Judge Dismissed Mississippi Pastor’s $200M Countersuit in Sex Case

June 19, 2008

After a woman filed a $10 million lawsuit claiming she was sexually assaulted by the Rev. Jeffery Stallworth, the Jackson, Miss. pastor turned around and sued her for $200 million.

Hinds County Circuit Judge William Coleman dismissed Stallworth’s countersuit. And that means the woman’s lawsuit can move forward.

The woman is also suing the Mississippi United Methodist Conference and Anderson United Methodist Church. Stallworth used to be pastor at Anderson.

The Associated Press does not identify sexual assault victims.

Stallworth’s lawsuit said the woman tricked him into believing the two had a personal relationship to try to sell insurance policies.

Coleman dismissed the countersuit on June 13.

Stallworth, then-pastor of Anderson United Methodist Church in Jackson, pleaded guilty in 2002 to a misdemeanor count of sexually assaulting the woman during a 2001 stay at her Maryland home.

Stallworth claims a Maryland judge removed his conviction and sentence in 2005. But in a ruling last month the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld the decision by a Hinds County judge that Stallworth must remain on the state’s sex offender registry.

Stallworth contended his misdemeanor fourth-degree sex conviction and sentence were removed by a judge and the crime to which he pleaded guilty in Maryland would not require a person to register as a sex offender in Mississippi.

Mississippi law requires sex offenders to register with the local sheriff’s department and have an identification card issued by the Highway Patrol.

Mississippi Circuit Judge Bobby DeLaughter ruled in 2006 that while a misdemeanor did not require registration as a sex offender in Maryland, “upon return to Mississippi, Stallworth was required to register here as a sex offender.”

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