By Germania Rodriguez Poleo For Dailymail.Com
21:30 13 Oct 2023, updated 01:44 14 Oct 2023
- Ralph Douglas West II is a pastor at Houston’s The Church Without Walls
- The victim’s lawyer said he admitted ‘his son’s mother’ gave him herpes
- Douglas’ father pastor Ralph Douglas West is the founder of the church
A Texas pastor has been ordered to pay a woman her met online $2.45million after he gave her herpes.
Ralph Douglas West II, the assistant pastor at Houston’s The Church Without Walls, was found guilty of battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and fraudulent concealment.
After a three-day trial and six hours of deliberation, a jury determined on Thursday that West gave the victim genital herpes after they met on Facebook five years ago.
‘You can’t fix it, she’s got it for the rest of her life,’ said the woman’s attorney Shaun Murphy, as reported by Click 2 Houston.
Douglas’ father pastor Ralph Douglas West is the founder of the church, which has about over 24,000 members across three locations.
The unnamed victim got an outbreak a few days after the encounter with the assistant pastor, and then tested positive for herpes.
She knew West was the source of it because she had not had sex with anyone else and had a prior negative test, Murphy added.
West reportedly admitted he had herpes when the victim asked him about, saying it had come from his son’s mother. West is pictured with a son on his social media but it’s unclear if he is married.
The lawyer said he was able to prove to the jury that West knew he was infected with the STD but lied about when he had unprotected sex with the woman in March 2018.
The assistant pastor will now have to pay $1,450,000 in compensatory damages and $1,000,000 in exemplary/punitive damages – believed to be the largest payment ordered in such a case.
West is a minister at the Eldridge campus, according to the church’s website.
The Christian church claims on its website to ‘[embrace] thousands of families meeting in three locations and conducting six services each Sunday.’
Rev West Sr is a vocal supporter of critical race theory and even ties with the Southern Baptist Convention its Council of Seminary Presidents denounced critical race theory and intersectionality as incompatible with their beliefs.
In an essay for the Baptist Standard, the senior pastor wrote: ‘Their stand against racism rings hollow when in their next breath they reject theories that have been helpful in framing the problem of racism.’
Despite the scandal regarding the founder’s son, a church member took to Facebook to support the West family.
‘My faith in the Lord and my support for my pastor and his family will not be impacted by recent events. I will continue to lift them up in prayer and support them,’ wrote Kim Walker.
‘These are trying times please respect their privacy in this matter I’m asking in the name of Jesus that we as a people not vilify this family. Compassion and forgiveness is what Jesus teaches us to do for all of God’s children. Life gives all of us different trials and tribulations and we will seek Jesus to forgive all of our iniquities. Let’s not judge but forgive.’
But the public at large wasn’t so forgiving, as many on social media are demanding West be fired.
‘There is no way that man should be allowed on a staff or in a pulpit. I’m sorry. Y’all gotta take stewardship more seriously. He needs to be sat down,’ said one X user.
‘Lol me and my mom were just talking about how to spot a false prophet and here goes a Houston mega pastor found guilty of knowingly spreading herpes,’ added another.
It’s not clear if West will continue preaching at the church.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the church for comment on this story.
Dr. Debi Johnson is a medical expert and health journalist dedicated to promoting well-being. With a background in medicine, she offers evidence-based insights into health trends and wellness practices. Beyond her reporting, Dr. Debi enjoys hiking, yoga, and empowering others to lead healthier lives.