6 women plan to sue former director of rehab facility for sexual battery, harassment

SAN DIEGO - Six women who were once drug or alcohol addicts plan to sue the former director of their rehab facility for sexual battery and harassment Thursday morning.

David Powers, a member of the Rock Church Ministries, said he and the church are being targeted simply because of the church's deep pockets and claims that there are no grounds for any kind of lawsuit.

Powers battled drug addiction for many years. He says for the past 17 years, he has been helping hundreds of others get sober when he was the director of ABC Sober Living, a program the Rock Church refers those who have fallen victim to substance abuse.

San Diego-based attorney Irwin Zalkin confirmed with 10News on Wednesday, he will be filing a civil suit against Powers on behalf of six women alleging sexual battery and harassment.

The intended lawsuit also names Rock Church Ministries drug and alcohol recovery program.

In a statement to 10News, Powers called the lawsuit frivolous, stating that "at the end of January 2014 a female resident with mental health issues alleged that while she lived in a facility other than ours that one of our principals imposed himself on her in a sexual manner. We categorically deny this allegation."

Powers told 10News, "Our company is a high-profile target in our community and has its share of people who dislike us. Of those people, one person in particular took this girl to a law firm in hopes of taking us down."

He added, "We are in communication with a law firm specializing in libel and defamation issues and we are considering our options."

In a statement, the Rock Church made it clear that "… Rock Recovery Ministry has no operational authority over ABC Sober Living and that none of the women who have made these allegations against Mr. Powers were referred to ABC Sober Living by the Rock Church."

The Rock Church further added it will "… no longer refer anyone to his facility until these claims are investigated by the proper authorities."

The San Diego Police Department has only investigated one claim that Powers was referring to and found no basis for any charges.

Powers says no legal actions have even been taken against them to date and that they have never been sued.

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