Ohio Megachurch pastor suspected of attempting to blackmail woman after affair

A minister who runs a 5,000 member congregation has become tangled in an affair in which a woman says he tried to blackmail her.

Victor Couzens

New York police officials have confirmed they are searching for Victor Couzens, pastor of the 5,000 member Inspirational Bible Church in Cincinnati, who they believe tried to blackmail a model who was involved in an affair with him.

According to the Christian Post, Couzens, is under investigation by the NYPD after Andrea Garrison, 30, filed a complaint against him.

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“Victor Couzens is wanted for aggravated harassment which took place on October 23rd. There are no arrests at this time. The investigation is ongoing,” an NYPD spokesperson said.

Garrison alleges the pastor threatened to blackmail her unless she recanted previous statements about their sexual relationship. She shared screenshots of an explicit video with the Christian Post, which also came with a threat the video would be made public unless she recanted certain statements about Couzens. Although the video was made in his bedroom, she said she never gave him consent to make any such recordings.

“I feel like, at this point, it’s no longer what he did to me, what he did to the other women. It’s no longer about that. It’s about the fact that the Church allows this. That the Church is OK with this,” Garrison said alluding to the fact that multiple women have spoken out against Couzens misbehavior.

“The Church is OK with sending threats to people who are just trying to expose something that’s bad happening,” she continued. “I’m tired of this type of stuff being swept under the rug and I’m tired of being hushed when all this could have been avoided with him just keeping it real.”

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In an email to the Christian Post, Couzens maintained his innocence and says that while the sexual exploitation of women in the church is “one of tremendous concern in the body of Christ,” he has at no point been guilty of those actions.

“Although your subject matter is one of tremendous concern in the body of Christ. And it needs to be addressed. Your primary source (Andrea Garrison) doesn’t fit into that context,” he wrote via email.

“There have been people who are actual victims of clergy malpractice and abuse. My heart goes out to them. However, that is not what this situation is. And unfortunately you have been misled simply by what Andrea has told you,” the pastor explained.

Members of the church have called for Couzens to step down from his pulpit due to the allegations that he had affairs with multiple women.

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