Six Women Allege Sexual Assault In San Diego Recovery Program
The Rock Church Ministries-affiliated recovery program, ABC Sober Living, has been hit by a lawsuit claiming several women were sexually exploited by owner David Powers.
Last Thursday, a lawsuit was filed on behalf of six women – five patients and one former employee – against Rock Church Ministries-affiliated drug and alcohol recovery program ABC Sober Living, run by husband and wife team, David and Tina Powers. The suit claims that the women were victims of sexual battery and harassment perpetrated by Powers.
The alleged victims say Powers, 54, used his position of power and authority to exploit vulnerable women in recovery during 2010-13. The suit also alleges that Powers’ wife, Tina, knew about the abuse.
One of the alleged victims, Taylor Peyton, a young woman from Ohio recovering from crack, heroin, and alcohol addiction, stated that Powers relentlessly pursued her during her 90-day stay at Soledad House. Powers made suggestive comments, laid down on top of her as she slept, and penetrated her with his fingers while placing her hand on his penis, asking him to stimulate him.
“As soon as I arrived, I was subjected to constant sexual conduct from David that escalated to the point that he finally began sexually assaulting me,” Peyton said in a press conference late last week.
One of the other claimants, Jaycee Peacock, described similar treatment from Powers when she first began her recovery. “David began making sexual inappropriate comments to me,” Peacock said in the same press conference. “Soon enough, he was slapping my butt and walking into the room while I was naked. David made disgusting inappropriate comments and found a way to touch me every single day that I was there.”
A representative from ABC Sober Living “categorically denied” the charges in a statement, saying in part that the company “is a high profile target in our community and has its share of people who dislike us.”
Rock Church, a faith-based ministry founded by former San Diego Charger and recovering addict Miles McPherson, was also named in the suit due to its close affiliation with Powers’ recovery program, but tried to distance itself from the claims.
“While these allegations are very concerning, none of the alleged misconduct took place on property owned or managed by the Rock Church or was committed by anyone under the authority and control of the Rock Church,” said a statement released by Mei Ling S. Starkey, media relations and social media director for the ministry. “They were allegedly committed at a recovery center owned and operated by ABC Sober Living. It should be noted that none of the accusers were referred to ABC Sober Living by the Rock Church.”