Reports began to surface Monday that the gospel singer James Fortune (pictured) was being sued for a reported $5 million for abusing his then-4-year-old stepson back in 2001 and disfiguring him. Fortune pled guilty to the felony charge of injury to a child and received a six-year deferred adjudication. Now the biological Father of the victim, who is now 15 years old, wants Fortune to pay for the plastic surgery that could correct the disfigurements.
According to the lawsuit, the tragic turn of events began when Fortune picked up his wife Cheryl‘s son from preschool. When the teacher told Fortune that the child misbehaved, he allegedly became infuriated. The man of God reportedly yelled and berated the child for his mischievous behavior, gave him time out, then prepared a scalding bath for him.
The lawsuit, which also names Cheryl, contends that Fortune then demanded that the little boy remove his clothing so that he could “whip the child with a switch.” The man then forcefully submerged the boy in extremely hot water and held him down.
The child’s injuries were so extensive that he had to be flown to two hospitals for treatment. The permanently disfigured child remained at a hospital in Galveston, Texas, for 63 days, where he received various skin grafts for his hands, buttocks, genitals, and legs.