[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Hillsong Church is once again facing some serious allegations.
It turns out former Hillsong Dallas pastor Reed Bogard was accused of raping a junior female staffer who he had an affair with between 2013 and 2014 when he was serving at Hillsong location in New York City. According to an investigation report obtained by The Christian Post, the unidentified women told Hillsong church leaders in October 202o that their affair did not begin consensually, and an investigation, commissioned by Hillsong Global and conducted by New York law firm Zukerman Gore Brandeis & Crossman, was soon launched. However, the details were never made public – until now.
Related: Hillsong Church Co-Founder Brian Houston Resigned After 2 Women Made Complaints Against Him
The accuser claimed that she first met Bogard in a bar somewhere in the Upper East Side of Manhattan in 2013 and accepted a ride home from him. Once they got into the car, that is when things took a turn:
“Ms. [redacted] stated that when they got into the car (she in the front passenger seat and Mr. Bogard in the driver’s seat), Mr. Bogard leaned across the arm rest and kissed Ms. [redacted]. Ms. [redacted] admits that she kissed Mr. Bogard back. Mr. Bogard then began to climb over the arm rest until he was bearing down on top of her in her seat. Significantly, Ms. [redacted] now discloses that at the time she said, ‘no, I don’t think we should do this.’”
However, the investigators noted that she claimed Bogard ignored her and continue to climb on top of her:
“He then reached down between the seat and the door and pulled the lever that released the seat back. Ms. [redacted] recalled the disoriented falling sensation of the seat back suddenly going back when she’d not realized it was about to do so. Ms. [redacted] recalls that at around this point, Mr. Bogard undid his pants. Ms. [redacted] now reports that at this point, she said ‘no.’ Mr. Bogard began to apply his hands to Ms. [redacted’s] breasts. Ms. [redacted] reports that at this point, she ‘froze.’ Mr. Bogard then asked Ms. [redacted] to take off her pants. Ms. [redacted] admits that she complied. Mr. Bogard then asked Ms. [redacted] to crawl into the back seat, an act which was facilitated because her seat back was now lying flat. Again, she complied. The two then had sexual intercourse.”
Meanwhile, the pastor claimed to the investigators that he had no memory of the accuser “saying no” at the time. Following the assault, the woman entered into a sexual relationship with him and was given a new employment contract with a non-disclosure agreement. The investigators noted in the report:
“Mr. Bogard told her ‘if you don’t sign this contract, you don’t work here.’”
The Hillsong Church Australia leaders allegedly learned about the affair a year later in 2014 – though the report claims they thought it had always been consensual between the two people involved and thus never conducted an investigation back then. They instead faced “consequences” at the time, and Bogard was ordered to take time away and undergo counseling.
This sexual assault allegation is just the latest in a string of scandals the celebrity megachurch has faced over the years, some of which even included Bogard himself. He and his wife Jess Bogard left their roles at the now-defunct branch of the church in Dallas back in January 2021 following accusations that they were misappropriating church donations in order to fund their own lavish lifestyle.
What do you think about the latest Hillsong controversy? Let us know in the comments.
[Image via Red Rocks Young Adults/YouTube]