A North Carolina pastor who says he was a victim of domestic violence has accused his estranged wife of physically abusing him, even though the couple have never had a child together.
Justin Lee Smith, 63, told a Baptist church in New Orleans that his estranged husband, Brian, beat him, kicked him, hit him, and left him in the middle of the night.
He says he went into a trance that lasted until he woke up.
The former church pastor was arrested on Saturday after a woman reported a domestic violence incident at their home in North Carolina, according to The Associated Press.
A police officer who responded to the home found a large amount of blood and a broken toilet bowl on the floor.
A witness told police that Smith was crying, but said he was not hurt.
Smith was charged with domestic violence and possession of a deadly weapon, the AP reported.
Police told the AP that the woman in the house, who also requested anonymity, said she did not want to press charges because Smith was too distraught to talk to them.
She said she had never seen him act like this before.
A court date has not yet been set for Smith.
Smith has also been accused of abusing his children.
He is being held on $1 million bond.
His estranged wife, JoAnn Jones, has said that she has been angry with Smith for years, and that he never spoke of domestic abuse with her.
Smith’s attorney told the Associated Press that the abuse allegations are untrue and that Smith is innocent.
He said Smith and his wife have no children and had never had an altercation.
“There’s never been any kind of argument between him and JoAnn,” said attorney James E. Thomas.
“He has been extremely helpful to her.
They have a son and a daughter.”
Thomas said Smith’s family is trying to raise money for him to get his life back on track.
He told the paper that the church is not involved in his divorce and has never paid Smith for any services.
Smith is a retired pastor who lives in a mansion on the outskirts of Charlotte.
His ex-wife, who is also a pastor, has accused him of abusing her and of sending her to prison for child abuse.
She says he forced her to work as a prostitute and forced her children to live with their mother, and he made her wear a wire around her neck.
Smith also has a history of being involved in child pornography.
His wife was also convicted of making child pornography in 2012 and sentenced to 10 years in prison.