Six 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.
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.”
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.
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