Lawyer for megachurch pastor blamed 12 year old for initiating ‘inappropriate’ sexual conduct

A lawyer for disgraced Texas megachurch pastor Robert Morris blamed his accuser for initiating their yearslong “inappropriate sexual” contact when she was just 12, according to newly released documents.

“It was your client,” lawyer J. Shelby Sharpe wrote, referring to 12-year-old Clemishire, “who initiated inappropriate behavior by coming into my client’s bedroom and getting in bed with him, which my client should not have allowed to happen.”

Morris, the founder of Gateway Church in Southlake, resigned in June after admitting to “inappropriate sexual behavior” with Cindy Clemishire, whom he referred to as “a young lady” despite her stating she was still a preteen at the time.

Initially, Morris’ church leaders stood by him, and his attorney blamed Clemishire when she threatened to sue Morris in 2007, as revealed in correspondence from the time obtained by NBC News.

In an interview with NBC last week, Clemishire said she had sought $50,000 in restitution from Morris to cover the cost of counseling. Morris’ lawyer countered her request by offering $25,000 on the condition she sign a nondisclosure agreement, which she refused.

When contacted by NBC on Monday, Sharpe said he had no memory of the $25,000 settlement offer or NDA demand and no longer represents Morris. Sharpe also denied knowing Clemishire was a child when Morris began engaging in sexual behavior with her.

Clemishire came forward with her accusations last month, telling the Wartburg Watch that she was groomed for abuse by the pastor beginning at age 12, which lasted until she was 16 in the 1980s.

In response, Morris admitted to “inappropriate sexual behavior” and said he had long ago confessed and repented. While Gateway Church leaders initially supported him, they later withdrew their support, claiming they did not know the sexual relationship was with a child. Morris resigned soon after.

Featured Image For Representative Purpose Only. Source: Unsplash/D. Hudson.

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