Disgraced pastor says he was abused
COLORADO SPRINGS - Disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard says that he was sexually abused as a child, and that the experience "started to rage in my mind and in my heart" when he was caught up in a sex scandal involving a male prostitute.
Haggard made the remarks in two recent sermons in Morrison, Ill., ABC's "Good Morning America" reported yesterday.
Haggard said one of his father's employees "had a sexual experience with me" when Haggard was 7, according to audio recordings of the sermons posted on the ABC News website.
Haggard said he later became "a conservative Republican, loving the word of God, an evangelical, born-again, spirit-filled, charismatic, all those things."
"But some of the things that were buried in the depths of the sea from when I was in the second grade started to rage in my mind and in my heart," he said.
In 2006 Haggard was fired as pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs when a former male prostitute alleged they had a cash-for-sex relationship. The man also said he saw Haggard use methamphetamine. Haggard also stepped down as president of the National Association of Evangelicals.
He has said some of the allegations were exaggerated, but he has never offered specifics.
Haggard did not return a phone message left by the Associated Press.