Gospel singer James Fortune (33), who is also the choir director at Higher Dimension Church in Houston, TX, is being sued for $5 Million for child abuse that occurred in 2001.
According to the Christian Post, Fortune picked his four year old son up from school for coloring on a table. Fortune then scolded and reprimanded the boy all the way home hitting him with at switch. Then when they arrived home, Fortune ran scalding hot water and made his four year old take a bath in it for disciplinary action. After that, the child had to be transported to the hospital, and was treated for 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
Two years later, Fortune pleaded guilty in court and received six years of deferred adjudication after admitting to the felony injury of a child.
The young man, now 15 years old, is disfigured, and the biological father wants the lawsuit monies to pay for cosmetic surgery for his son.
James Fortune released the following statement:
“Several months ago I received a demand for payment from my stepson’s father for an injury to my stepson that occurred in 2001. In the midst of negotiating a settlement regarding that injury, I was served with a lawsuit and now my wife and I are defending ourselves in civil court. At no time in my life was I convicted of felony injury to a child. Following my step-son’s injury, there was a criminal investigation and all matters were resolved.
Since that time, my family and I, including my stepson, have maintained a continuous loving family environment. Although his father has maintained custody, Cheryl and I have enjoyed continuous uninterrupted open visitations with my step-son since 2001.
We are shocked by this lawsuit but understand people are free to use the court system to pursue matters, whether or not the claims are baseless. We are confident through this process, the ultimate decision maker will render an outcome that is just and fair. We believe in our American justice system and know that once all facts are made transparent justice will prevail in our favor.
This lawsuit is a direct result of our desire to continue the uninterrupted love, commitment and financial support as well as to protect the ongoing wellbeing while enhancing the current living conditions of our son. We have given our stepson who is currently in our care during his summer break continuous support and understand these allegations are a direct result of not only our increased profile and financial viability but an individuals desire to exploit such.
We intend to vehemently defend our right to protect our family while maintaining the character integrity and trusted core values the Fortune family has been blessed to exemplify.”