A California appeals court has upheld Trinity Broadcasting's $900,000 payment to the granddaughter of the late Trinity exec and co-founder Jan Crouch for blaming her 13-year-old granddaughter, Carra, for a sexual assault allegedly committed by a Trinity employee.
Crouch, who died in 2018, was found liable for trying to cover up the allegations that Carra Crouch had been drugged and raped by a Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana (Trinity Broadcasting) employee and TCC was required to pay $900,000 damages.
TCC appealed to the California Fourth Circuit Appeals court, arguing that Jan Crouch's conduct was "not extreme or outrageous but was just a grandmotherly scolding or irascible behavior," delivered with doses of " insults, petty indignities, and annoyances," said the court.
According to the opinion, published Sept. 13, that court instead concluded that Crouch's behavior was "sufficiently extreme and outrageous" to create liability for the company.
The court also said that while Trinity has characterized Carra Crouch as a victim of sexual assault of molestation, the evidence establishes that it was rape.
"Yelling at 13-year-old girl who had been drugged and raped that she was stupid and she was at fault exceeds all possible bounds of decency," the court concluded, adding that her conduct was not of a grandmother, but was "within the course and scope of her authority as an officer or director....It was entirely foreseeable that somebody injured in connection with a corporate event [a telethon] would report that injury to the corporate official [Jan Crouch] who was in charge of that event and who was running the show," said the court, which denied Trinity's appeal.
Trinity had not responded to a request for comment at press time.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.