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Former employee accuses Cuyahoga Falls televangelist Ernest Angley of sexual misconduct in lawsuit

He is seeking monetary damages, and calls Angley "a person of malicious and unstable character."

WARNING: Some of the allegations detailed in this story are graphic in nature. Please use discretion.

A lawsuit filed in Summit County Common Pleas Court this week Ernest Angley, the well-known televangelist and pastor at Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, of several graphic acts of lewd sexual misconduct and harassment.

The accusations come from a former Akron resident who worked for Angley at the cathedral from 2004 to 2014. He is seeking monetary damages, and calls Angley "a person of malicious and unstable character."

According to the lawsuit, the employee began working at Grace Cathedral in January of 2004 at the age of 18 and lived across the street from Angley, whom he viewed as "a man of God and a father figure." However, he was also forced to get a vasectomy "as a condition of his employment," and he alleges Angley's "predatory behavior" began that summer.

The plaintiff alleges he asked Angley to come to his house to discuss his upcoming marriage. Several questions were described as "sexual" in nature, but he apparently trusted Angley enough to ask him. But as the conversation went on, Angley told him he could not answer the questions "unless he saw his penis," and then told him to masturbate in front of him "to make sure he was ejaculating correctly." The plaintiff—who describes himself as a heterosexual male—was "terrified" by the situation, but reluctantly agreed, and afterward says Angley told him the encounter "was to stay between them and God."

For the next decade, Angley is alleged to have frequently asked the plaintiff several sexually graphic questions, such as:

  • "What's your favorite [sex] position?"
  • "Do you go down on your wife?"
  • "How many inches is your penis?"
  • "How often do you masturbate?"

Additionally, the plaintiff also accuses Angley of molesting him "at least a dozen times" over a six-year period between 2006 and 2012. In what the evangelist allegedly called a "special anointing," he was brought to Angley's home and asked to strip naked and lie on a bed while Angley "massaged" him.

The plaintiff also says other employees at Grace Cathedral either knew or "should have known" about Angley's activities, but did nothing to stop it. WKYC has reached out to the Cathedral for comment.

This is not the first time accusations have been leveled against the now-97-year-old Angley: Back in 2014, the Akron Beacon Journal detailed several similar allegations of sexual misconduct against the pastor by former members of the church, and last year WKYC revealed Angley's Winston Broadcasting Network was facing forclosure and also detailed a lawsuit alleging Angley financially took advantage of an elderly woman.