Director of Rock Church-Affiliated Recovery Program Sued for Sexual Assault and Harassment

by on May 9, 2014 · 7 comments

in Civil Rights, Life Events, Ocean Beach, Women's Rights

Rock Church compositSix women have filed a lawsuit against the program director of a Rock Church-affiliated recovery program alleging sexual battery and sexual harassment.  The suit states that program director David Powers committed the non-consensual sexual incidents as he owns ABC Sober Living.  His wife and the church are also listed as defendants.  Five of the women were participants in the drug and alcohol rehab program and one was a former employee.

The women say that Powers – calling himself the director of the Rock Recovery Ministry – groped or sexually assaulted them. His spouse, Tina Powers, also  a defendant, is alleged to have intimidated the victims when they complained, and it’s alleged that she was aware of her husband’s misconduct.

David Powers

The incidents occurred while the women lived in the La Jolla recovery home, Soledad House, or in one of the couples’ sober-living homes. None of the incidents occurred at Rock Church. However, Rock Church Ministries of San Diego is named in the 29 page suit claiming it failed to supervise the affiliated recovery home.

The Rock Church, Point Loma-base, has been the subject of numerous controversies since it moved into its present quarters at Liberty Station.

Powers is named on websites for an affiliated 12-step ministry called Rock Recovery – until just recently.

The Church issued a statement after the allegations went public. A spokesperson said Rock Recovery Ministry did not operate any authority over ABC Sober Living. It goes on to read:

“When the Rock first learned on Monday of the allegations against Mr. Powers, we immediately decided that we would no longer refer anyone to his facility until these claims are investigated by the proper authorities.”

One of the first women to make the allegations, Taylor Peyton, has claimed that Powers was sexually abusing women at his sober living home.  One of the most serious allegation against Powers from Peyton was that he penetrated her with his fingers. She also claimed that Powers groped her and made her simulate giving him oral sex.  She told the media:

“As soon as I arrived, I was subjected to constant sexual conduct from David that escalated to the point where he finally began sexually assaulting me.”

Rock church frontPeyton said she went to police earlier this year, but at this point no criminal charges have been filed or even recommended, according to authorities.

A second woman, Jaycee Peacock, said that Powers watched her when she showered, and claimed:

“David made disgusting sexual comments and found a way to touch me inappropriately every single day.”

Plus Peacock stated:

“Getting sober was hard enough on its own. The experience during my time in the program made it nearly impossible.”

At the  news conference where the women plaintiffs announced the lawsuit, Andria Donovan, says she finally quit in disgust.  She told the media:

“I could not keep my mouth shut regarding this, when I knew that there were girls suffering. And I’ve seen David’s behavior, with me and also other women.”

The women also allege that Powers carefully selected young women to be accepted into his residential recovery program; he often used the phrase “no oldies, no fatties,” it was said.

Irwin Zalkin, attorney for the plaintiffs, stated, in response to Rock Church’s claim of not having responsibility over Powers or his program:

They’re going to be in his program, in the sober-living home or in the recovery home, they have to go through Rock Church. … The suggestion that David Powers is just some third-party – uninvolved, unassociated to the Rock Church, to whom they occasionally refer people – is a farce. That’s not the reality.”

It is reported that a Youtube video posted in October 2009 by the Rock Church praised Powers and his wife Tina in helping young women kick their addictions to drugs or alcohol.

 New sources for this story:

CBS8

 KUSI

 

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Gail Powell May 9, 2014 at 10:19 am

I have to admit that I attend this Church and am shocked at these allegations. However, it does seem that the women and their attorney are seeking deep pockets here. My experience with the “ministry groups” at the Church are that ANYONE can start a group. That fact means some well-intentioned folks help a lot of people. And some of the bad seeds and miscreants are placed in positions of authority where the power goes to their head. I think the latter happened with this Sober Living arrangement.

Reply

avatar Art Videra May 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I agree that that is probably what happened, and in general, it’s difficult for anyone to know what actually goes on in a sober living without actually living there. However, this lawsuit is not a big surprise to many in the San Diego recovery community who are familiar with this particular sober living operation. Moreover, Powers refers to himself as a minister of the Rock Church, and banks on that to bolster legitimacy in order to bring in business.

The real surprise is that it he has gotten away with it for so long. One contributing factor is that he was in charge of grievances at the San Diego County Sober Living Coalition (the closest thing to a “governing board” for sober livings in San Diego). And we can’t overstate the degree to which people in recovery are emotionally vulnerable. It’s a testament to the women that they have gotten the courage to go through with it, and if “deep pockets” are what they need to get a lawyer, well…..

Reply

avatar Joe lukacik May 10, 2014 at 6:06 am

In response to deep pockets. These girls deserve everything their entitled to. Years ago I attended A.A. meetings where Powers also attended. Am I shocked of the allegations against Powers ? No. When I use to attend those meetings I witnessed Powers and his cronie friends scope out woman. After watching this fraud I could no longer go there. He deserves everything coming to him.

Reply

avatar Old Hermit Dave May 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Looks like the crazy Religious version of Bob Filner.

Reply

avatar jim grant May 10, 2014 at 5:30 pm

The attorney representing the women in this case is probably one of the best in the country he is a heavyweight for sure. I am sure he vetted the women before taking this case.

Reply

avatar The dude May 10, 2014 at 11:08 pm

People who know this guy knew this was bound to happen.

Reply

avatar Phil Genovese August 21, 2014 at 2:06 pm

HAH! I have known this hopped up guy since the 1980s when he was married to his first wife. His entire life is about feeding his addictions. he gave up drugs for sexual addiction and is now referring to himself as a ‘Professional Gambler”… another highly addictive endeavor. This a bad guy, a bad scene and I only hope he is stopped and that those girls get whatever they deserve for stepping up and being heard on this matter.

David Powers… what a joke!

Reply

Leave a Comment


2 + 9 =

Older Article:

Newer Article: