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Disgraced pastor Haggard facing new sex allegations

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Rev. Ted Haggard denies the new accusation of a sexual relationship
  • Haggard was fired after drug, male prostitute allegations in 2006
  • Senior pastor tells CNN Haggard had sexual relationship with church volunteer
  • Pastor says church reached settlement to keep 20-year-old from speaking publicly
  • Next Article in Crime »
By Eric Marrapodi and Jim Spellman
CNN
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (CNN) -- A megachurch paid a 20-year-old man to keep silent about a sexual relationship he had with disgraced evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, a senior church pastor said. Haggard denies the new accusation.

Rev. Ted Haggard was fired from New Life Church after allegations about a prostitute and drug use arose in 2006.

Rev. Ted Haggard was fired from New Life Church after allegations about a prostitute and drug use arose in 2006.

Haggard, who was fired amid allegations that he used drugs and patronized a male prostitute in 2006, had a sexual relationship with a second man -- a 20-year-old volunteer at his megachurch, the Rev. Brady Boyd, a senior pastor at the church, said Monday.

The church agreed to pay the man in exchange for his pledges not to talk publicly about the relationship, Boyd said, referring to a settlement reached by the man's lawyer and the church's insurance company. Under the settlement, the church provided the man money to pay his college tuition, moving expenses and counseling, Boyd said.

"This was compassionate assistance. It was to help him move forward, not a settlement to keep him quiet," said Boyd, senior pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Video Watch Haggard's accuser speak out »

Haggard denied the new accusation of a sexual relationship.

In a statement provided to CNN via HBO, Haggard said he had met with his wife, the 20-year-old and a church overseer to ask the 20-year-old's "forgiveness for our inappropriate relationship. Prior to that time, I discussed it with my wife, my therapist and our children.

"Although there was no physical contact, I have regretted my irresponsible behavior. Once again, I ask (the 20-year-old) for his forgiveness, as well as the people of the church." Video Watch Haggard in the HBO documentary »

Haggard founded New Life in his basement in 1984 and oversaw its growth to an influential megachurch with roughly 15,000 members.

Haggard is the former president of the National Association of Evangelicals, a group that says it represents millions of people in 45,000 church congregations nationwide. He and other evangelical leaders participated in weekly conference calls with senior White House aides during the Bush administration.

In November 2006, allegations surfaced that Haggard had a three-year relationship with Mike Jones, a male escort, involving drugs and sex for money. After those allegations became public, New Life fired Haggard and he resigned as president of the national organization.

On Friday, New Life Church announced Haggard's relationship with the volunteer in a letter to the congregation.

In the last three weeks, Boyd said, the young man told him that he was considering going public with his story because Haggard was portraying himself as a victim in an upcoming HBO documentary called "The Trial of Ted Haggard," which is scheduled to air Thursday.

"I counseled him it wasn't going to help him or the church's healing. Plus it was in violation of the agreement we signed with them," Boyd said.

An interview with the former volunteer is scheduled to air Monday evening on KRDO-TV of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Haggard is scheduled to appear on CNN's "Larry King Live" on Thursday night.

The 2006 controversy involving Haggard erupted when Jones, the former prostitute, said the pastor had paid him for sex over three years and had used methamphetamine in his presence. Haggard said in interviews that he received a massage from Jones, but denied having sex with him. He also said he bought methamphetamine, but threw it away instead of using it.

The assertions received widespread news coverage and sparked charges of hypocrisy, particularly because Haggard had condemned homosexual sex in a documentary called "Friends of God."

In a settlement with New Life, the church and Haggard agreed that he would retain his six-figure salary for a year, leave the Colorado Springs area, receive counseling, and not speak publicly about what had happened for one year, according to a church staff member with knowledge of the settlement who was not authorized to speak on the record.

Jones said Monday that he has spoken with the former church volunteer whom Boyd said had a relationship with Haggard.

"My anger is so much at the church," Jones said. "They tried to keep this quiet when all along I've taken a beating feeling like I was the only one, when clearly there were others."

Despite the fresh scandal, Boyd said he is hopeful for the future.

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"We've added 1,500 people in the last 18 months," he said. "We're trying to adopt 100 orphans into families in the church.

"We had a leader with flawed character and we're trying to clean up from the residue of the past. This will not always define us. I can promise you that in the days ahead, we won't be identified with scandal, but helping the widows and orphans."

All About Ted HaggardNew Life ChurchColorado Springs

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