Former gang members sue urban evangelist for alleged sex abuse
A well-known urban evangelist spanked and sodomized boys in his ministry, according to five of his alleged victims.
They have filed a lawsuit against Gordon McLean, who worked with troubled teenagers for decades through an evangelical outreach program for gang members, seeking $50,000 in civil damages.
McLean served as director of Juvenile Justice Ministry of Metro Chicago Youth for Christ and as an auxiliary chaplain for the Cook County sheriff’s office, which gave him access to children.
The suit claims McLean would ask the young gang members if they’d been bad boys, invite them to his house and place cologne on their hands, then spank their bare buttocks as they laid across his lap and then engage in sex acts with the teens.
McLean also gave the boys money for drugs, kept them overnight on Saturday nights and took them to a church with him on Sunday mornings, according to the lawsuit.
“(McLean would introduce) the ‘bad boy’ to the suburban church audience as a successful convert to the Lord Jesus Christ who had come to saving faith in the Lord through McLean’s ministry efforts,” the suit claims.
He was arrested in February 2008, when he was 73 years old, and charged with solicitation of a sex act from a male prostitute who police said he’d sexually abused years earlier.
McLean has written books, helped produce films about his ministry and appeared on Christian television programs to share the testimonies of troubled youths.
The suit claims that he used the troubled youths to raise money for his ministry and paid the teens “hush money” that came from church donations.
The alleged victims say staff members of Youth for Christ must have been aware of McLean’s sexual abuse after seeing partially nude teens sleeping on couches at McLean’s apartment in 1998.
All five plaintiffs have filed a criminal complaint against McLean and are seeking $50,000 in civil damages.
[lawsuit docs via Shutterstock]