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Tapes Cite 3 Homosexual Acts by Bakker : Falwell Says Church Leaders Received Testimony on Encounters

May 28, 1987|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Rev. Jerry Falwell, in a new "Holy War" salvo, today cited what he called evidence of homosexual encounters by fallen TV evangelist Jim Bakker.

Falwell said he and other church leaders had been given taped testimony of at least three such encounters.

"It is very tragic; it's heartbreaking," Falwell said on ABC's "Good Morning America" of the evidence of homosexuality. "It is not hearsay. It is awful."

Bakker stepped down from his South Carolina-based PTL ministry in March after admitting he had sex with church secretary Jessica Hahn in a Florida motel in 1980. Since then, charges of homosexuality have been leveled by a number of people, including Falwell, who took over PTL.

Bakker, in the war of words being conducted through television interviews, Wednesday night denied Falwell's charges of homosexuality and challenged people making such charges to come forward with their evidence. (Story on Page 10.)

When asked today to meet that challenge, Falwell said he had informed Bakker of the evidence 10 days ago.

Falwell said one man had told Assemblies of God leaders in Springfield, Mo., "the story of Jim Bakker actually having sex with him and he also gave the story of witnessing Jim in the same act with others."

When Bakker learned of another man's story of a homosexual encounter with Bakker, Falwell said, Bakker telephoned the man and said, " 'Why did you tell that?' and, 'It is your word against mine, so go ahead.' "

Falwell said the third story was that of Gary Smith, who has said publicly that Bakker, in the nude, made homosexual advances to him.

Falwell said Smith "personally told me that 'I know what a seduced woman feels like and I was frightened beyond measure.' "

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