James Fortune, a popular gospel singer, burned his 4-year-old stepson in 2001 and left him permanently disfigured, according to a civil lawsuit filed against him and his wife Cheryl, reported myFOX Houston.
The $5-million lawsuit, from the boy's biological father Roderick Davenport, alleges that Fortune violently punished the child for misbehaving in pre-school.
Fortune purportedly whipped the child with a switch, told him to remove his clothes and then held him down in scalding hot water.
The lawsuit claims the toddler received second and third degree burns to 47 percent of his body and stayed in the hospital for 63 days.
He required "numerous" skin graft operations and is now "permanently disfigured."
In 2003, Fortune "pled guilty to felony Injury To a Child and received 6-years deferred adjudication," according to myFOX Houston.
Fortune, in a statement, claims the lawsuit is a result of his "increased profile and financial viability" and "an individual's desire to exploit such." Davenport claims it is to pay for surgery the boy, now 15-years-old.
Davenport's accusations have already caused the singer to lose some of his fans.
"I will never support you or your ministry again. I abhor child abusers, and you are DONE with me!" wrote TheLegendary Will Steen on Fortune's Facebook page.
"Love your music but it turns my stomach to give any financial support to you or your wife," wrote Katharine Perreault.
Fortune, based in the Houston area, is the choir director at the Higher Dimension Church, according to the Christian Post. Some of his popular songs include "I Trust You" and "I Believe."
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