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Religious Right Leader Charged With Sexual Battery, Grooming 15-Year-Old as ‘Personal Sex Object’

Doug Phillips of Vision Forum is one of the leading advocates of the Quiverfull movement popularized by the Duggar family of ‘19 Kids and Counting’ fame. He’s also the target of a new lawsuit that claims he groomed a teenage girl to be his “personal sex object.”

Phillips has already resigned from Vision Forum for what he then called an “extramarital affair.” The lawsuit shows that it’s considerably more than that.

Attorneys say that Phillips “methodically groomed” Lourdes Torres since she was 15-years-old, making the girl think that they would be married because Phillips told her that his wife “was going to die soon.”

During her teenage years, the lawsuit claims that Phillips “subtly began to manipulate Ms. Torres, so that he could use her for his sexual gratification.” The suit also alleges that the religious leader groped her and masturbated on her “against her wishes and over her objections” for years.

The lawsuit reads “While Ms. Torres would have felt compelled to submit to Douglas Phillips, the purity culture would have meant at the same time, her submission made her ‘damaged goods’ in her eyes, the eyes of her family, and her community — raising the cost for her to come forward to call him to account. She was, in fact, in a ‘no-win’ situation.”

The suit also states that “Phillips was the dominant authority figure in Ms. Torres’s life and family. He made himself her spiritual father. He was her authority figure with regard to where she lived, where she worked, where and how she worshipped, her education, her interpersonal relationships, her time and schedule, and even acted as her counselor.”

“In other words, Phillips was the pastor of her church, her boss, her landlord, and the controller of all aspects of her life,” the suit adds. “Obedience to Phillips was as obedience to God in this total institution. This move is consistent with the ideals and beliefs of the patriarchal movement: that women exist solely for the control and pleasure of the men.”

 

About the author

Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh