BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen has been accused of sexually abusing a parishioner of the church where he serves as pastor.

Filed pursuant to the Adult Survivors Act, the lawsuit accused Pridgen, who leads True Bethel Baptist Church, of abusing the woman “in or about 2020.” The alleged victim was 45 at the time, the lawsuit says. News 4 is not naming her because she is an alleged victim of sexual assault.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged abuse occurred approximately seven times after church services. Pridgen was accused of inappropriately touching the accuser, externally and internally, and forcing her to perform a sex act on him.

“Plaintiff would ask him to leave him alone and to stop and he persisted,” the lawsuit claims.

Both Pridgen and True Bethel Baptist Church are named as defendants in the lawsuit. The accuser is seeking damages against them.

Pridgen, when asked about the lawsuit, claimed he does not know the woman making the accusations, defending his church as a community where people know each other.

Bishop Darius Pridgen leads a prayer for those impacted by the shooting at a Buffalo supermarket during service at True Bethel Baptist Church on Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

News 4 will provide more information as it becomes available.

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