul 9

why is her surrounded by pedophiles, sex traffickers, sexual assaulters?

I hope this guy gets his shit fucked the fuck up

 
40. Wow. Evil Republican Evangelical
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 09:59 PM
Jul 9

Sorry but the “she hit on me first” defense doesn’t apply to children. Why aren’t conservatives who thing the deep state is molesting kids asking for this guys head on a platter???? Hypocrisy much?

StarryNite

(9,866 posts)
43. What a filthy creepy pervert.
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 10:58 PM
Jul 9

Sexual predators are often drawn to occupations that provide them with easy prey.

Arne

(2,848 posts)
45. This topic can easily apply to a young boy also.
Tue Jul 9, 2024, 11:16 PM
Jul 9

The religious pedophile predator gays are hovering
around the 6th or 7th grade.
Usually as a home room teacher or sports coach.
Don't ask how I know.

mwb970

(11,436 posts)
54. What is it about religion that makes people behave like this?
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 03:28 AM
Wednesday

Religious people seem much more susceptible to evil and foul temptation than us normal folk. What gives?

HeartsCanHope

(77 posts)
55. This makes me sick to my stomach.
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 04:08 AM
Wednesday

Not on the same scale, but just as disgusting that someone would take advantage of young girls. There was a creepy old man at my parent's church. He was always trying to hug the young, teenage girls. One time he gave me a hug and pinched my breast using the hug to disguise what he was doing. I avoided him as much as possible after that! Happened to mention this to a female friend at church and she told me the same thing had happened to her. She said other girls had also told her he had touched them inappropriately. She also told me she had talked to her folks, and they told her she must have "misunderstood", and that she should "repent" from accusing him! I didn't try to tell my folks after that. I felt my parents wouldn't listen to me, either. So my female friends and I just hung together after church, and stayed far away from this man. This went on till I graduated from high school, went to college, and then got married and moved away. My mom was talking to me on the phone one evening a couple of years after I married, and started talking to me about how one of the young teenage women and her parents had requested a private meeting with the church elders. The young woman had accused this same man of pinching her breast. The elders, (one of whom was my father,) all sided with the creepy old man, and I was furious! I told my mother that this man had done the same thing to me and several other young female members of the church, and that this young girl was telling the truth! My mother asked me why I didn't say anything when he touched me inappropriately, and I said because I knew I would get the same treatment this young girl was getting! To my shock and surprise, my mother went to my dad and told him what I said. The next thing I knew my mother told me the elders had kicked him out of the church because this man would not repent to the church and the young lady! (She said it in that order, like the young lady didn't deserve the first apology!) The old man just kept saying "she had asked for it"!
I will always regret not speaking up years before that. My parents weren't supportive on the whole, (which was why I was so shocked my mother told my father what I said,) but I should have had the courage to try to stop him even if I got in trouble. I know the real fault belongs with the creepy old man, but maybe I could have changed things for the other young girls at that church. Today I think about the old man's daughters and granddaughters, too. What did he do to them...in private?

sop

(10,962 posts)
57. No matter what sexual crimes these "pastors" commit, they just stand before their congregations,
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 07:17 AM
Wednesday

lay blame on the devil (women) for tempting them, pretend "pray" to Jesus for forgiveness, piously pound on their bibles, shed a few alligator tears and everything will be immediately forgotten.

HarryM

(48 posts)
58. This sounds like it could be a plot
Wed Jul 10, 2024, 07:30 AM
Wednesday

for Law and Order SVU.
How does a 12 year old girl make sexual advances? What a crock!

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