Mondainé leaving NAACP presidency after sexual abuse allegations
E.D. Mondainé announced that he would not run for reelection as president of the Portland NAACP — following explosive allegations that he sexually abused three men attending his church and emotionally abused others.
The extensive report, written by Alex Zielinski of the Portland Mercury, describes Mondainé as engaging in unwanted sexual contact with several men who were under his sway as senior pastor at Celebration Tabernacle, a Pentecostal church in North Portland.
The abuse happened in the mid-1990s and early 2000s, according to the Mercury.
Other parishioners depicted Mondainé as a cult of personality who maintained strict control over worshipers, controlling whom they could date or marry and even ordering the beating of those who disobeyed him. He is also accused of dipping into the till at his nonprofit's youth training restaurant, now known as Po'Shines Cafe.
"Mondainé told me that I was chosen by God to take care of [him] because I had suffered sexual and physical abuse in the past… so I had the strength to endure more of it," one man told the Mercury, using a pseudonym. "In my eyes, God had literally put me there to shore this important man up. The moment when you think God is telling you something, everything is justifiable."
One man said the sexual abuse happened at age 14 — another said it happened more than 2,000 times.
On Thursday, Oct. 15, Mondainé denied the allegations during a brief online press conference. He did not take any questions.
"I submit to you that it would be pointless in trying to defend such egregious allegations," he said. "Nearing two decades ago, I was part of a relationship that ended poorly... That appears to be the basis for the unfounded allegations recently published."
Portland NAACP President E.D. MondainÃ© announced he will not run for re-election today— Zane Sparling (@PDXzane) October 15, 2020
It follows a report by the @portlandmercury that he sexually abused several men in his church and emotionally abused others pic.twitter.com/0sqKabypJ4
Mondainé will not step down ahead of the Nov. 21 chapter election for the Portland branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, but said he would not run for a second term.
"What you're witnessing is the manifestation of the current trend of cancel culture, which seeks to destroy anyone who does not fall in line," he said. "My hope is this distraction in no way interrupts the important work of eradicating racism in our city and nation."
Before his apparent downfall, Mondainé maintained close relationships with many of the city's elected leaders — appearing at events with Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty — and often lent his perspective to local media.
The Tribune first broke the news of allegations of financial misconduct and bullying against Mondainé in November, 2019. Earlier this year, Rise Up PDX announced a slate of five candidates running for positions on the local branch's executive leadership committee. Sharon Gary-Smith is running for the post of chapter president.
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