Band Leader of Haitian Christian Church in Palm Beach Accused of Statutory Rape, Sexual Battery
A lawsuit filed against the Haitian Christian Church in Palm Beach claims that its band director, James Prophete, sexually assaulted a minor.
According to the suit, the pastor of the church, Etienne Prophete, appointed his son to lead the band even though he knew his son "had proclivities to seek pleasure from his minor parishioners and posed a grave risk of danger to the children."
The saga began in the summer of 2011, when Prophete began telling a 16-year-old violinist of all the sexual fantasies he had involving her, including having sex with her at his home where he lived with his wife and 3-year-old daughter, according to court documents.
On an August 2011 visit to the victim's home, James Prophete allegedly "coerced and physically intimidated" the victim into oral sex, "digital penetration of her vagina with fingers and attempted sexual intercourse," the suit says.
Prophete kept pressuring the victim, only identified as Y.J.M., and attempted to force himself on her during a drive to band practice in October.
The suit also charges that Eglise Chretienne Hatienne De Palm Beach, or the Haitian Christian Church, was negligent in appointing Prophete to a position that gave him unfettered access to minors.
It's unclear if Prophete was ever arrested for the allegations; an attorney representing the plaintiff was not immediately available for comment.
The suit is seeking in excess of $15,000 in damages from the church.