Minister Admits Massage from Accuser

Rocky Mountain News [Colorado]
November 3, 2006,1299,DRMN_15_5115903,00.html

Embattled minister Ted Haggard this morning admitted receiving a massage from the Denver man who claims to have exchanged sex for money with the Colorado Springs church leader for three years.

Haggard was driving out of his home with his wife Gayle and three of his five children when he gave a brief interview to a gathering of reporters.

Haggard stepped down Thursday as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and as pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church of Colorado Springs after Michael Jones, 49, said he had been having paid sex with Haggard once a month for three years and helped provided him with methamphetamine.

This morning, Haggard said he had never had sex with Jones but said he did buy methamphetamine out of curiosity.

Haggard said he never consumed it but threw it away.

"I was tempted. I bought it but I never used it," Haggard said.

Haggard said he was referred to Jones for a massage by a hotel in Denver. The minister said he travels to Denver to write books.

Haggard drew a silent stare from his wife when he told the gathered reporters that he received a massage from Jones.

Jones, who describes himself as a former prostitute failed a polygraph test administered Friday morning in Denver, when questioned about sex with Haggard

The polygrapher, John Kresnik, said the results "indicated deception" but he also believed the results may have been skewed because Jones, was suffering from a migraine and didn't get much sleep.

"I'm disappointed with myself," Jones said on Peter Boyles' morning talk show on KHOW radio after taking the 90-minute polygraph. "I feel like I've disappointed a lot of people. I initiated it and I'm willing to accept the consequences of it."

However, Jones said he "would not back down" from his original accusations. He also said — at the prompting of Kresnik — to take two more lie detector tests after he got some sleep. Jones said he only got two hours of sleep.

The reason for the two tests, Kresnik said, was because there are two separate accusations being made — that Haggard sought gay sex from Jones and also asked Jones to be the middle man in an attempt to get methamphetamines.

Jones said he never got drugs for Haggard, but said he knew people who could get drugs. Jones said Haggard liked the drug because it "enhanced" the sexual experience.

Sitting in the radio station studio, Jones looked weary and his lips drew tight when Boyles played tape snippets of Haggard denying the allegations.

Kresnik said he asked six questions on the polygraph test and there were two relevant questions — both involving sexual contact with Haggard. Kresnik said those were the ones Jones failed.

"All I can do is call them as I see them," Kresnik said.

KUSA-TV reported Thursday night that a voice analysis expert compared a voice mail recording provided by Jones to a recording of Haggard's speech and that they matched.

Jones said he felt sorry for Haggard, who stepped down from his position as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and took leave from his post as pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

Haggard, 50, initially denied the allegations, telling 9News Wednesday night that "I've never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife."

But KKTV in Colorado Springs reported that New Life Associate Senior Pastor Ross Parsley told a meeting of church elders Thursday night that Haggard had met with the church's overseers earlier in the day and "had admitted to some indiscretions."

Parsley told the elders that Haggard had said some of the allegations were true, but not all of them.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.