Accuser: Sex Abuse Allegations Were All Made up

July 29, 2008

[with video]

(WHAS11) - Clayton Pruett got a little piece of his life back.

Clayton Pruett said, "It feels great it can show everybody what we've known all a long."

A signed statement tonight says that sex abuse allegations against a Bullitt county youth pastor were all made up.

The mother of the accuser signed that statement today, clearing the name of Pastor Clayton Pruett.

The mother is Debra Johnson and until recently she was a member of the Bullitt County School Board; she's been charged with a felony before.

She's now left town and is living in Arkansas.

Several months ago the charges against the pastor were dismissed because the detective didn't show up in court.

Now the pastor has a signed statement from Johnson saying she retracts the sex abuse claims.

Pruett was handcuffed, arrested and booked, charged with sexually abusing a teenage girl at his church.

The Bullitt County youth pastor at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church always maintained his innocence and now says he has proof.

Clayton Pruett said, "It's been so tough because you don't escape this you live with it everyday now I feel like I can put it to rest."

This settlement order was filed in court today.

In the statement it says Debra Johnson's complaints to police about Pruett abusing her daughter were false.

It also says Johnson regrets having made such statements.

It goes on to say Pruett has committed no crime.

The document is signed by Johnson.

Clayton Pruett said, "I think plain and simple, they wanted to show who was boss and they wanted to do things their way."

Pruett says he thinks Johnson was mad because Pruett was trying to show her daughter how to conduct her behavior at church.

Johnson's attorney would not comment after the document was filed.

I talked to Johnson shortly after she was elected to the Bullitt County School Board.

In 2000, Johnson plead guilty to a felony charge in California of leaving town with her children without telling anyone.

She says she was fleeing an abusive relationship.

Pruett will preach this Sunday at Pleasant Grove; the topic forgiveness.

Clayton Pruett said, "I think you have to live your sermons before you preach them, and I'm glad that we handled this and let the legal system handle it."

Over the weekend the board members at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church unanimously voted to give Pruett his duties back as youth pastor.

He's already gotten his job back with Bullitt County schools as a substitute teacher and wrestling coach.

We tried to talk to the Bullitt County Sheriff's Department to see if Debra Johnson would face any charges for filing a false police report and to see what evidence they had against Pruett to arrest him in the first place.

Lt. Col. Coy with the department said they could not comment on the case at this time.

Debra Johnson has not returned our calls.


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