The granddaughter of famed televangelist Jan Crouch has said she hopes to rebuild her life and her relationship with God after being awarded $2 million in damages by a jury which found her grandmother partially responsible for the pain and damage she experienced after she was raped.
Speaking to the Orange County Register Monday after the verdict, Carra Crouch said that now that the trial is over, she can focus on rebuilding her life: "I do have a relationship with God, but it took me a long time to get there," she told the outlet.
"I grew up with some pretty bad people, who were the complete opposite of what you would expect from Christian people. I was atheist until I was 21, but not anymore," she said.
After deliberating for eight hours, an Orange County, California, jury on Monday decided Jan Crouch, co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network, was responsible for 45 percent of Carra Crouch's mental and emotional damage stemming from the rape.
The Register said that Trinity Christian Center of Santa Ana, the nonprofit that runs TBN, is now responsible for paying $900,000 of the $2 million judgement. The victim's mother was also assigned 35 percent of the blame while her alleged rapist was blamed for 20 percent of her suffering. Neither her mother nor her alleged rapist, who was not arrested, were defendants in the lawsuit filed in 2012.
As reported by the Herald, Carra Crouch, now 24, said she was drugged and sexually assaulted by a TBN employee at a Praise-A-Thon fundraiser in Atlanta when she was 13.
In the lawsuit, Carra said she had smoked a cigarette, drank alcohol and watched a movie on her bed with a 30-year-old man, and that the man fondled her, tried to kiss her, and gave her a glass of water that she suspects was laced with a drug that made her pass out.
When she awoke, she suspected she had been raped.
However, when she told her grandmother about the assault, she said, Jan Crouch "yelled at and berated her" instead of reporting the incident to police. "Why would you have that man in your room? Why would you let this happen?" she quoted her grandmother as saying.
Upon filing the lawsuit five years ago, Carra Crouch said the experience led to years of trauma and emotional distress, according to the OC Register.
Last week, the young woman's attorney, David Keesling, raised the accusation that Jan, who died in 2016, knew about the assault and covered it up at a Californian court because she was concerned about the "bad press." He argued that as an ordained minister, Jan had a duty to report the allegation to authorities.
"This is absolutely the reason why we need mandatory reporters," Keesling said. "Had Jan Crouch not failed her obligation to the law, we wouldn't be here."
Keesling said Carra was left "traumatized" by her televangelist grandmother: "Jan Crouch, like her or not, her words mattered to Carra," he said. "Carra went in fragile and she came out broken."
"We will show how Jan Crouch - Carra's own flesh and blood grandmother, matriarch and leader of the world's largest televangelist television program, pastor and spiritual leader of that family - how when she heard what had occurred, didn't offer comfort or spiritual healing. She yelled at her. Berated her. Castigated her. She blamed her. She shamed her," said Keesling.
He added, "This case can be summed up in four simple words: Practice what you preach."
On Monday, he told reporters the money will pay for Carra Crouch's past and future therapy and other expenses, including nursing school.
"This was more than just devastating, it was a life-shaping event that affected her and still does affect her," Keesling said.