The former volunteer from Haggard’s church has now come forward with more details about his relationship with Haggard. Predictably, it seems that he held Haggard in reverence and in a position of authority:
The latest revelations involve Grant Haas, who told the TV station that he met Haggard in 2005 when he was 22. He said he told Haggard he had been kicked out of a Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for his “struggles with homosexuality.”
“It seemed like at that moment his eyes lit up and his whole attitude towards me changed,” he told KRDO. Reached by text message Monday, Haas agreed to be identified by The Associated Press. Haggard’s statement also identified him.
“I’m like, ‘This must be God,”‘ said Haas, who described wanting to be a pastor himself. “Why would this big guy, this big evangelical leader, be taking such an interest in me?”
Some of the salacious details:
Haas told KRDO that one night in Cripple Creek, a casino town west of Colorado Springs, Haggard “asked me if we were going to be godly or bad that night.” He said he told Haggard he wanted him just to be his friend and pastor — but Haggard masturbated in front of him.
Haas also said Haggard at certain times sent him between 1,000 and 2,000 text messages a month, some describing his sexual experiences and drug use from the road.
And he says the church’s main concern was keeping him quiet:
The church has said it struck a legal settlement with the man — it has not named Haas — in 2007 that paid him for college tuition and counseling as long as he did not speak publicly about the relationship. Brady Boyd, Haggard’s successor as pastor at New Life, called it “compassionate assistance — certainly not hush money.”
According to documents Haas provided KRDO, he is to be paid $179,000 through 2009. Haas claimed the church didn’t follow through on promises to pay for counseling and medical treatment.
“Their main focus was, you know, cover it up, don’t say anything,” he said. “You’ll regret it if you come forward.”
What a shock.