AP, Dec. 5, 2002
AKRON � A woman is suing television evangelist Ernest Angley, his ministry and six employees, saying she was injured when she took her 94-year-old mother to a healing service.
Gloria DeFrancesco, 61, of Cleveland, alleges in her suit filed in Akron that in August 2001 Angley�s workers blocked the pair from going on stage and assaulted her in the process.
DeFrancesco�s lawsuit says she suffered a detached retina and is seeking more than $25,000 in damages. Her complaint was filed Tuesday in Summit County Common Pleas Court and assigned to Judge John Adams.
The business manager for Angley�s church, Ray Spangler, who also is a spokesman for the Angley ministry, said Wednesday that no one at the church hurt DeFrancesco.
He said witnesses told police that she hurt herself �by taking a nosedive onto the pavement� outside the church and hitting her head on purpose on the dashboard of the car she entered.
He said a dispute occurred inside when the woman insisted on taking her mother, who was in a wheelchair, onto a platform where wheelchairs are not permitted. Spangler said Angley would have come directly to the woman�s mother.
�She went off the brink. There were five or six ushers and she hit one of them and poked another in the groin with an umbrella point,� Spangler said.
Church members and others attend Angley�s services at Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls. Many appear on stage to receive a prayer and a healing touch from Angley.
DeFrancesco alleges in the lawsuit that she suffered head, nose and body injuries, which required a hospital stay and surgery.