cheryl & james fortuneUPdate …

James Fortune has released a statement on child abuse allegations:

“I recently became aware of a civil suit pending against my wife, Cheryl Fortune and I, for an incident that occurred in 2001 involving my stepson. There was a criminal investigation and all matters were resolved in 2003. Since that time, my family and I, including my stepson, have continued with family traditions and always have a loving family environment.

We are shocked by this lawsuit but understand people are free to use the court system to pursue claims, whether they contain merit or baseless matters. We are confident through this process, if it proceeds to a judge or jury, the ultimate decision maker will render a decision that is favorable to the circumstances and timing surrounding this situation. We believe in our American justice system and know it will work for us as it has for millions of other Americans. I love all my children, including my stepson, and I ask for your prayers as we deal with this matter privately. Thank you for your continued support for me, my family, and ministry.”

Earlier we reported …

*Houston’s Fox 26 news is reporting that a civil law suit has been filed against James Fortune and his wife Cheryl for child abuse.

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In 2001 Mr. Fortune allegedly abused his step son, age 4 at the time.  According to the report, Fortune whipped the child naked  with a switch, then held him down  in a tub of scalding water—all for coloring on a table at school.  The boy was flown by life flight to the Shriner’s Burn Hospital, where he remained for 63 days with second and third degree burns over 47% of his body.

In 2003 James Fortune pleaded guilty to felony injury to a child and received 6 years of deferred adjudication.

Now 15, the child has undergone several skin graph surgeries.  He sustained some permanent injuries.  The victim’s biological father is suing the Fortunes for $5 million to cover additional plastic surgery to correct the disfigurement.

Watch this report from Fox 26: