Local News

Minister Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Posted February 25, 1996 6:00 a.m. EST

— February 26, 1996 - 11:20 p.m. EST

Three women in Cary say their pastor sexually harassed them, according to a civil lawsuit filed Monday in Wake County.

Tracey Newman, Kathy Kahall and Debbie Smith claim in the suit that the minister at White Plains United Methodist Church in Cary inappropriately touched them. They say he often pulled them close, slapped them on the buttocks, or kissed them on the neck. One of the women, Gail Lawson, says she was fired as a church employee for complaining about the overtures.

Lawson says Pastor Ed Privette provided the wrong kind of leadership in her office.

"I was hugged by the pastor and I was uncomfortable," she said. "I put a stop to it by pulling away and showing I did not want to be hugged".

WRAL-TV5 News did talk to one member of the church's board Monday night. He says members won't comment because the church wants to assure confidentiality and privacy for both the minister and the women who filed the charges