(Photo: NBC San Diego video screen grab)
Three women have come forward in the case involving the former director and owner of a rehab facility linked to the Rock Church in San Diego, California, alleging groping, sexual comments and intimidation.
Three of the plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit described their experience with David Powers, who used to run ABC Sober Living, while they stayed at one of his facilities, Soledad House, during a press conference last week.
"I was terrified if I told anyone I wouldn't be able to complete my treatment," said Taylor Peyton, a former heroin addict, according to NBC San Diego.
During her stay of four months in rehab last year, Peyton says Powers would enter her room and lie on top of her, kiss her neck and grab her buttocks.
Another woman, Jaycee Peacock, who entered Soledad House in July 2012 with a scholarship from the Rock Church to help cover expenses for her addiction treatment, alleges that Powers immediately began making inappropriate comments to her upon her arrival.
"… Soon enough, he was slapping my butt and walking into the room when I was naked … David made disgusting sexual comments and found a way to touch me every single day that I was there," Peacock said.
Furthermore, Andria Donovan, a former employee of the facility, spoke about her experience saying she witnessed the inappropriate sexual behavior of Powers toward the women. However, she could not do anything in their defense, Donovan says, because Powers handled all the grievances for the rehab center.
Although the Rock Church is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, a spokesperson for the church said their involvement with the rehab facility is limited to referring individuals who want help from addiction.
"While these accusations 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. 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," Mei Ling S. Starkey, media relations and social media director for the Rock Church, said in a statement.
The women also accuse Powers of grabbing Peyton's buttocks during group prayer in support group meetings. Furthermore, they said that Powers and his wife, Tina, would have sex in their bedroom with the door open while women in the program were staying in their home.
Powers denies all allegations and claims that after 17 years of operating ABC Sober Living, "this is the first time a rumor of this kind has ever come up."