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Former Church Member Accused of Stalking Bishop T.D. Jakes

TDJAKES1In the past three years, well-known televangelist and minister T.D. Jakes has allegedly been stalked by a woman and a former church member who has come to his home several times, and once reportedly tried to hit a security officer with her car. Jakes sued Karleisha Tarver in Tarrant County civil court last month. On Friday, state District Judge Susan McCoy extended a temporary restraining order against Tarver until a Feb. 24 hearing to determine whether a temporary injunction should be issued ordering her to stay away from the pastor.

McCoy also issued a bench warrant for Tarver, who is in the Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas after she was arrested Jan. 26 and accused of criminal trespass when she reportedly tried to attend services at The Potter’s House in Dallas. Her bail was set at $1,000. Court documents describe incidents in detail in which Tarver showed up at Jakes’ home and at the Potter’s House churches in Fort Worth and Dallas beginning in 2011 and continuing through January this year. According to Tarrant County criminal court records, Tarver was convicted of criminal trespass in 2012 and was sentenced to 15 days in jail.

Jakes’ lawsuit alleges that she was also sentenced to a mental institution for six months in 2012. The suit says the harassment began in March 2011, when Tarver showed up at Jakes’ Tarrant County home and walked up to the front door. Security officers escorted her from the property.

In late March 2011, Tarver showed up at the Potter’s House in Dallas to attend Sunday services and was escorted from the church, the lawsuit says. In May 2011, she was “excommunicated” from Potter’s House in Dallas. But in July, Tarver showed up for Bible study at the Fort Worth church, where she “yelled out” twice and was escorted out by security officers because she refused to be quiet. Fort Worth police issued a criminal trespass citation, according to the lawsuit. In April, Tarver again tried to attend Potter’s House in Dallas and was cited for criminal trespass, according to the lawsuit.

The court documents indicate that the harassment escalated Jan. 5, when Tarver, wearing a sling on her left arm, tried to approach the altar where Jakes was preaching. Church security officers escorted her out. The church counseling staff also tried to help her and told her that she was “going about things in the wrong way,” the lawsuit says.

Tarver also showed up at Jakes’ home four times in January, the lawsuit says. On Jan. 7, security officers saw her car in front of the driveway. When officers approached her, she accelerated and tried to hit one of the officers. She drove away, but police were notified, the lawsuit says. She returned to the area again Jan. 9, 14 and 17. On Jan. 9, she was “screaming obscenities,” according to court documents. On Jan. 14, Tarver was cited for criminal trespass by Fort Worth police, but she refused to sign the citation, the lawsuit says.

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