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Prostitute Says Swaggart Picked Her Up For Sex

October 12, 1991 GMT

INDIO, Calif. (AP) _ A professed prostitute who was in Jimmy Swaggart’s car when police stopped him for minor traffic violations claimed the evangelist picked her up for sex.

″He was just another john (customer),″ said 31-year-old Rosemary Garcia.

″He asked for sex,″ she said after Friday’s incident. ″I mean that’s why he stopped me, that’s what I do, I’m a prostitute.″

Swaggart, 56, was cited for driving on the wrong side of the road, driving an unregistered vehicle and not wearing a seat belt, said Police Chief Jerry Graves. A Municipal Court hearing on the citations was set for Nov. 15.

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The Associated Press was unable to reach Swaggart on Saturday. No one answered telephone calls to the home of Clyde Fuller, a board member with Swaggart’s ministry. Swaggart was driving Fuller’s white Jaguar when he was stopped.

There was no answer Saturday at the offices or homes of Swaggart’s lawyers, William D. Treeby and Phillip A. Wittmann. Calls to Jimmy Swaggart Ministries in Baton Rouge, La., were answered by a security guard.

In 1988, Swaggart resigned from the Assemblies of God, the nation’s largest Pentacostal denomination, after a fellow preacher released photos of Swaggart with a New Orleans prostitute. In a tearful confession at the time, Swaggart admitted to an unspecified sin.

An Indio Police Department statement said Swaggart was stopped inside a 10- block area known for narcotics dealing and prostitution.

Ms. Garcia said she was sitting by a phone booth next to a truck stop when Swaggart picked her up Friday morning in this town 100 miles east of Los Angeles. She said Swaggart asked her if there were any motels in the area that showed pornographic movies.

″He’s the same guy who cries on TV for all these people to feel sorry for him ... to give him all their money,″ Ms. Garcia said. ″For what? So he can come give it to us. That’s pretty good.″

Rival televangelist Marvin Gorman was awarded $10 million by a New Orleans jury in September. Gorman’s defamation lawsuit charged Swaggart, his ministry and his attorney spread false rumors about him, alleging sexual misconduct.