Utica church named in child sex abuse lawsuit


January 29, 2020

By Amy Neff Roth

St. Matthew’s Temple Church of God in Christ in Utica has been named in a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleging that clergy from three churches, including St. Matthew’s, sexually assaulted the plaintiff in the 1970s.

Warren Curtis, 57, of Greenville, South Carolina, filed the suit in Albany County Supreme Court. It also names as defendants St. John’s Church of God in Christ in Albany, the Church of God in Christ denomination and former St. John’s assistant pastor Dirome Williamson of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

The suit alleges that Williamson and three men believed to have since died sexually abused Curtis between 1974 and 1978 when he was between the ages of 12 and 16. The other three men are identified in the suit as the Rev. Thomas House of St. John’s and the Rev. Carl Adair and the Rev. Clarence Samuels, both of St. Matthew’s.

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