Fort Worth Star-Telegram reporter Melody McDonald had an excellent piece yesterday on the sexual allegations against Pastor Sherman Allen of Shiloh Institutional Church of God in Christ, in Fort Worth's Woodhaven area. I happened to be present when McDonald spoke with a woman who claims she was raped by Allen in 1983; I wrote about that woman's case, which resulted in a criminal charge of aggravated sexual abuse that was later dropped, in a Bible Girl column titled "This Is What God Told Me to Do to You." Bible Girl readers will also recognize another woman quoted in McDonald's story as "Jill" (a pseudonym), the subject of "Old Habits Die Hard." Look for another story on the Allen case coming out soon in a national magazine. (And, no, I didn't write it.)
McDonald and I both interviewed the alleged rape victim in the presence of her attorney and some church friends, and I listened with interest to see if her account would match what I heard in a taped interview her lawyers had made with her in February. The details matched precisely. As I wrote in my column last week, this woman's story will make for powerful testimony if, as lawyer Stan Broome expects, she files suit against Allen as a Jane Doe in the coming months. --Julie Lyons
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.