Karen King

Karen King was a member of the Armenian Apostolic Church (ARM). She sued Father Sasoon Zumrookhdian, an ARM priest, in 1993.

According to the lawsuit, Zumrookhdian became King’s spiritual counselor in 1992. At the time King was living in Massachusetts with her husband.

King’s complaint alleged that Zumrookhdian, who was supposed to be celibate, induced her to enter into a sexual relationship with him and promised her employment at St. Paul Armenian Church in Fresno, California. In response, King filed for divorce and moved to Fresno.

The lawsuit further alleged that the relationship soured when King’s friend, who had driven out to California with her, refused to become sexually involved with Zumrookhdian as well.

The priest’s relationship with King became more volatile and abusive after that, according to the complaint. When she refused sex, he beat her. In addition, he continuously harassed her at home and at her temporary job.

King also alleged in her suit that when she finally told Zumrookhdian that she wanted to discontinue their sexual relationship, the priest told her that he wanted nothing more to do with her and revoked his promise of employment at St. Paul. King then attempted suicide.

After King recovered, she filed a complaint against Zumrookhdian with Archbishop Vatche Hovsepian, the local ARM hierarch. However, the complaint was dismissed without any investigation.

Accordingly, King filed her lawsuit in June of 1993. The case was set for a jury trial in January, 1995. However, at the pre-trial hearing the matter was resolved with a confidential settlement. According to The Armenian Reporter, King received $30,000.