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Trinity, worker settle

Former broadcast engineer, a gay man, sought $2.5M from religious network for its alleged discrimination.

March 31, 2010|By Joseph Serna

Costa Mesa-based Trinity Broadcasting Network has settled out of court with a former broadcasting engineer who claimed that the Christian-programming company discriminated against him because he is gay.

Trinity settled in late February with Brian Dugger, who last year filed a civil suit and sought more than $2.5 million, the Daily Pilot confirmed Wednesday.

Attorneys for both Dugger and Trinity Broadcasting did not return requests for comment.

Details of the settlement were not available in court records.

Dugger claimed that his sexuality became an issue when company co-founder and Chairman Paul Crouch Sr. gave control to his son, Paul Crouch Jr., and his wife, Jan.

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The younger Crouch told Dugger to dress less “gay,” wear less jewelry and to act “straight,” Dugger claimed in his lawsuit.

He alleged that the younger Crouch also insulted him on live television and sent him pornographic images of men and women.

The company cut ties with Dugger in 2007 and refused to rehire him.

Before the alleged acts, Dugger claimed in the lawsuit, the elder Crouch had befriended him.

They became “exceedingly close” and would share private dinners and drinks at Crouch’s home, Dugger stated.

Five years into his career with Trinity Broadcasting, Dugger Sr. ordered him to move from the Nashville, Tenn. branch to a Tustin facility. That’s when Crouch Jr. was given control of the company.

Dugger said Trinity Broadcasting severed direct ties with him in 2003 and kept him employed instead as an independent contractor.


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