Woman sues church for failing to pay hush money

Plaintiff claims she had affair with married pastor

By Mike DeForest - Investigative Reporter
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ORLANDO, Fla. - A Central Florida woman who said she had an affair with a married pastor has filed a lawsuit against the church, claiming that church officials broke a secret agreement to pay her $3,000 if she kept quiet about the relationship.

Alrene Miranda has attended the Orlando Baptist Church on Semoran Boulevard since 2008, according to court records. In her lawsuit, Miranda claims she and Senior Pastor David Janney began a sexual relationship in September.

After disclosing the affair to another pastor, Miranda claims Janney and other church officials offered to pay her money if she signed a non-disclosure agreement.

"David Janney and other officers of (Orlando Baptist Church) presented Plaintiff with the (non-disclosure agreement)… which provided that (the church) would pay Plaintiff $3000," the lawsuit states. "In return, Plaintiff would not disparage David Janney, (the church), or otherwise disclose her affair with David Janney."

Miranda claims church officials violated the agreement by failing to pay her by Dec. 4.

In her lawsuit, Miranda is demanding a copy of the non-disclosure agreement she claims she and church officials signed on Dec. 2. The church has not responded to a request by Miranda's attorney to produce the document, according to the lawsuit.

Janney, who is married with adult children and several grandchildren, did not return several phone calls and emails sent by News 6 offering him an opportunity to comment on Miranda's allegations.

"We obviously find ourselves in a sad and very difficult situation, but as a church and as members of the body of Christ, we wish to express our concern for all parties involved," said Pastor John-Erik Moseler, another member of the church. "While it may be easy to pass judgment, point fingers or otherwise engage in some kind discourse involving this matter, our primary concern is the testimony of how the church responds to a problem like this. We will address this matter as a church family, but not necessarily in the public arena."

In her lawsuit, Miranda included copies of text messages she claims were sent to her by Janney that suggest the pastor was was hiding the affair from his wife. News 6 has been unable to independently authenticate the text messages.

On Dec. 3, the day after Miranda claims the church had agreed to pay her $3,000, Janney filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, court records show.

There is no indication in court records that Janney's bankruptcy filing is related to Miranda's lawsuit.

According to records obtained by News 6, Janney is accused of defaulting on a large loan he obtained in 2007, using property he owns in Georgia as collateral. In May, Janney and the lender agreed to settle their dispute for $1,000,000. However, Janney failed to pay the agreed settlement amount in time, court records indicate.

On Dec. 3, an Orange County Circuit Court judge ordered Janney to re-pay the lender $3,550,852, the full amount of the debt. The same day, the pastor filed for bankruptcy protection.

Miranda is represented by attorney Mayanne Downs, who also serves as Orlando's city attorney. An associate of Downs declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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