|Minister Accused of Sex Assault
By Mike McPhee
The Denver Post
November 18, 2008
The Rev. Willie D. Simmons, a prominent Baptist minister, has been sued by a former secretary who claims Simmons sexually assaulted her twice in her office then fired her and expelled her young daughter from his charter school at the church.
According to a lawsuit initially filed in Denver District Court in October, the 43-year-old woman alleges that Simmons, who is pastor of the Central Baptist Church of Denver, at 2400 California St., assaulted her twice in February 2007.
The lawsuit, moved to federal court by Simmons' attorney, seeks unspecified damages from Simmons as well as from his church and a school at the church, Concerned About You Inc. All three are listed as defendants.
Simmons' attorney, Elisa Moran, could not be reached for comment on the allegations contained in the lawsuit and a report filed with Denver Police that did not result in prosecution.
The woman alleges that Simmons came up to her church office on Feb. 15, 2007, smelling of alcohol. She says he unzipped his pants in her office and, while fondling himself, told her "to help an old man out," that if she took care of him, she "would never have any financial problems again."
The complaint says Simmons forced her to perform oral sex while he fondled her.
The woman, who is not being named because of the nature of the complaint, did not report the first incident, but said a second, similar incident on Feb. 26, 2007, prompted her to contact police.
Police recorded a call the woman placed to Simmons in which he said: "I did get out of line. Please forgive me. You can keep your job," according to the police report. He told the woman that he had told his wife about the incident as well as the church's board of elders.
Simmons was not charged with a crime by the Denver district attorney's office. A spokeswoman said she was not familiar with the case and did not know why a charge was not brought.
Mike McPhee: 303-954-1409 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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