The lawsuit says the properties “turned a blind eye” to the abuse, exploitation and trafficking of a minor by the former pastors and their families.
TOLEDO, Ohio — A victim who was groomed, trafficked and assaulted as a minor by three former Toledo pastors has filed a federal lawsuit against the pastors, their families, hotels, churches and a business for crimes related to child sex trafficking and negligence that allowed it to continue.
The lawsuit was filed by a Jane Doe, who was a minor during what the lawsuit describes as “years of abuse” by former pastors Anthony Haynes, Cordell Jenkins and Kenneth Butler.
Doe and her mother attended church at the Greater Life Christian Center, where Anthony Haynes served as a pastor. When he learned that Doe’s father was absent in her life, Haynes spoke before his congregation and pledged to become a father figure to Doe.
Haynes and his wife, Alisa, volunteered to allow Doe to live with them and to provide her with necessities. After moving in, Doe became the victim of molestation, sexual abuse, assault, trafficking and exploitation by Haynes. The abuse started when Doe was 14 years old.
Haynes would give Doe money for sex acts, using funds from Greater Life’s accounts, which were not audited or reviewed.
He also encouraged and facilitated the abuse of Doe by Jenkins and Butler. In 2017, Doe moved out of the Haynes household and into a home with a guardian who attended Jenkins’ church, Abundant Life Ministries.
That year, Doe’s guardian saw inappropriate messages between Doe and her abusers on her phone. She reported the abuse to Laura Lloyd-Jenkins, who at the time was part of church leadership at Abundant Life, Lucas County Administrator, and served on the board of Lucas County Children Services.
Lloyd-Jenkins failed to report the abuse and warned Haynes. Haynes warned Jenkins and Butler, who scrubbed incriminating evidence of the abuse and trafficking from texts and Facebook.
Doe told her guidance counselor at school about the sexual abuse and trafficking. Her school reported to law enforcement and a criminal investigation was launched in conjunction with the FBI, which led to the charges and convictions in the child sex trafficking case against the pastors and their family members.
The abuse spanned approximately three years at local hotels, churches and at the Franklin Park Perfumania store. At least one other minor victim was involved during the instances of abuse.
The hotels, churches and Perfumania are named as defendants in the lawsuit. All were named due to alleged “willful blindness” that enabled the continual abuse to protect their reputations and financial interests.
Had the businesses and churches took action against her abusers, her abusers could not have exploited and trafficked Doe, according to the lawsuit.
Anthony Haynes was an employee of Perfumania during the abuse. While working and while the mall was open to the public, Haynes allegedly sexually abused, exploited and trafficked Doe on multiple occasions on store premises.
All three pastors were convicted in 2019 of child sex trafficking. Haynes and Jenkins were sentenced to life in prison. Butler was sentenced to 17 and a half years in prison.
Doe was a witness in the trial against the pastors. In January 2019, Anthony Haynes’ stepdaughter Alexis Fortune, armed with a gun, and Haynes’ wife Alisa forced their way into Doe’s apartment and spent hours choking and threatening her in an attempt to force her not to testify against Haynes. Doe’s minor sister was present at the time.
Alisa Haynes and Fortune drove Doe and her sister to Walmart and forced her to record a statement recanting the allegations against Haynes. After she recorded the forced statement, her and her sister were released.
Fortune and Alisa Haynes pleaded guilty to witness tampering and other charges related to the incident. Alisa Haynes was sentenced to 24 months in prison and Fortune was sentenced to 48 months, but granted compassionate release in December to serve the rest of her sentence in home confinement.
Doe has demanded a jury trial, with 19 counts against the defendants named in the lawsuit.