An investigation has revealed that popular U.S. based clergyman, Ravi Zacharias, who died last May engaged in sexual misconduct during his days in the ministry.
It also revealed that he engaged in extramarital relationships through text messages and email.
The investigation, according to HuffPost, was conducted by a law firm, Atlanta-based Miller & Martin, which was commissioned by the ministry.
Zacharias, an Indian-born Canadian, who founded Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, died of cancer at the age of 74.
A popular author and speaker, the late clergyman was involved in Christian apologetics for about 40 years until his demise on May 19, 2020.
According to the report released mid-February, five therapists revealed that Zacharias touched them inappropriately while one said she was raped by the late minister.
The investigators found more than 200 photographs of younger women, including nude images of a salon employee in Malaysia.
It said Zacharias lied when he said in 2017 that he had “never engaged in any inappropriate behaviour of any kind.”
Miller & Martin said in the course of the investigation, it interviewed over 50 people, including massage therapists.
It also said investigators had access data from four mobile devices used by the late clergyman.
The law firm said the data included amorous communications with several women, and over 200 photographs of women.
It said six photographs of Lori Anne Thompson, a Canadian, was among the photographs found in the data.
Mrs Thompson, HuffPost, had claimed that Zacharias “groomed” her into engaging in sexually explicit online conversations and eventually sending indecent photos.
Mrs Thompson and her husband had written Zacharias in 2017 demanding $5 million in exchange for a release of claims against and the ministry.
However, Zacharias took them to court, accusing them of extortion, but withdrew the suit to reach a settlement.
Board speaks on report
Reacting to the report of the investigation, the board of directors of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, apologised for disparaging Zacharias’ accusers.
The board said, “We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse.”
It further promised to support victims, combat abuse and harassment.
It also pledged to take another look at the management structure overseen by Sarah Davis, Zacharias’ eldest daughter.
The board also said it believed that the Thompsons told the truth and apologised to her.
“We believe Lori Anne Thompson has told the truth about the nature of her relationship with Ravi Zacharias,” the board said. “It is with profound grief that we recognize that because we did not believe the Thompsons and both privately and publicly perpetuated a false narrative, they were slandered for years and their suffering was greatly prolonged and intensified.
“This leaves us heartbroken and ashamed,” the statement added.
Zacharias floated his ministry in 1984. The ministry is based in suburban Atlanta but with operations in no fewer than 20 countries.